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Wurrgeng Seasonal festival camp for families
July 25 - July 28
‘Walks with Nature’ group invites you to join us in the bush to celebrate the season of Wurrgeng at Litchfield Park special purpose campground.
This place in Litchfield Park provides a comfortable bush camp, fire places to keep warm at this cool time of year under a sky full of stars.
It is a wonderful area we get to know more and more each year, as we visit for some of our festivals. We take bush walks, sing together, crafts and night story dramas with puppets or ourselves dressed in character and we have time to share together as a community. We will do some bush weaving and dyeing of fibres, felting, lino prints, painting, clay modelling, etc.
If you have some skills to share please alert Di (TEL: 0419 759 714 , and please save onion skins to bring for a dye, also any old pots to boil up the dyes and some fabric or a t-shirt or a pillow cases to dye or print. Thanks.
You enter the special purpose camp facility at Florence Falls – by the dummy locked gate opposite the Buley rock hole track. (first arrivals will find key for kitchen and store room in the sink in the disabled toilet room)
For newcomers to this place, bring all your eating and cooking utensils. There is a small gas fridge but you are better off bringing an esky with big ice blocks. Dinners, we usually each prepare something and put it all out as a smorgasbord to have as a shared meal. Morning tea we all bring fruit to cut and share. Breakfast and lunches cater for yourselves.
Bring a coloured cloths for each child to use for the dramatized stories and a candle or lantern for the dinner tables.
Camping is easy on cut lawns, with showers and toilets close by.
Bring clothes to cover your skin from mozzies at night and to keep warm, water bottles & shoes for bush walking, and a basket or a bag to collect bush treasures.
The Rangers do not take our rubbish away so please bring your own bucket and bags to take away your own rubbish. We don’t mind taking the food scraps for our chooks, but can’t take other rubbish away. Please bring individual bags to dispose of your own nappies so they don’t stay in the kitchen or bathrooms for flies to gather, and take them away when you leave, thanks.
Parks and Wildlife charge for camping is – $3.30 / adult and $1.70/ child over 5years.
We collect the fees at the camp to send into Parks and Wildlife.
We ask a small charge of $10 per day per family for materials we supply for daily activities –
( please ensure you find the money box on the kitchen counter, even if you are only staying for the day. I often find people have forgotten to add their name and pay for the day activities and then I am out of pocket, thanks)
If you have any queries please tel: Di Lucas 0419 759 714
Wurrgeng – is the name given to this season by Aboriginal people of Kakadu and Western Arnhemland. These dry season days begin with cool cool mornings. Winds blow up from the south-east during the morning and can blow often until late afternoon. The leaves sing, as the wind blows through the trees.
Some trees of the Woodlands and dry vine thickets lose some, or all of their leaves, to reduce their energy needs during the drier months.
On Limestone rock outcrops, you will notice that most of the trees in these vine thickets have lost their leaves, for example, on the road side to Katherine, Edith River, Cutta Cutta caves areas.
When you pass through the Mt. Bundey hills, on the way to Shady camp, Point Stuart or Kakadu, you will also see many trees have lost their leaves here to cope with the hot dry months.
Walking over these hills it is most interesting to see the many vine thicket trees, and if you are lucky you may find some performance bowers of the Bower birds. I always like to look at the treasures these birds collect.
The billy goat plum trees – anmorlak (Terminalia ferdinandiana) have mostly finished their fruiting season and have lost their leaves now. They will await the return of the humidity before they re-clothe with fresh new leaves.
Coastal vine thicket jungles have an‘Autumn colour change’ and many trees drop some or all their leaves at this time. For example, Casuarina Coastal Reserve vine forest walk, Channel Island, Gunn Point, South Alligator River jungle walk, Limestone and granite outcrops in the Mt. Bundey and Katherine regions.
When the creamy flowers of Anrebel the Stringybark tree (Eucalyptus tetrodonta) begin to flower, it is a seasonal indicator that Wurrgeng begins.
Some Woodland trees continue to flower at this time; pink flowers of Anbarndar (Turkey bush), yellow flowers of Andjed (Kapok trees), red-orange flowers dapple the trees of Andjerrmain (Brachychiton megaphyllus).
Sit and watch how many different birds and insects visit these flowers – Pollinators in action, you will be surprised. When the creamy flowers of Anrebel the Stringybark tree (Eucalyptus tetrodonta) begin to flower, it is a seasonal indicator that Wurrgeng begins.
When the orange flowering of Andjalan (Eucalyptus miniata) and Anrebel finish flowering it is an indicator to Aboriginal people that the main burning time is over.
Sandpalms are still flowering, such a spray of joy, and a delicacy, no doubt, for many insects and birds. Some woodland yams are still collected by Aboriginal people at this time, but the main yams collected now are the long yams (Dioscorea transversa) and the round yam (Dioscorea bulbifera). These yams, are specially prepared and eaten, they are delicious and nutritious.
Yams are a staple food source, just like potatoes, rice and pasta in many peoples diet.
The seasonal creeks are drying, yet the floodplains still have lots of water. Birds congregate to feed on fish, insects and plants.
It is wonderful to get out and view the birds. In the rural area, there are lagoons where you can sit and watch. ‘Mamukala’ in Kakadu is a good viewing spot, and Fogg Dam, Manton Dam, Knuckeys lagoon and McMinn’s Lagoon are close to Darwin and there are always lots of birds to see.
The waterlilies continue to flower through Wurrgeng. Their seeds and bulbs provide food for many birds, including the abundant Magpie geese.
Enjoy the season and looking around in the bush…………