(4/8/2018 – 10/8/2018)
Kakadu – covers nearly 20,000 kms of stunning natural beauty, native wildlife, Aboriginal rock art sites, gorgeous landscapes, waterfalls and pools, extensive 4WD and bushwalking trails, cultural and visitor centres, boat cruises and scenic flights. It is listed as a World Heritage Area for both its cultural and natural heritage. Wow!! There is so much to experience here in Kakadu!!!!
We checked into Kakadu Lodge for 4 nights. This was a lovely park located in Jabiru with shady grassed sites, swimming pool and spa and poolside bar and bistro. Here we met up with the Walkers family again.
On Sunday we visited the Bowali Visitor Centre and then we drove up to the infamous Cahills Crossing!!
The river crossing takes you over East Alligator River from Kakadu to Arnhem Land. Alot of people come down here to watch the crocs as well as to fish. When it is high tide, water pushes up over the crossing bringing lots of fish like mullet and barramundi and then the crocs move downstream to wait for the fish.
Many people have lost their cars trying to drive over the crossing and have been caught out by the rushing water!!!! We saw a couple of cars upside down in the water!!!
Andrew still fishing!
On Monday morning we drove to Nourlangie Rock Art Site, south of Jabiru (about 22 kms). We timed it well to meet up and join a tour with two of the Park Rangers, one being a local Indigenous man called James. They provided an informative talk about the ‘Bininij’ people, Aboriginal art and culture. The walls of the Nourlangie Rock have served as a shelter and canvas for thousands of years. Nourlangie and Ubirr are the most famous art galleries in Kakadu.
After the tour we then set off for Jim Jim Falls. After turning off the highway we had about 50 kms of heavy corrugations before we reached the carpark. This was another 2km return rock hopping hike but we were then greeted with a plunge pool that was surrounded by 200 metre cliffs. The water was crystal clear and cold but very refreshing after the hike!! Being the dry season, the falls, well, there was no real waterfall, just a trickle!!!!!
The name Jim Jim comes from andjimdjim, an Aboriginal name for the water pandanus that line the creek.
Cooling off in Jim Jim Falls
The next day we were up early and drove north to Ubirr which was about 40 kms along the Kakadu Highway. Again we were able to take part in another free Ranger guided tour. Local Aboriginal Ranger James and Celeste told us many stories and beliefs, it was very interesting. Ubirr Rock Art has numerous ‘galleries’ of aboriginal rock painting and can be dated back to thousands of years ago. These galleries can be viewed by following a 1km circular walking track.
There was also a 250 metre climb which took us to the top of Ubirr Rock with beautiful panoramic views of the Nadab floodplains!!
On our way home we stopped at Cahills Crossing again to spot more crocs and so that Andrew could drive over and back again!!!! Lucky it was low tide!!!!
On Wednesday we packed up and drove down the Kakadu Highway to Mary River Roadhouse. We checked in here for 2 nights. It was a dry and dusty park but had a nice pool and bar/restaurant area.
Drone footage of Mary River Roadhouse
The following day we drove to Gunlom Falls (southern end of Kakadu National Park) along the highway and then onto more dirt and corrugated roads!! Wow, this was a tough and steep hike up (about 2km return) but at the top of the waterfall were rockpools and a natural infinity pool. Yes, another very refreshing swim!!! Up here were sweeping views of the southern most parts of Kakadu!! After hiking back down we then had lunch at the Gunlom Campground.
On our way back we stopped to have a look at the “Rock Hole”. I think its called Moline Rockhole. This was not signposted but I found it on Wikicamps, this beautiful little area had a lovely waterfall with a pool full of life, could have snorkelled here.
On Friday morning we packed up and continued south. We stopped in at Katherine again for groceries, fuel and alcohol.
(4/8/2018 – 10/8/2018)