Week 4 and 5
After using up all our fruit and veg to pass the quarentine border we arrived in Keep River National Park in Northern Territory and had to turn our clocks forward by 90 mins, so strange when its all the same country! Immidiately we could see the difference in the scenery. The trees were taller and some were huge, bigger than i have ever seen before, there were also some really wierd shaped trees too, they just looked swollen, it made a nice change.
We got camped up in the National Park, ( a lot cheaper than camp sites) and got a fire going. We were surrounded by huge rock formations and it was a very tranquil place to stay. The next morning as we preparing for our walk around the rocks, a couple of people came up to us asking which way we were heading, as they were going into Western Australia and couldn't take any food over with them. We ended up with a jar of honey, a bag of potatoes and garlic, some chillies and loads of veg that we had avoided buying as we thought it was too expensive! We were obviously really happy as it fed us for another couple of days before we got to a supermarket.
The walk in keep river national park was great, easier than most of the other walks, but the views and the strange rock formations were as good if not better than before. Now these views were similar to the pictures we had seen of the Bungle Bungle's, it was great. Once the walk was finished we had lunch and then headed on our way further north. Along the way we stopped off at what is called 'Gregory's tree'. This is a huge tree that had a date of 2nd July 1856 marked in it from when Augustus Gregory first discovered the place.
That night stayed on a free campsite (we like these a lot) although the only facilites are pit toilets or sometimes the 'bush' the people we generally meet on them are lovely. We then went for another walk up an escarpment in Gregory National Park, again the views were very different to anything in Western Australia and it was a good start to the day. This was where we started to learn about Aboriginal stories of how the world developed. 'the dreamtime'. We then headed to Katherine to stock up on food and fill 'Freddie' (the camper) up.
Our next stop was Katherine Gorge National Park where we spent a long time in the visitors centre as it gave us lots of information on the Aboriginies and their way of living. This National Park is under joint ownership between Aborigines and the Government so we learned a lot that had been passed down through the generations about their beliefs and how they used to live within the national park. We then went for a walk that gave views over the Katherine river gorge. After lunch we headed about 50 kilometres further up Katherine Gorge National Park and stayed at a camp site at Edith Falls. This was a lovely place where we could go swimming, although the sign showing crocodiles were possible put us both off, even though fresh water crocodiles can't kill a human's as they are not big and strong enough, we still didn't bother. We went to a talk by the ranger that night and learnt a lot about the wild life around the park including crocodiles and we were also told all about the fire management systems they have in place and that they follow the aboriginal way of burning land now when they can controll it as the ground is still damp. This makes the fires that occur in the summer less disastorous as there is less to burn.
The next morning we went for another walk up to the waterfalls, which were lovely to relax by for the morning, i wanted to go swimming but needed to get changed and it was far too busy so we headed off to another national park called Litchfield National Park. This has to be one of my favourites so far as there was swimming involved. First stop was Buley rock pools, this was quite busy so we took a few photos and then headed further into the park to Florence Falls. It was a fair walk down to the plunge pool at the bottom, but once there it was great. I couldn't wait to get in and swim up to the waterfall as it was getting really warm and the water was so refreshing. Once we had dried off we headed to Tolmer falls that we couldn't swim in due to wildlife and then to Wangi falls. This was the best waterfall and it looked like the best place to swim too, unfortunately due to recent rain, a few saltwater crocodiles had managed to get into the pool so obviously no swimming was possible, which was a shame as it was so hot! So instead we found a spot to camp and had a few beers in the shade for the afternoon.
The next morning involved another walk and another waterfall that was a lot more secluded than any of the others which was nice. We then headed to Buley Rock pools again for a swim to cool off (and to get a bit of a wash) after 3 nights free camping and headed to Darwin.
We didn't really do much in Darwin apart from take Freddie in for a service,update the internet and get the rest of our flights booked (so we are coming home). We had a wonder around and decided we wanted to go to the deckchair cinema. We had a look at the film that was on, didn't think much of it so decided to go and watch Indiana Jones, the aircon made a nice change.
After a few days in Darwin, with all our jobs done we started heading south to Kakadu National Park. We decided to go on a boat trip down the Adelaide River to look for crocodiles, and we saw plenty! Some big ones too. They are very interesting creatures but very scary. They can jump so high out of the water, its amazing how strong they are. We also witnessed a bit of a fight between two males over territory, also scary! At one point we must have had 5 surrounding the boat, and it wasn't a very big boat really. One came right up to where me and Matthew were sitting as though it was eyeing us up. What scared me the most about these creatures is that they don't have to eat for 18 months, they just kill and eat because they feel like it!!!!! It was great to see, but i think we will be staying away from any water where there is the possibility of them being around.
The next morning we went for a walk up to Ubbir to see some aboriginal rock art. It was an easy walk taking us around a few sites where we could clearly see the art. Most of the stories were there to be told to children, mainly about not stealing and what would happen if you did, mainly ending in death or severe punishment! We got stuck behind an American tour group, and on the way up to the last site we saw a lady taking a photo of a snake, we were right behind her and she was so close to it it made me cringe. It was only a fairly small brown snake, but i still stayed well clear. As she was almost on top of the snake a couple of Australians came up and had a look and said it was a Death Adder and to not go near the thing, stupid woman! We later read that they are considered to be in the top 5 of most dangerous snakes, nice! Once we had visited the last site there was a bit of a climb that gave great views of the wetlands. It was so green, unlike anything we had seen in Australia so far. It was the place where some of crocodile dundee was filmed and it was beautiful. We then went to view some more rock art and got talking to a ranger. She informed us that the newest art is 2000 years old, but there is some thats a lot older, but they draw over old drawings so its hard to date. She explained a lot to us about how aboriginies live and how they mix with white Australians, also about their marriage system. It was really interesting, but we couldn't believe that they were still managing to live their traditional way. That night we stayed on another free campsite where Matthew built his best fire so far to cook on!
The next morning we called in at Mataranka Thermal pools for a swim/wash and then headed on our long journey south to Uluru. On the way we stopped at a little pub called Daly Waters. It was a strange place with 1 set of traffic lightls right outside the pub that was always on red. The interior was covered with mementoes left by earleir travellers, the food was lovely though and it made a nice change eating out.
We then prepared ourselves for a long drive to Alice Springs.
Miles so far: 4950