Down to The Red Centre

So we arrived in Darwin, the capital of The Northern Territory, a positive metropolis …. OK, maybe not a metropolis, but in comparison to the last week and what lies ahead it’s as big as it gets.

To be honest we didn’t get a great deal out of Darwin itself, other than two new campervans! (more on that in a minute). It’s a nice enough place with a lagoon style waterpark, boardwalk with shops and cafés and a reasonable city centre. It provides everything you would need to get by but it lacked a bit of spark. It is essentially a base from which to explore the nearby National Parks, with tours of all descriptions and length being offered from numerous outlets. It is also very close to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia and as such is an important sea port. It was also an important location during World War ll and the bombing by the Japanese in February 1942 is considered Australia’s ‘Pearl Harbour’ and memorials to that day are all over town.

After a day of wandering around we felt we had seen most of the significant things on offer including Mindil Market (we have seen better) and we were thinking we might have been stuck for something to do on our second day. However, as luck would have it, we had turned up in town while the biggest sporting and social event of the year was happening, The Darwin Cup horse racing festival. So we bought a couple of tickets and set off for the track with, to be honest, quite low expectations. “Don’t get too excited, I can’t see this being up to much”, said Steve “Let’s give it a couple of hours and see how it goes”…….. Ten hours later we were walking back to the van having had a brilliant day! The place was packed out with over 20,000 people, most of whom had made a great effort with their outfits and would have fitted in more than comfortably at Royal Ascot. We felt distinctly under dressed, which is quite an achievement in Australia! We still had a fantastic day and even managed to get a couple of winners using the old ‘shut your eyes and point’ method. Probably the most impressive thing of the day was watching the Aussies drink on a big scale, unbelievable!

We think this horse only had 3 legs.

We also used our time in Darwin to stock up on provisions, recover from a lot of driving and attempt to get a couple of defects with the van sorted out. They included the DVD player (we said it was a posh van!) which wouldn’t play DVDs and the fridge which had turned itself into a heater, which wasn’t ideal considering it was a steady 34 degrees during the day and 25 degrees at night. The hire company had a base in the city so it was the perfect place to get things fixed, or so we thought. I could write an entire post about the events of the next three days, but I will summarise. A replaced DVD player and a replaced fridge fan was the first attempt, and we were on our way, however, the fridge broke again within a day, became a heater again and also developed a horrendous ticking noise. Another call to the company and we were then told there were no spare vehicles and we would have to wait four days for a new fridge to be brought by road from Melbourne. Steve then threatened to camp at the front of the Darwin depot until it was sorted. Miraculously, 40 minutes later we had a call informing us that there had just been a cancellation and a new van was available in Darwin! We drove the 100 miles back to town from our campsite, moved our gear from one van to the other and set off again with a working fridge. We hadn’t got far before another problem arose, this time it was the air conditioning unit which started discharging water into the passenger foot well. Sarah started bailing it out with a dustpan but it was getting too much. “I think we might sink”, was her final shout before she donned her face mask and snorkel.

Yet another call to the hire company and this time a mechanic drove the 100 miles to us, spent less than 10 seconds looking at the problem and declared he couldn’t fix it. Luckily another miracle had just happened, yet another cancellation and this time we were promised another van would be driven out to us the following morning. They were true to their word and the following morning another van appeared. We moved all our gear again and finally we were underway in a van which had a DVD player that played DVDs, a fridge that kept food cold (and even frozen) and an air conditioning unit that kept the cab cool, and better still, dry!

Settling into our THIRD campervan!

Australia is a big old place, very big, and it is sometimes difficult to get a perspective as to how big it actually is, while at the same time feeling very empty. There is an often seen postcard here (yes, they still have postcards!) which has a map of Europe placed inside of a map of Australia and barely filling half of it. This led Steve (who is a bit of a numbers person) to do some research on the figures. 85% of the population live within 35 miles of the coast, therefore, away from the ocean people are few and far between. The Northern Territory is over five times the size of the UK and has a population of less than 250,000, which is around about the same as Southampton. Considering 60% of them live in Darwin that doesn’t leave very many to fill the rest of the space as we were about to find out.

Not too many people around here.

Our first stop after Darwin was Lichfield National Park. Where Kakadu had been all about the crocs and wildlife, Lichfield was about waterfalls and swimming holes. The park is much smaller than Kakadu and while you could easily spend a week or more there you can comfortably see the major sites in two or three days.

There are a few midges and mosquitoes around, so one evening Steve was cooking outside on the barbeque, and decided to spray his arms and legs with insect repellent and then his head as well for good measure. He assembled all his ingredients and cooking equipment and then went to spray some olive oil on to the cooking surface, only to pick up the insect repellent instead. Very slowly he began to realise his mistake of mixing the two cans up just as the olive oil started to run down his head into his face and his arms and legs were covered in it. “SARAH” he shouted “Get me something to sort this mess out” Unfortunately Sarah couldn’t see anything to help as the tears of laughter were rolling down her face!

