Day 3/35 – Part 3/3


Half an hour ago I stripped off the legs of my trousers because of the heat but now it seems that that was a bad idea. I am haunted by flies and other stinging things. Have to put these back on and fast.

Luckily I don’t have to go far for the viewpoint, a couple of hundred meters only of which half scrambling up. There is a nice view on the plains below. These are maintained by the Aboriginals by means of patch burning. They burn down pieces of the land. Reason is that eventually everything will burn down with all this heat and thunderstorms. It’s better to ignite it yourself in small pieces. Generally, they ignite a piece of land in the evening when there is no wind. At night, close to the morning the fire goes out because of the dew. The black patches are visible on left and low center in the photograph.


The Arnhem Land Plateau that I had expected here I don’t see. Strange. The ranger tells me that the plateau is behind us and not in front of us where I had expected it to be. Here, we are on a couple pieces at the front line of it that have broken off. Thousands of years ago the ocean has been a lot highter a couple of times and that has eroded the piece that we are standing on now. That is the reason it is not really attached anymore to the plateau itself. In between the ocean has been. In that time we would have been standing on a rocky island. Originally, the plateau was 1000 meters high and now it variates between 30 and 300 meters. Every 100 years, erosion shaves off another meter.

Pity that there are no spectacular colours in the sky. Everybody is waiting for the sunset but this will take a while. Later I have to decide where I am going to be. I am still not sure what will be better, photograph with the light and aim for the rock parties below or against the sun and photograph the plains. Whatever comes out of that, it will be very difficult not to photograph people.

First let’s explore the other side of the summit. Curious to see what is there.

This side is more rocky and the light is much more pleasant than on the other side.



When the sun is very low in the sky, I shoot this one. A bracketed set of 15 exposures provide me with enough information for this photo.

Zonsondergang vanaf het Arnhemland Plateau bij Ubirr

Finally, I walk back and decide to photograph the sunset itself. The other side is crowded with people and I would also have to go down to get there. Better to see the sunset. Close by a couple is enjoying it and that provides with me the opportunity for a nice composition.

Sunset from the Arnhem Land Plateau

Just after sunset we all have to go down because it will be pitch black within 10-15 minutes. We have been warned for this before hand. All rangers of the park are here to make sure everybody goes down in time. The scrambling part is not difficult, but I prefer to do it while I can still see the surroundings. The average torch wouldn’t provide enough light to find back the path.

Half an hour later I am back in my hotel and I have a taste for a fine meal. I would have liked to eat crocodile and there is one on the menu but only as part of a salad. I select a Kangaroo & Buffel salad (really delicious!) with fish & chips.