Anbangbang Billabong

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; the Anbangbang Billabong is overlooked by the 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. Like much of Kakadu, Anbangbang Billabong is home to a large variety of bird life; the fluctuating water levels draw waterfowl such as Magpie Geese, Darters and Brolga. Other fauna known to frequent the billabong include Wallabies, File Snakes, Long-necked Turtles and Goannas. 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.

The swelling billabong promotes seasonal growth of Sedges and Water Lilies, 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; 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, Red Apples and Pandanus. 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 depleted and replenished. Anbangbang Billabong has a marked, 2.5 km circular walk, popular with tourists to Kakadu National Park, but accessible only during the dry season. It is a hotspot for bird watching during the late dry and early wet seasons due to the abundance of birdlife; the nearby Nourlangie plateau and Anbangbang shelter are of particular interest for their aboriginal rock art and 20,000 year old history.

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. The name'Anbangbang' has no known meaning. Plants Kakadu National Park Kakadu plum Nourlangie Rock Bininj Gun-Wok peoples Aboriginal Art Lear more about Aboriginal culture in Kakadu Google Map Map of Kakadu National Park including art sites

Capture of Afulah and Beisan

The Capture of Afula and Beisan occurred on 20 September 1918, during the Battle of Sharon which together with the Nablus, formed the set piece Battle of Megiddo fought during the last months of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. During the cavalry phase of the Battle of Sharon, the 4th Cavalry Division of the Desert Mounted Corps attacked and captured the main communications hub at Afula, located in the centre of the Esdraelon Plain, Beisan on the plain's eastern edge near the Jordan River, some 40–50 miles behind the front line in the Judean Hills. Infantry attacks by the British Empires XXI Corps had begun the Battle of Sharon on 19 September, along an continuous trench line from the Mediterranean across the Plain of Sharon and into the foothills of the Judean Hills; these attacks captured the Ottoman front line at Tulkarm and Arara, in the process outflanking and decimating the Ottoman Eighth Army on the coast. During the attack on Tulkarm, the infantry created a gap in the Ottoman front line defences, through which cavalry from General Edmund Allenby's Egyptian Expeditionary Force rode north.

The three cavalry divisions in the Desert Mounted Corps captured the Ottoman Seventh and Eighth Armies' lines of communication across the Esdraelon Plain from their headquarters in the Judean Hills. The Desert Mounted Corps began the advance riding up the Plain of Sharon to Liktera, on 19 September where they attacked and captured an entrenched line barring their advance. Subsequently, the Corps crossed the Mount Carmel Range by the Musmus Pass and the northern Shushu Pass, during the night of 19/20 September; as the 4th Cavalry Division rode out across the Esdraelon Plain on the morning of 20 September, towards their primary objective. Afula was captured by units from the 4th Cavalry Divisions shortly after. Leaving the 5th Cavalry Division and one regiments at Afula, the 4th Cavalry Division advanced to capture Beisan and in the day, the regiment advanced directly from Afula to occupy the railway bridges at Jisr el Mejamie, across the Jordan and Yarmuk Rivers; the capture of Jenin on the southern edge of the Esdraelon Plain blocked the main line of retreat to Damascus from the Judean Hills.

The General Headquarters of the Yildirim Army Group commanded by General Otto Liman von Sanders at Nazareth was captured the next day, Haifa two days later. Several days while garrisoning Beisan, the 4th Cavalry Division advanced southwards down the Jordan River to close a 20 miles long gap, through which the retreating remnants of the Seventh and Eighth Armies had been escaping, they attacked and captured several fords during 23 and 24 September, to cut off all remaining Ottoman soldiers in the Judean Hills. By the end of the month, one Ottoman army had been destroyed, while the remnants of two others were in retreat to Damascus after the German rearguard at Samakh was captured by Australian Light Horsemen on 25 September. Damascus was captured on 1 October, by the time the Armistice of Mudros between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire was signed at the end of October, fighting for Aleppo was underway; the Esdraelon Plain stretches from Lejjun in the west to Nazareth 10 miles to the north, in the foothills of the Galilean Hills, through Afula in the centre of the plain, to Beisan on its eastern edge and close to the Jordan River, to Jenin on the southern edge of the plain, at the foot of the Judean Hills.

Near Lejjun, the remains of the ancient fortress of Megiddo on Tell al Mutesellim dominate the entry to the plain from the Musmus Pass. Here a small garrison could control the routes across the Esdraelon Plain where the armies of Egyptians, Mongols and Crusaders who had fought Saladin near Afula during the Battle of Al-Fule, as well as of Napoleon, had marched and fought towards Nazareth, the Galilean Hills, Damascus. Aerial reconnaissance reported that no defensive works of any kind had been identified on the plain or covering the approaches to it, apart from German troops, garrisoned at the Yildirim Army Group headquarters of Otto Liman von Sanders at Nazareth. At 12:30 on 19 September Liman von Sanders ordered the 13th Depot Regiment at Nazareth and the military police, a total of six companies and 12 machine guns, to occupy Lejjun and defend the Musmus Pass; the Desert Mounted Corps, commanded by the Australian Lieutenant General Sir Harry Chauvel, was made up of the 4th, the 5th Cavalry Divisions, the Australian Mounted Division.

Each division consisted of three cavalry brigades, with three regiments to each brigade and support troops. The regiments consisted of three squadrons. Five of the six brigades in the 4th and 5th Cavalry Divisions consisted of one British yeomanry regiment and two British Indian Army cavalry regiments one of, lancers, the sixth brigade being the lancers of the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade; some of the yeomanry regiments were armed with the lance in addition to their swords and bayonets, while the Australian Mounted Division was armed with swords.303 rifles and bayonets. The 4th Cavalry Division consisted of the 10th, 11th and 12th Cavalry Brigades, the 5th Cavalry Division was made up of the 13th, 14th and 15th Cavalry Brigades and the Australian Mounted Division was made up of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Light Horse Brigades; the 5th Light Horse Brigade, was temporarily attached to the 60th Division for the Battle of Tulkarm. Thes