Wangi Falls and Florence Falls are two of the most popular and for good reason, even though it is the dry season, the falls are still pouring water into the swimming holes and they are great locations to spend a few hours.

Steve having a dip at Florence Falls.

At Wangi Falls there is a lovely, little walk where you can stroll up and around the top of the falls. At one point the path is only wide enough for one person so Sarah strode out in front with Steve, as ever, wandering along a few steps behind! All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a Green Tree Snake dropped off a branch and hit the path between us. It missed Sarah’s head by no more than an inch. Steve stopped mid stride as it straightened up like an arrow and shot into the long grass beside the path. He shouted at Sarah to look but it was so fast by the time she realised what was happening it was gone. “I heard a thud behind me”, said Sarah “but didn’t realise what it was”. “A split second earlier and that would have landed on your head”, said Steve “It’s a shame really as you’re after a new hat”.

Sarah in the pool at Wangi Falls…..looking for snakes!

After Lichfield Park we started our long journey South, with our ultimate destination being The Red Centre and Uluru. However this was a couple of thousand kilometres away so we had a few days on the road to fill. We didn’t actually get very far on our first day as we decided to make another stop just a couple of hours down the road at Edith Falls. We had stopped here on the way North and thoroughly enjoyed it so we both couldn’t resist another dip in the fabulous watering hole there. It’s a bit of a hike up to the pool and in some places on the way down you have to scramble over a few boulders but it is well worth it. This time we arrived in the late afternoon and at one point had the entire place to ourselves!

Edith Falls. Our favourite.

As we slowly made our way along the Stuart Highway, which runs all the way to Adelaide in South Australia, our progress on the map looked almost insignificant. We would see a ‘place’ signposted a couple of hundred kilometers away and we would look forward to getting there only to find it was a roadhouse and nothing more. Eventually we pulled into the town of Mataranka which is famous for its hot springs. We thought a well earned rest and relaxation in the hot pools was in order. It really was a scenic location with a crystal clear stream of water winding its way through palm trees and fed from the ground at a constant 34 degrees centigrade. A real oasis in the outback.

A well earned rest in the hot springs.

The problem was everyone else seemed to be having a well earned rest as well. The place was packed and, after The Darwin Cup, easily the busiest place we have seen in a long time. It was possible to find a little spot to be on your own but it was definitely overcrowded, plus they do love their ‘noodles’ in Australia. Not the edible kind but the foam flotation device kind! They were everywhere. Some regulars had even adapted and shaped them into floating chairs! It was a bit of a strange scene, so we had an hour or so there and moved on.

We squeezed in another night at The Daly Waters pub. We really enjoy it there and it was just as good as the previous time we stopped. The couple who do the entertainment are fast becoming legendary, well at least in our campervan they are. Steve can’t decide if they are a pair of comedians trying to play music or a couple of musicians trying to be funny. Either way they are great entertainment. Sarah thinks they are quite talented. Steve on the other hand thinks that dressing in bright yellow trousers, braces and a flat cap, then playing the ukulele and singing “Wonderwall” by Oasis, whilst reading it off your phone having never even heard the song before, in front of a load of half cut Aussies is just mad and brave!

I’m lost for words!!!

We had considered staying a night in Tennant Creek which is the only sizable town between Darwin and Alice Springs but we had seen some really negative press about the place so we decided to drive straight through stopping only for fuel. The place has reportedly serious issues with alcohol and crime and this was evident as we passed through. Boarded up businesses and people wandering the streets obviously in drink was the theme and this was in the middle of the day. It looked like a forgotten town, left to its own devices. Most countries have places like this and we have seen our fair share around The World, but thankfully, not many at all in Australia. We continued on for another hour and landed on what seemed like another planet to Tennant Creek. The Devils Marbles. This was a beautiful and strange place, a series of rock formations that have been weathered by the elements and eroded into huge, smooth almost spherical rocks. The campsite there was right next to the ‘marbles’ and we were able to walk for a good couple of hours in and out of the rock formations.

Some photographic creativity 😀

We watched the sun go down and the black sky set in as thousands of stars filled the night sky. Light pollution is minimal there in the middle of nowhere, the nearest inhabitants are 100 kilometres away in Tennant Creek and the lights went out there a long time ago! The display of stars was one of the best we have seen. You know it’s a good night sky when the Milky Way is clearly visible to the naked eye.

And a little more!

