Northern Territory

The last few weeks of May 2013 were spent in a whirl of packing boxes and sad goodbyes but before we waved farewell to the land down under there was some unfinished business to take care of. We still hadn’t managed to visit either the Northern Territory or Queensland. So 3 weeks in June were set aside to correct this terrible failing. Here’s what we got up to in the ‘Top End’.

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

A splendid last few nights in Melbourne, once all was packed and tidied – spent in the grandeur of the Hotel Windsor.

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

One last Melbourne brunch and coffee at Hardware Societe.

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

We flew up to Darwin on Sunday afternoon and spent an evening taking in the Mindle Beach Sunset Market. No hanging about though, we collected our ENORMOUS camper van first thing Monday morning, stocked up in the Darwin shops and headed east on the Arnhem highway to Kakadu National Park and Jabiru. Picture above is a view across the lake at Jabiru at sunset.

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

Tuesday was spent bouncing along the red dust roads of Kakadu in a 4WD with Steve from Kakadu Tours A totally brilliant day that I’d recommend 100%. First stop, a walk through the forest to Barramundi Falls and a dip in the lovely warm waters. Steve had promised us there were absolutely no crocodiles lurking in the green waters, then proceeded to show us the spot where he’d found some croc eggs a few years earlier…erk!

 

But croc safety is taken very seriously. After the ‘wet’ the crocs have all moved around so weeks and weeks are spent testing pools and billabongs for new inhabitants. We saw quite a few huge croc traps at the edges of rivers and tourist spots are only opened when the park rangers are 100% sure that nobody lives there. The famous Twin Falls were still closed at the time of our visit as they hadn’t yet been given the all clear.

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

Next, a lesson in what 4WD vehicles are actually for – the road to Jim Jim falls – don’t try this in a camper van! The 40 minutes of bouncing and half hour of rock scrambling are all well worth it for the amazing falls and pools. Impossibly clear water and a perfect beach, could have stayed for days.

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Wednesday: rock art and a Yellow River cruise. Some of the beautiful Aboriginal rock art at Nourlangie.

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

A Jabiru very kindly catching a fish for the cameras at Yellow River.

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

The resident croc

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

On the road to Katherine. Very Australian.

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

‘Tiny’ our not-so-small camper parked up at Shady Lane Campsite in Katherine. A quite ridiculously lush and tropical campsite.

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Walk to a view point overlooking Katherine Gorge in time for a pretty good sunset.
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Lots of fascinating stories of outback hardships and determination at Katherine Museum.
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Croc spotting AND canoe hire you say. I’ll pass. (Having said that, we did just that the following day in Katherine Gorge – fresh water crocs don’t bother with humans – apparently)
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Amusing array of tea and coffee choices at the Katherine Museum cafe. More excellent top end tales from the locals over tea with scones and cream – ha!
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Thursday: Up early for a paddle through Katherine Gorge. Passed lots of beaches that were reserved for croc nesting.
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Entertainment courtesy of a bunch of completely crazy French Canadians who felt the need to leap off every cliff in the gorge.
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Which canoe to choose?
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Friday: On the way back up towards Litchfield and Darwin we came across the Adelaide River Show and stopped to watch a spot of cow chasing. The aim seemed to be to chase your cow away from the other cows then around a short obstacle course. The cows all seemed to have other ideas about what they should be doing on a Saturday afternoon and most of the contestants seemed to get eliminated.
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Cow chasing is a family affair in these parts.
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Sunday was spent in Litchfield National Park – first stop – magnetic termite mounds! All built on an angle to catch the most sun. Very odd.
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Yikes! A bush fire. Very normal round this way.
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
The cascades. A lovely walk up the cascading river past a series of beautiful fresh water pools. Another dip then. Ahhh.
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
Nice line-up of 4WD bottoms in the cascades car park. And our camper at the end ruining everything.
 

Northern Territory - Australia

 
The stunning Wangi Falls. We did a walk up the right hand side to a viewing platform, over the river just before it takes the plunge and then back down the other side. Just time for a swim then legged it back to Darwin to catch a plane to Cairns for some Queensland adventures.
 
Part 2 coming soon!
 

3 Responses to Northern Territory

  1. Mark
    - August 20, 2013 Reply

    Such an amazing place. So glad we made it. Great pics as always xx

  2. Wenders
    - August 20, 2013 Reply

    Cracking photos Emily Glad you had a great trip x

  3. Celia
    - August 21, 2013 Reply

    Gorgeous pics, what lovely memories for you!
    x

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