Imagine travelling to the very edge of the Arnhemland escarpment, marvelling at the view over Kakadu’s extensive savannah woodlands before descending to the base of the sandstone cliffs.
The 4WD track you’re travelling on next is rough and bumpy, the creek bed you’re crossing looks like it had water running through it just yesterday, green Pandanus spiralis are lining its banks.
Not far to the car park now, which is rather small indeed.
Guaranteed no large crowds around here, you won’t even find any information on this destination in your Kakadu Visitor Guide!
Following your guide on a narrow path you leave the eucalypts of the savannah woodlands behind and enter a different world. Beautiful monsoon forest awaits you: shady, lush, leafy, green.
Hundreds of butterflies, Common Crows (Euploea core) greet you as you enter.
A beautiful little plunge pool lies right in front of you: Ikoymarrwa.
The spring-fed Rockhole Creek gushes down the escarpment and into this gorgeous little waterhole year round.
The plunge pool is safe for swimming.
Or would you prefer to go wild with the camera?
Alternatively, you could just sit back with a cuppa and listen to a few stories of old.
The Traditional Owners for the southern part of Kakadu National Park are the Jawoyn people. Ikoymarrwa is the Jawoyn name for this particular area, describing it as a Goymarr (Freshwater Crocodile, Crocodylus johnstoni) dreaming site associated with the creation of the spring above and the cascading waterfall – it is not regarded as a dangerous place.
Jawoyn people feel very attached to the site as a place for swimming and other recreational activities.
I thoroughly enjoy sitting on one of the large boulders opposite the waterfall, listening to the birds: the faint screeching of Lorikeets and Friarbirds on top of the escarpment, Honeyeaters, Pigeons, Kingfishers and others in the forest.
While I’m tuning in to the sounds of nature, some of the freshwater fish in the pool start to take an interest in my feet that have been dangling in the water, inquisitive little things – and totally harmless.
I have often encountered Mertens Water Monitors (Varanus mertensi) in and around the water but I am yet to come across the endangered Arnhemland Egernia (Egernia obiri), a chubby ground-dwelling skink with short, stumpy feet that allegedly lives around here.
Ever since Steve introduced me to Ikoymarrwa – or the Bottom Moline Rockhole, as it’s also known – I’ve been in love with this place!
Needless to say, Steve likes it too.
And here’s the exciting news:
From 1 April 2011 we will be able to share our love for Ikoymarrwa with you since Top End Explorer Tours have been able to obtain a special permit to conduct tours into the Ikoymarrwa area!
We feel very privileged and mighty proud to be among the small handfull of operators issued with this special permit.
To start with, Ikoymarrwa will be added to our list of destinations for our “Kakadu’s Early Dry” tour, of course.
If you’re interested in a “Kakadu Private Charter” to visit destinations off the beaten track but without the challenge of an extended or difficult bushwalk, you will now be able to enjoy this experience year round!
But wait, there’s more!
There will be more good news on Ikoymarrwa soon, so stay tuned!