Nourlangie Rock is a looming ancient escarpment of slowly eroding red rock creating sheer cliffs rising above the Kakadu wetlands. The sacred site is the keeper of one of the best local collections of Aboriginal rock art and a gateway to some of the most amazing views in Kakadu.
In the local lexicon, Burrunggui refers to the upper section of the rock and Anbangbang to the lower rock section and surrounds. There are plenty of cultural sights in the area, the most popular being the Nourlangie 1.5km circular walk that takes in an ancient Aboriginal shelter and examples of rock art. It's recommended to set aside around 90 minutes to tour around the site. First on the walk is a lookout before you reach the Anbangbang rock shelter, which was used for 20,000 years as a refuge from the wet season elements and as a canvas for art. Evidence of habitation that have been excavated includes organic matter, which has been preserved due to the dryness of this shelter. Next on the walk is the Incline Gallery before you reach Anbangbang Gallery, a stunning frieze of rock paintings painted by Nayombolmi. Also known as Barramundi Charlie, the artist repainted these examples of rock art shortly before he died in 1964. The rock art depicts Dreaming figures, including Namarrgon or Lightning Man.
Following the loop, a moderately steep climb up to Gunwarddehwardde Lookout affords views of the dramatic Arnhem Land escarpment and Nourlangie Rock before heading back to the carpark. During the dry season, rangers offer informative talks on the area and art sites several times a day.
Entry to the site is free. To get to Nourlangie Rock, follow the Kakadu Highway 19km from the Kakadu National Park Headquarters, turn left toward Nourlangie Rock and onto the 12km paved road that leads to the carpark.