After a busy day in Darwin my long weekend adventure continued with an early start to venture into Australia’s Northern Territory area of Kakadu National Park.
Travelling in comfort with an AAT Kings tour (I also recommend self driving this region but due to my short trip I went with the professionals this time) we headed out of the traffic free city of Darwin towards the Arnham Highway and the park. Stopping off on the way for a ‘Spectacular Jumping Crocodile’ Cruise I captured the mightly saltwater crocs jumping out of the muddy river for their red meat breakfast. We were also fortunate to get some great close ups of the amazing birds swopping in for the food.
We stopped in for lunch at the Wildman Wilderness Lodge for a sumptuous lunch with a view out across their personal landing strip and the open landscape. I definitely recommend staying over night here if you can plan it in your trip! We were treated to a leisurely cruise along the Wildmans Home Billabong capturing exotic bird life and getting very close to their local crocs, and a water buffalo!
Next it was onward to our overnight accommodation at Aurora Kakadu Resort. This group and family friendly resort has large rooms with equally sized bathrooms overlooking their shaded pool (croc free!) and perfect to cool off in. There are not many places to eat nearby here but the hotel restaurant, along with the price of the room is great value for money. I sampled buffalo, fresh oysters and of course crocodile! (the address is amusingly in South Alligator- you can find out the story behind that when you visit).
I awoke early the next morning in anticipation of our day in Kakadu, a World Heritage- listed site accredited for both its natural and cultural wealth. Covering over 19,000 square metres of dramatic landscapes from towering escarpments and waterfalls to floodplains. The changing scenery of the area from the wet season (now) to the dry season makes this a year round destination. To add to my excitement at being in this wondrous destination I was also going to get up close with some of the oldest examples of Aboriginal rock art in Australia.
We wet our appetite for the park on another cruise, this time on Yellow Water cruises on Jim Jim Creek. I captured Whistling Ducks, Magpie Geese and Kingfishers to name a few birds, carefully perching around yet more crocs. The near by Barra Bar and Bistro at Cooinda Resort around the corner from the cruise departure point served us up a hearty buffet lunch with a huge selection of cut meats to energise us for the afternoon walk.
The highlight of the day was the hike through Nourlangie. Following a 1.5km walk amongst the impressive natural rock structures we learnt the stories handed down through generations of Aboriginal people through their art. Get your cameras ready for the panoramic shots available at the tip of the walk!
A great place to start your Kakadu trip is at the Bowali Visitor centre. As well as collecting your obligatory National Park pass for Kakadu you can collect information on the area as well as refresh and buy a few souvenirs.
Just wait until you see what was in store for me on my final day in Australia’s Northern Territory!
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