Wednesday 10th August 2011, Pine Creek.
We have now moved on from Kakadu to Pine Creek, a small town on the Stuart highway between Darwin and Katherine. There are some point of interest we would like to visit in this area so we should be here for about a week. We did leave Kakadu earlier than anticipated but we do consider that we did see all we wanted to. We did miss the Southern area of Kakadu and on our way past today we checked out the camp ground we would have intended to stop at and it is just as well we did change our mind. The roads into most of the southern area attractions are gravel and I believe most are corrugated and some rough, so we have done enough rough gravel roads lately so we have no qualms about not doing them.
Monday 8th August 2011, Kakadu.
Our final drive for a look around today to Yellow water region. This is basically an area to do river cruises on the South Alligator river. We did not do a cruise as we did one at Mary River NP and this area did not look any different, although it was a nice place to visit and get another look at the wildlife of the area. As Linda was heard to say “It was worth the drive just to see this scenery
Sunday 7th August 2011, Kakadu.
Back on the topic of those people with the idea of Kaka-don’t ;- I now can’t understand how these people could form this idea unless they have just made a speedy trip through the area without doing any sightseeing, they certainly couldn’t have seen what we have see over the past few days. Admittedly most of the overall appreciation of Kakadu is obtained from climbing up the several lookouts in the district, and some of these are rather steep and some people would have second thoughts about climbing. I now feel an explanation of ‘those people’ coming on. Those people I am referring to are those that we meet in our travels, and most of those would be of our age if not older, and therefore could have difficulty in getting up these steep climbs. Whatever the case we have thoroughly enjoyed what we have done and seen and are still gob-smacked to the idea that we are lost for words to describe it. We reckon that especially seeing that photos will not do any of this area justice, then it must be a personal experience to see this area to obtain the appreciation that we have.
Friday was a rest day, yesterday was another sightseeing day around Nourlangie area, and today is another rest day as we can only take so much exercise, and two consecutive days is just too much.
Thursday 4th August 2011, Kakadu.
I may have to watch myself today as I feel as though I may start to waffle on. Today was obviously the turning point of the opinions I wish to express about Kakadu. I reckon that all those people that referred to Kakadu as Kaka-don’t obviously didn’t do what, and go where, we did today. We visited the East alligator region, explanation, Kakadu is split up into several visiting areas and given individual names, like yesterday we went to the South Alligator region, named after the river in the area, today was East Alligator, and there are others. Anyway the walk at Ubirr today, and the climb up the rock to the lookout was the turning point of my opinions, as after the introductions we have had over the past week or so it became quite apparent to us today what the attraction is in Kakadu. The lookout at Ubirr gave a spectacular view of the surrounding floodplains, Nadab floodplains, to the north and the sandstone mountains in all other directions. After having a stroll through some rocky outcrops on the way to the lookout and having a look at some rock art, and then the view from the lookout showed us what the scenery is about. Then the information we have gained about the wet season, hence what then happens to the floodplains, gives us a very good impression of what does occur in the different seasons in the far Northern Territory. We are both sure now that we are going to continue to enjoy our entire stay at Kakadu as we are sure there is a lot more to come in other areas.
There was one main complaint today though. We had a look at the camp site at Merl, in the same area, as we had originally thought of stopping there for a couple of days, as we do also expect to do the same at Mardugal in the Yellow Water region. These camp sites offer toilets and showers but no power, then generators are allowed to be used, so this would suit us if we could not get much solar because of trees, and this was the case there. When we got there we found out that the camp ground is divided into two areas, one area is for large groups of people between 10 and 25, and another area for groups of less than 10. The only area generator are allowed to be used is in the large group area, meaning we would not be able to stay for long because we would almost certainly run out of power. The main problem is that there was no indication of this being the case anywhere in any advertising or information we have accessed until we arrived at the camp ground today, and if we had brought the van with us we would either have had to turn around and go elsewhere or run the risk of running out of power, I would have not been a ‘happy chappy’! Now I will have to find out if the same case applies at Mardugal as this will influence our decision to stay there as well.
Wednesday 3rd August 2011, Kakadu.
I am not yet going to give any reports on what we think of the Kakadu area as we have not seen enough yet. We have seen enough to possibly form somewhat of an opinion but that may well change over the next week or so. We went back the way we came in yesterday to see a couple of attractions and do a couple of walks but one of the areas was closed, so I have now found a web site that I can keep a check on. It is demonstrating how big a wet it was last wet season with some roads and walks still closed due to water damage and water still covering some tracks. We are so far enjoying our time here and I can’t see any reason why that should change, so we do intend utilising the full 14 days that the park pass allows us to stay in the national park, this will give us the chance to have several rest days between walks.
Tuesday 2nd August 2011, Jabiru.
We have been thinking and talking about Kakadu Nation Park, about going there, for so long now it hasn’t yet sunk in that we are finally here. Today would end up giving us that feeling though, as after travelling to get here, the rest of the day has just been taken up setting up the caravan. We are going to be here for in excess of a week so we will use our long term setup routine, in difference to our short term setup, as this will make us a little more comfortable while here.
Monday 1st August 2011, Mary River NP.
I am inserting the following photo to demonstrate the water height in this area during the wet season, especially the last one being a super wet.
Click Here to Enlarge.
You can see the billabong in the background, water level now, and note the grass and weeds in the trees behind Linda, this shows that if we were here during the wet we would be totally under water. This is a feature of the area that I was not fully aware of, being that in the wet season many of the wetlands are totally covered in water, but not just covered, sometimes meters higher, a horrifying amount of water. This was also explained and demonstrated to us on the river cruise the other day, but I thought this photo just explains all.
This is it then for this visit, so tomorrow it will be on to Jabiru.
Sunday 31st July 2011, Mary River NP.
So much for the peace and quiet we were going to have while here, it is a long weekend and everyone from Darwin have come here with families for a weekend of fishing.
A drive around the Mary River National Park was the order of the day today. There are a couple of 4 wheel drive tracks, one of which I intended to traverse, and did, and a couple of lookouts over the river were also on the plan. The 4 wheel drive track took us right through the wetland area and gave us a bit more of a perspective on what it is like in the wet season, and offered some rough driving sections that I thoroughly enjoyed, and Linda learned that she had to come to terms with. Even though some of the sights to see are nothing spectacular, except for the river views, we have often said is it worth it, but they all do have their individual characteristics that do make the touring all worth the while. We did miss a couple of sights, that included walking tracks, because they weren’t very well sign posted, and I am not one for guessing where they are, so we bypassed them and went back home. We have quite often heard the comment that Kakadu was not worth the visit, and I am becoming to think that it may well mostly be the type of sightseeing we have done today, but looking at the over-all picture I am sure it will be all worth it, especially seeing we do intend using the full 2 weeks that the pass does give us to have a good look around, where some of those people do not spend much time there at all.
Saturday 30th July 2011, Mary River NP.
Went for a boat cruise on the Corroboree Billabong on the edge of the National Park today and thought that it was really worth it. It was a tour that seemed to just show things, crocs and such, in their totally natural state. We have been on river cruises before but they did not give the same feel as the one today. We also got a perception of the difference in water height between the dry season, now, and the wet season, and the difference is quite unbelievable. The guide was also a great maker of the tour as well, as he grew up in the area and as a kid, according to him, ran away from home and spent 6 years living with aboriginals, hence learning much about the local area, he was extremely informative.