Darwin, Kakadu, Katherine
18.08.2017 36 °C
Darwin on a Winter's night. Sun goes down about 6.43pm 35 degrees and Blood Orange Full Moon rises 7.02pm. Great display from the water. Cruise was lovely, relaxing on the bow of the boat and sat next to a couple from Adelaide who also owned a FORD RANGER! There is not getting away from them! The Moon rise over the water was amazing, perfect timing!
While we were in Darwin I visited a friend of Mum's Jackie O'Brien who at 91 had only just lost her husband Vern and was still going through that awful time. Jackie was very pleased with our visit, it distracted her for a while and we learnt about the war and Cyclone Tracy from someone who lived through both.
Left Darwin and headed for Mary River Resort, well it is sort of, a oasis in the middle of a dessert. It was the weekend and as it was only an hour and a halves drive from Darwin, it was busy with a Fishing Club Annual Trip and many overseas travellers, we met a family from Milano so Dan brushed up on his Italian. While at the 'Resort' we booked an Air Boat trip on the Mary River over the wetlands. Fantastic! felt like we were sort of flying over the water which was less than 6 inches deep. Our driver/guide explained lots about the bird life and the beautiful lilies that grow there and the benefits of the plant. The leaves are water proof and the flower can be eaten. They even spin silk from the steams to make very expensive scarfs. Day 2 at Mary River Resort we hired a golf cart and drove the very dry and dusty tracks around the 1,000 square kilometre property. I got to drive it as it was meant to take 2 hours but Dan drove it so fast, we finished the lap in under 40 minutes so I had the rest of the time driving round slowly!
Moved on to Kakadu and stayed at Jabiru arrived to a lovely spacious park on Sunday where nothing was open except the BP Servo. The town has seen much better days, café, bakery and other shops had closed down and when we went to check it out on Monday when it was open, the only shop was the supermarket which sold everything you could want, but at price. Well we were in Kakadu now.
First day trip was to the East Alligator Region which included the Ubirr the rock formation at the end of the earth. It looks over the flat flood plain when it's wet and it's goes for miles when behind you there are huge rock formations. Day 2 was to Nourlangie Region including Yellow Water. We booked a sunset boat cruise with about 200 other people but they had 4 boats. It was great, specially that a local traditional owner was on board checking out his back yard and as we sat at the back got into a conversation with him (his name was Peter) who told us about the animals etc. Peter told us that there weren't many goanna's left in the region because of the Cane Toads had poisoned them and Selivina that terrible weed that gets into the waterways and chocks the vegetation and takes the air out of the water killing everything, is also in Kakadu. Scientists has developed a weevil that will eat it and only as a life span of 3 months so it's perfect. You could see where it's working but there is still plenty of it around. We had it in our dam at Nambucca where we had to dig, drain and strain to get rid of it.
Day 3 was a rest day after climbing over rocks in very hot conditions for 2 days and we treated ourselves to dinner at the Crocodile Motel (Built in the shape of a crocodile) where Dan got cornered at the Coffee Machine by 2 ladies on a 'Tour' and where fascinated on what he had done on his 'Tour". Day 4 we packed up and headed south to the southern part of Mary River. Set up camp at Mary River Roadhouse, a dust bowl just outside Kakadu Park boundaries and then headed back into the park. First stop was to a beautiful waterfall where we could have swam but we decided to move on to Gunlom Waterfall Creek which we heard was better for swimming if you can handle the dirt road. 37klms of very rough road. Took us about 45 minutes but well worth it. We tried to climb to the top pool but it was very steep and very hot so we decided to swim with the freshwater crocodiles in the pool at ground level. An Italian Couple had a flat tyre on their rental car and the spare was thin and would have been useless on the dirt road. Dan had a puncher kit with him and to Parlo's (that was his name, didn't get the girls name) amazement Dan was able to fix it. They were so grateful and we followed them out on to the main road just to make sure they got there okay. We knew that the thin spare would go okay on tar but not on the dirt. Haven't heard if they made it to Darwin as they were flying out from there.
Made it back to Katherine Yesterday where we have stocked up and prepared food for a few days as we can't take any fresh fruit or veg into WA. We also gain an hour and half which will be strange. The sun will rise at 5.30am instead of 7am now. Looking forward to the Bungles Bungles and Kimberley's.
More exploring and photo's to take, lucky we have digital now and not the old films!
Hope everyone is happy and healthy.
Much love to all.
H & D. xx