Well, I’m back from a six day trip out to the outback of the Top End of Australia. It was brilliant! We had about 9 people on the trip, and they were all great. I’ll try to summarize the trip here:
Day 1: Darwin to Litchfield national park. We went swimming in three different waterfall filled rockholes. Got to take a close look at some of the biggest termite mounds I’ve ever seen. These things are huge..maybe 2 meters tall, and shaped like a cathedral. Apparently they can grow for up to 70 years. I saw my first wild wallaby, and a bunch of other animals. At the end of the day we were taken to an aboriginal show where we supposedly saw “authentic” dances. This was the biggest crock of shit I’ve ever seen. It was so touristy and fake that I couldn’t keep from laughing. Their music was great, but the dances were just cheesy. At the end of it we talked to some of the performers, and they kept wanting to talk about American movies like “Terminator” and “Rambo”.
Day 2: Took a cruise on the Mary river system down the rock hole billabong. Saw lots of birds, and a few crocs…both fresh and saltwater varieties. Afterwards we moved on to a site in Kakadu national park. We went to view the Ubirr rock art site, and saw some amazing scenery. Parts of Crocodile Dundee were filmed here, and it was great to recognize some places. There were lots of wallabies at camp, even some tame enough to pet and hand feed.
Day 3: We got up early and took a 4WD to go see Jim Jim falls. We went on a 5 hour hike to the top of the falls, and had a great time. It was hot hiking, and I went thru about three liters of water there and back. We found an amazing swimming hole that made the hike worth it. We got lucky because the next day they shut down the path to the falls for the season. When the rains come (we’re at the start of the wet season) the track gets too bogged down to make it safely there.
Day 4: Slept in a bit after our long hike the day before. We checked out the Nourlingie rock art site, and found more swimming spots. Some were absolutely gorgeous with lots of ferns and plant life all around. Another one was a lot of fun with lots of holes in the rocks that you could swim thru. The third one actually had a freshwater croc population in it, but we didn’t see any.
Day 5: Drove all morning to get to Katherine Gorge. We took a 5 hour canoe trip down the gorge and had a blast. My shoulders are still sore from all the paddling we did. That night we were treated to the most intense electrical storm I’d ever seen. We also had a great party that night to celebrate the last night of camping.
Day 6: Two more swimming holes…one at Katherine Springs and one at Edith Falls. Driving back to Darwin we saw a herd of wild buffalo on the side of the road. Pretty cool!
Anyway, I’m about to get on a plane to Alice Springs. I’ve got another camping trip booked around Ayers’ Rock, so I’ll update again when I get back from that.