The aborigines have been in the Kakadu area for 40,000 + years and their knowledge of their land is awe- inspiring. Aborigines are the true conservationists. They respect the land, take only what they need rather than greed, and they tune into the seasons. We were lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time with the traditional owners and here are some of the things I learned.
There are six seasons in Kakadu and we were there in the first part of the dry or what they call, Wurrgeng. Eucalyptus Miniata, (the Darwin woolly butt) is in flower and the bright orange flowers signal that it is time to start burning the land. Burning regenerates the land but also forces the wildlife out which is good for hunting. Six weeks later new shoots attract the wildlife again and hunting is good.
The yellow Kapok flower means the kangaroo are fat and tasty and the crocodiles and turtles are laying their eggs. When the seed pods break open that means the eggs have hatched.
I found the aroma very similar to Wasabi or very strong english mustard! The taste of the green ant is citrus and they are loaded with Vitamin C. I loved them! If you’re really sad with a cold then you grab some paperback leaves and dig a pit. Put the fire in the put, cover it and lie on top of it and inhale the eucalyptus smoke.These leaves are also great for stuffing kangaroo and giving it flavour when you cook it.
Wanting something sweet? Keep your eye out for bees and sugar bag (wild honey). Or you might want a Billy goat plum. Sweet to eat, they also make yummy chutney.
The Pandanus also has fruit to eat and its leaves are used for basket weaving but mind those spikes!!
And if you’re caught short, hungry but don’t have a fishing line the put some ground up quinine into the water hole and the fish float to the surface.