Anbangbang Billabong

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Photo of Anbangbang Billabong
Anbangbang Billabong, Kakadu National Park, Australia, at the beginning of the dry season.

Anbangbang Billabong lies in the shadow of Nourlangie Rock within Kakadu National Park and is a good place to view a wide range of wildlife. Large numbers of water fowl and wading birds inhabit the billabong and many wallabies can be found grazing around the water's edge. There is a walking trail around the circumference of Anbangbang Billabong with many picnic areas.


Photo of Nourlangie Rock
Nourlangie Rock, as seen from Anbangbang Billabong towards the end of the wet season.

The Anbangbang Billabong is overlooked by the Nawurlandja and Nourlangie plateaus. In the wet season, it is fed by runoff from these plateaus, as well as overflow from Nourlangie Creek, however during the dry season it is cut off.[1]


Like much of Kakadu, Anbangbang Billabong is home to a particularly large variety of bird life. The fluctuating water levels draw waterfowl such as magpie geese, pelicans, darters, spoonbills and brolga. Other fauna known to frequent the billabong include wallabies, file snakes, long-necked turtles, dingoes and goannas.[1]

Mangroves lining the billabong support populations of freshwater mussel. Adjacent woodlands play host to a different ecosystem again. The nearby Nawurlandja plateau supports local populations of short-eared rock-wallaby and chestnut-quilled rock pigeon, among other species.[1]


The swelling billabong promotes seasonal growth of sedges, grasses, water lilies, and freshwater mangrove line the water's edge. Swamp areas support many types of paperbark, in particular the weeping paperbark, silver-leaved paperbark and broad-leaved paperbark.[1]

The woodlands surrounding the billabong are a lush habitat comprising an abundance of plant species. Darwin woollybutt and Darwin stringybark dominate, with large populations of fan palms, kapok, red apples, wattle and Pandanus.[1]


Like much of Kakadu, the Anbangbang Billabong region's climate is monsoonal. The region's aboriginal owners recognize six seasons, however these can be reduced to vastly differing dry and wet seasons where the billabong is respectively depleted and replenished.[2]


Aboriginal rock painting of Mimi spirits
Aboriginal rock painting of Mimi spirits in the Anbangbang gallery at Nourlangie Rock.

Anbangbang Billabong has a marked, 2.5 km circular walk, popular with tourists to Kakadu National Park, but accessible only during the dry season.[3] It is a hotspot for bird watching during the late dry and early wet seasons due to the abundance of birdlife.[4] The nearby Nourlangie plateau and Anbangbang shelter are of particular interest for their aboriginal rock art[5][6] and 20,000 year old history.[7]

Aboriginal beliefs[edit]

A local creation story tells that the Anbangbang Billabong was formed by a pair of short-eared rock wallabies, or badbong, who are responsible for cutting the rock and parting the trees to form the current landscape.[1]


The name 'Anbangbang' has no known meaning.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Kakadu National Park: Anbangbang Walks" (PDF). Parks Australia. The Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Kakadu National Park and the Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  2. ^ Energy, Department of the Environment and (8 October 2013). "The six seasons". Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  3. ^ Tours, Kakadu National Park. "Nourlangie Rock in Kakadu National Park". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  4. ^ Rohan., Clarke (1 January 2014). Finding Australian Birds : a Field Guide to Birding Locations. CSIRO Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 9781486300846. OCLC 880410149.
  5. ^ Energy, Department of the Environment and. "Nourlangie in Kakadu National Park" (PDF). The Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Kakadu National Park and the Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  6. ^ "The Ancient Art of Kakadu - Tourism Australia". Tourism Australia. 10 March 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  7. ^ 1925-, Mulvaney, D. J. (Derek John) (1 January 1999). Prehistory of Australia. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 9781864489507. OCLC 809512709.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Kakadu National Park: Aboriginal Languages" (PDF). Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy. The Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Kakadu National Park and the Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 3 April 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 12°51′52″S 132°47′49″E / 12.86444°S 132.79694°E / -12.86444; 132.79694