A Travellerspoint blog

Thursday 6th July - Exploring Litchfield National Park.

sunny 33 °C

Thursday 6th July - Exploring Litchfield National Park.

We had a lazy sleep in, brekky and then turned to some necessary maintenance. I had dropped the LH wheel of the trailer into a pothole at Humpty Doo. On closer inspection, it had bent the shocks hanger and the tongue on the tow hitch that the ball bolts into. Borrowed a LARGE shifter from Ben the park owner, removed the ball and straightened the tongue. The stocky hanger is OK and won't affect its performance.
That done we headed out into Litchfield Park to explore the waterfalls and rivers. 1st stop was an abandoned tin mine at Buffalo Creek.

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Interesting to see the old machinery and stuff the early miners used. They did it pretty tough. Then back to Wangi Falls, a spectacular waterfall and rock pool. But sharing it with 500 other tourists isn't my thing. A bite to eat at the cafe, a loop walk to the top of the falls and we said goodbye to all the hoards of people. Next was Tolmer Falls, which was equally spectacular with less tourists hoards. Then Florence Falls and the "magnetic" termite mounds. All great sites to see.
Back in camp and I did a grog and grocery run into Batchelor. As the bistro was closed tonight, we bought a BBQ pack and cooked our own dinner in the camp kitchen. Andrew & I opted for the Buffalo sausages, while Clint went for a Scotch fillet steak. I prepared a great salad, and we chatted with other travellers over dinner. The park was much quieter tonight with all the high school kids gone and only a smattering of vans in the park.
Back in camp and we chatted into the night over several reds.
ZZZZZZZ!

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 05:04 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Wednesday 5th July - Kakadu to Litchfield

semi-overcast 33 °C

Wednesday 5th July - Kakadu to Litchfield National Park.

As we only had 320kms today, we had a leisurely pack up and refuelled before hitting the road. South to Pine Creek, where we stopped for a refuel and a bite to eat. Then turned north on the Stuart Hwy to Adelaide River. A left turn and through Batchelor, Rum Jungle, then to the Litchfield Tourist Park. Booked in, great easy going hosts, set up camp in the best camp spot yet. Concrete slab, roof, power and water right next to the camp kitchen. If only we had some breeze to cool it down and keep the mozzies away. Had a good feed in the bistro and competed for the showers with 200 odd high school kids on tour. Very busy season in The NT.
Now the name of the area is Rum Jungle, and I was interested in finding out how it came by its name. Australia's 1st large scale uranium mine was established in 1953 at Rum Jungle and produced uranium on a commercial scale until the mid 70s. Records state that in the late 1800s, supplies were being driven by bullock teams to a large station in the north, and the supplies included a wagon loaded with Rum. The wet season intervened and the supply wagons became bogged. As the team were stuck between rising rivers, they decided to stay put until rescue could be arranged. This took several weeks, by which time, the men had drunk most of the Rum. As the team had bogged in a heavily wooded scrub, the area became known as Rum Jungle.

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 05:01 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Tuesday 4th July - Exploring Kakadu

sunny 32 °C

Tuesday 4th July - Exploring Kakadu

We had booked on the early (dawn) cruise on the Yellow Water billabong. So we were up at 5:30am and waiting for the bus at the resort at 6:20am. Boarded for the 2 km trip down to the billabong and then boarded one of 5 craft. Each craft can seat 55 or 65 passengers. There were 190 booked on this mornings cruise. Told ya it was busy in Kakadu! But the cruise operators have it fairly well worked out, as we only competed for viewing positions on the river a couple of times. And the boat skippers are in radio contact so when one spots something interesting, he lets the others know so all get a good viewing of the wildlife etc.
the sunrise over the billabong was pretty spectacular.

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We spotted several crocodiles, the largest being “Max” at 4.5 meters. A buffalo, wild pigs and wild horses along with the amazing amount of bird life.

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After the cruise we were treated to a big buffet breakfast back at the Cooinda Lodge.
We jumped on our bikes, loaded up with lots of water for a day exploring the rock art galleries and escarpments of Kakadu. 1st was Nourlangi Rock then on to Cahill's Crossing and Ubirr Rock art galleries. We got back to camp about 5:30 pm after a hot exhausting day. Dinner at the bistro, a few frothies then into bed
ZZZZZZZ!

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 04:54 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Monday 3rd July - Dundee Beach to Kakadu (Yellow Water)

semi-overcast 34 °C

Monday 3rd July - Dundee Beach to Kakadu (Yellow Water)

We packed up reasonably early and were on the road by 8:30am. On the road and up to the 110 speed limit, and a wallaby tried to commit suicide going between my back wheel and Andrew's front wheel. Everyone survived the episode, so continued out to the Stuart Hwy. Turned north and then turned right through Humpty Doo. Stopped for some fuel and groceries for the next few days. Today is the hottest day we've had on the trip at 34 deg and about 90% humidity.
We called in to the Window on the Wetlands, which is an interpretive centre and viewing platform located on a hill overlooking the Adelaide River.

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A great interpretive display about the Savannah wetlands. We could even see some buffalo grazing on the wetlands. Crossing the Adelaide River, we saw our 1st croc in the territory, just upstream from the bridge. About a 2m croc. Further east and we crossed the Mary River then the West Aligator and South Aligator Rivers, where we saw another two crocs near the bridge.
We stopped for a photo and a cool off at the entrance to Kakadu National Park. Then continued on to Jabiru where we even had a sprinkle of rain. Turned right and south for the last 55kms to Yellow Water. Arriving at the Cooinda Caravan park & campground at around 3:00pm, we ckecked in, got fuel and set up our camp. The clouds looked a bit threatening, so we hurriedly put up our tents. The place is pretty packed and we only have a small site, no shade but we do have power.
A couple of frothies to cool off and then dinner of Kangaroo steaks and fried rice. Mmmmmmm!
After a 385 km day, we are now kicking back with a red waiting for it to cool off..........still 27 deg and humid. Mozzie's are bad too. 1st time on this trip.

Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 04:48 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sunday 2nd July - Dundee Beach (the day after)

sunny 31 °C

Sunday 2nd July - Dundee Beach (The day after)

With yesterday's celebrations over (Territory Day) There were a few hangovers (not us) and some cleaning up from the fireworks. After brekky we wandered down the beach and were surprised at the lack of litter. The beach and foreshore were perfectly clean. Congrats to the Territorians for not leaving a mess. Chatted to a couple of fishermen back in from the sea. Catches varied, some got fish, some didn't.
We virtually had nothing to do today, so an early stroll on the beach, followed by an early lunch at the pub. After an arvo nap, we all wandered down the beach again so I could throw the cast net for some live bait. There was nothing around so we made our way back to camp for a couple of beers before going to the pub for dinner. Pretty quiet tonight as most people had headed back to Darwin after their weekend celebrations.
Back to our cabin for some quiet music and a couple of reds.
Tomorrow we pack up and head for Kakadu.
ZZZZZZZZ!

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 04:48 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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