I seriously love getting away into the heat at Winter. It’s one of my Australian resolutions that I will definately stick to.
This time my friend Angela came with me and having both been there before seperately, we were confident that we could improvise.
We started with a couple of days in Litchfield, sleeping in the open. We found a great place to camp, along Walkers Creek in Litchfield. You have to sign up for a spot on the chalk board at the start of the 2km track, and while we were deliberating a couple came down from the track and told us that spot 6 was the best so we signed up for that and set off. It had everything we needed: a patch of grass; a picnic table; a camp fire with hot plate and best of all a series of little waterfalls and swimming holes. If it wasn’t for the mossies feasting on us we would have stayed longer.
Therefore we realised that our minimilistic style was actually lacking something-so we ducked back into Darwin to buy a cheap tent for the rest of the journey. We didn’t need the cover, just the inner fly net to ward off the hungry mossies.
Coincidentally this was Territory Day, so we enjoyed the fireworks at Mindle beach and the sunset markets, before heading out again into Kakadu national park.
The purchase proved a sensible one, as most of the places we found were organised campsites within Kakadu, so we fitted in better with the tent. We got to meet lots of grey nomads and families while cooking up dinner on the barbeques and swapped recommendations for sights to see.
Most of what we saw we reached with our little hire car, but we did take the opportunity to do two organised tours. The first was across the alligator river with an aboriginal guide who shared some of his knowledge and expertise with various spears.
A few days later in the heart of the national park we went with a tour company called animal tracks and some aboriginal women to collect and cook up some “bush tucker.” It was really interesting and I enjoyed the experience to find out more about aboriginal life in the bush. http://www.animaltracks.com.au/
From Kakadu we headed to Katherine Gorge and hired a kayak. I did prewarn Angela about my inability to paddle, but I don’t think she really quite how inept I was until we were too far in to abandon it! We kayaked far into the gorge and set up camp on a little sandbank-it was a beautiful, isolated spot, which looked great in sunset and again the next morning with sunrise.
On the way back we ran into a bit of trouble with the rapids (I told you I couldn’t do this!) and almost got completely stranded when our kayak wedged itself against the rocks and refused to budge. Eventually, after rescuing all our things on to nearby dry rocks, and after much kicking and pushing, we managed to dislodge it.
Edith falls was our next spot, and we instantly fell in love with it, deciding to stay for as long as we could before having to head back to Darwin. At sunset it looked like it was on fire, gorgeous deep orange colours.
We climbed up and spent the day following the stream, swimming when we got hot-we assumed the crocodiles wouldn’t be this high up (I wasn’t as confident in the pool at the bottom of the falls, although Angela swam there too).
All in all it was a real outdoors adventure and was nice to improvise it with a friend who shared the same interests. We barbequed almost every day and got to be pretty expert at it. We used as much time as we could from our holiday and took an overnight flight that took us straight into work, pretty tired but smiling!