Helen and Doug's Round the World Trip travel blog

Our transport around Kakadu

A jumping croc

Nourlangie Rock

Looking over the park - Escarpment in the distance

Motor Car Creek falls

The other waterfall

We finally reached Darwin on Tuesday and found a good motel. The weather here is very different to further south, it's incredibly humid, almost unbearable!

We spent Wednesday exploring the few city sights but the weather got the better of us and forced us to get indoors. Doug wanted to hit some golf balls and I wanted to see a shop again after going weeks without so we both satisfied our withdrawal symptoms for the afternoon. It was nice to hit some balls for the first time in months, but so humid I nearly lost the clubs into the lake a few times!

On Thursday we were picked up very early for our trip to Kakadu National Park about two hours away. We were crammed in the back of a four wheel drive with six other people which was very uncomfortable! Our first stop was Adelaide River Jumping Crocodile Cruise which was fantastic, if a little scary! We sat on a largeish boat below deck and cruised around looking for crocodiles. We saw Hannibal first who was about 6 metres long and huge. The crew dangle meat from the side of the boat and make the crocs jump for it, a terrifying sight! Hannibal was the biggest croc we saw but we managed to find several other ranging from about 3 to 5 metres. I think we will both happily live out the rest of our lives without ever seeing another crocodile now!

We stopped at a roadhouse on the way (not really a unique experience for us!) and then entered the park. Our guide, Dean, was a bit of an Outback nutter and at one point screeched to a halt to chase a frill-necked lizard into the bush, catching it momentarily before it bit him. Never mind, we were still grateful to get to see one, they're amazing creatures that look like dragons!

We visited an Aboriginal rock art site, Nourlangie Rock (or Angbungbung) which was fascinating. Some of the drawings date back thousands of years, it was humbling to think how long Aboriginal culture has existed and modern-day Aborigines can still understand most of the art as if it was done yesterday. Dean told us a lot about their culture and some of the Dreamtime stories, although most of the stories are closely guarded secrets. Next we went to a lookout which involved scrambling up a rock face but we were rewarded with great views over the flat land of Kakadu to the Escarpment which marks the boundary and entrance to Arnhemland, the only land never colonised by the Europeans. We scrambled further along over rocks and small canyons to a creek only a local would know which we swam down to a totally secluded waterhole, an excellent place to cool off and relax.

Later we drove to our campsite which was very far to go in the back of the Jeep! We slept in a room of 10 bunk beds, our only experience so far of dormitories and not one either of us is keen to repeat! The campsite was riddled with bugs and flying creepy crawlies which made trips to the bathroom fun, we will remember not to camp at any roadhouses in the future!

On the second day we drove to Yirmikmik walking tracks where we did a bush walk through some very uninspiring scenery but were rewarded with the excellent Motor Car Creek waterfall. It was a completely enclosed pool, which was very deep, and so nice and cool. The waterfall was in the corner of two sheer rock walls and was beautiful. We could swim right up to it, and it almost looked as though it had been sculpted for our enjoyment! Very cool in every sense. We walked on to another waterfall which was three tiers, all much smaller than Motor Car but still an excellent place for a swim to escape the heat.

After that we were driven back to Darwin. We felt like we hadn't really seen that much but what we did see of Kakadu was great, it was definately worth doing a trip to have the benefit of local knowledge. We would never have found the hidden places we went to on our own, and probably wouldn't have had a swim since nowhere is officially safe from crocodiles in Kakadu. We also met some great people who we had a night out with on our return to the city.

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