What an amazing experience Taste of Kakadu 2019 was! Here’s a wrap up of the bits that we loved!
FAMILY CAMP COOKING
The Taste of Kakadu saw the students of the Jabiru Area School cook up a storm, showcasing their family favourite camping recipes using local Northern Territory ingredients. From the low price of $10, the event is a fantastic opportunity to dive deep into how the traditional cultures of cooking and modern cuisine combine themselves in Kakadu’s family kitchens.
The tourism students demonstrated their traditional ways of cooking with fire, including buffalo, geese, fish, bread and damper. Students from the Australian Army Cadets displayed their creative ration pack cooking, a useful method for anyone choosing to go on long hikes.
Wrapping up the day at Kakadu couldn’t have been easier. The Indigenous-owned Canape Cruise took you on a discovery tour through the rich wildlife and dramatic scenery of the Yellow Water Billabong. The cruise offered traditional food and exclusive drinks along one of the park’s most spectacular wetland ecosystems. It boasted the dramatic scenery and a range of local wildlife, including birdlife and the local, massive saltwater crocodiles. The host prepared a delectable array of native-inspired canapes, along with a wide range of sparkling wines.
Possibly one of the biggest highlights of the cruise is the Birdwatching. The native eagles were seen hovering over the Billabong searching for the prey, and the distinctive jabirus and brolgas always putting on a show. The Canape Cruise ran every afternoon through-out the festival, making it the perfect time to see the sunset over the horizon and the local wildlife.
MARK OLIVE MASTERCLASS
Mark Olive is possibly one of Australia’s most renowned indigenous chef, and the star of the popular SBS series The Chef’s Line. He bought his passion for cooking to the Taste of Kakadu festival, putting on a fascinating cooking demonstration at the Bowali Visitor Centre. Mark is a Bundjalung man, showing off his passion for fusing native and Indigenous Australian ingredients with contemporary cooking techniques with native ingredients.
Mark Olive whipped up a unique kangaroo stir-fry with Singapore noodles during his class for his audience, as well as the use of local native herbs. His classes at the Taste of Kakadu was free, making it an easy day out for everyone and gave people the opportunity to taste local cuisine!
The Festival Hub is the key part of the event, presenting local food stalls and various cooking demonstrations to the public, as well as live music from local artists, arts and crafts and various fun activities for everyone. The hub included the Man-me art exhibition, which turned the area into an atmospheric outdoor art show displaying the best of the Top End’s Indigenous art in a truly unique environment.
The festival hub was also home to the opening and closing ceremonies, displaying local indigenous dance arts to the public, as well as the sale of Indigenous Art and local cuisine.
MAWURNDADDJA CULTURAL TOUR OF ARNHEM LAND
The exclusive tour of the Arnhem Land allowed guests to explore unique parts of the land that tourists rarely get to see. Ran by the team of Kakadu Cultural Tours and the Guluyambi Cruises, the once-in-a-lifetime experience dived deep into the history and cultural aspects of Arnhem Land. The experience kicks off with a guided cruise through-out the East Alligator River into Arnhem Land, with expert local guides leading guests through the impressive Aboriginal rock art and recently completed paintings.
The tour ends in Jabiru, displaying a combination of ancient and modern cuisine with Thai-Indigenous fusion canapes, mains and desserts at the Anbinik Restaurant. The tour was a rare opportunity to visit the significant Aboriginal sites.
BUSH FOODS TOUR
Possibly one of the most unique tours of the festival. The interactive and authentic exploration of the local bush foods allowed guests to learn about food plants and edible insects, leading to the edge of the billabong for a traditional menu based on the season prepared by local chefs, including fish, green ants, waterlily cakes, wattleseeds, tubers and native peppermint.
The tour allows you to get close and personal with local wildlife, including feeding waterbirds and the sandstone face of Burrungkuy glowing in the setting sun.
BUSH BOWLS AND BASKETS
The festival wrapped up with local experts to learn the art of traditional indigenous weaving. Guests were mesmerised by the artists’ skills as they experience weaving elaborate food baskets from local pandanus leaves. The activity starts from only $5, making it an event for everyone to experience.