A final push from the Devils Marbles saw us eventually arrive in Alice Springs. ‘Alice’ is the second largest place in The Northern Territory but is still only a small town. It is a major stop on the luxury Ghan railway which carries passengers from Darwin to Adelaide for a significant price! The town grew up around the gold mining industry and it has adapted itself to tourism with a few things going off around the immediate area but essentially it has become a staging post for the big attractions which lay a few hours further South. We stayed the night, stocked up on groceries and fuel and headed off along the Red Centre Way to Uluru, or Ayres Rock as it used to be known.

We have found that very occasionally you see something for the first time and it is so visually impactive it stops you in your tracks and then in years to come you can close yours eyes and see it clearly in your head. Iguaçu Falls, Table Mountain, Bryce Canyon, Moraine Lake and Torres Del Paine are some that spring to mind. Ayres Rock is now definitely on the list.


We spent three days in the National Park where Uluru is located and we gave it the whole works. Up before sunrise to view it, back at sunset for a different perspective, from a distance, from up close, and we even did the 10km walk around it and explored the little gorges and water holes. It lies there towering in the middle of the desert, surrounded by low level bush, the occasional tree and lots of red dirt and all the time we never got bored of seeing the different colours and textures of the monolith.

It seemed to be different everytime we saw it.

Uluru is not the only site within the National Park as Kata Tjuta (formerly called The Olgas) is also there standing about 30 miles or so from Uluru. It is a series of 36 huge domes which probably looked like Uluru a zillion or so years ago but have been weathered and eroded to create the peculiar looking formation. There is a great walk there called ‘The Valley Of The Winds’ which meanders between and around some of the domes giving great views.

Taking some time out in “The Valley of the Winds”

On our way back towards Alice Springs we took a detour of over 150 miles to go for a walk! It sounds a little bizarre but that’s the sort of thing that happens in The Northern Territory. Luckily it was a great walk, and probably more visually impressive than Uluru. Kings Canyon was the destination and the walk was around the rim of the canyon. It was quite steep to get up to the top and then it was up and down as we walked around the strange landscape.

Spot the runner in Kings Canyon.

It is a very dry area but at one point you can drop back down into a place called the ‘Garden of Eden’ which is an oasis in the dry surroundings, with palm trees and a small lake at the bottom. We had lunch there and again at one point we were all alone. It was so quiet and the structure of the canyon walls made even whispering sound loud.

Lunch in “The Garden of Eden”

After Kings Canyon it was back to ‘Alice’ for an overnight stop and another restock of supplies. We made an early morning start and had been moving along the road with yet again no other traffic in sight. Then on the horizon we saw something in the road. Is it a mob of kangaroos? Is it a herd of cattle? No. It’s a train of camels! You really have to expect anything out here.

“I’m watching you”

We now had over 3000 kilometres to drive across The Outback to The Gold Coast and five days to do it as we had arranged to meet up with our friend Glen again for another catch up. That’s about the same distance as driving from London to Athens. “Lucky we like a good road trip”, said Sarah. “Lets get on with it”!!

“The Top End”

Our last week at the apartment in Clifton Beach was in some ways a sad one. Although it was our decision to leave and move on with our tour of Australia, we were both finding it hard to go and pull ourselves away from such a fabulous location. We were also coming to the end of our time with Mark and Lisa, which we have enjoyed enormously, and so the evening before they left we had our final dinner together. We had a few hugs and kisses, and there was even a couple of watering eyes, but Steve thinks that might have been down to the strong onion that Sarah had just chopped for dinner!! We waved them off as John, the Manager, drove them to the airport at the start of their 50 hour journey home. We then had our final walk into Palm Cove before it was time to do our own packing and go to collect our campervan, which turned out to be quite an upgrade from the previous one we had arrived in 105 days ago. It was seven metres long, with a big bed, small toilet and shower, nice size kitchen area, loads of storage space, a TV screen to watch DVD’s on (no tv reception!) and a separate little dining area. We couldn’t believe the deal we had got!

Our residence for the next 9 weeks.

As we packed our belongings from the apartment, seven of the residents came out to wave us off, as well as Rosie the dog. We really have enjoyed ourselves there and we met some great people, but more experiences await us and we drove off with mixed feelings of sadness and excitement.

After stocking up on provisions we headed in-land with our first stop at Undara Lava Tubes. We arrived there just in time to join a sunset tour where we walked up to the top of a rocky outcrop and were treated to a fabulous view of the outback and a pretty good sunset which was accompanied by a glass of wine and some nibbles for Steve and two glasses of wine and some nibbles for Sarah. Our guide then announced he had a spare bottle of wine left and asked “Does anyone want another glass?” if he opened it. Sarah suddenly discovered the art of teleporting as she disappeared from in front of Steve and reappeared instantaneously in front of the guide with her arm outstretched with an empty glass. “I could force down another glass”, she said!

“Just one more glass for me please”

After the sunset we made our way to the entrance of one of the lava tubes which is home to a colony of micro bats which are about the size of a hand when in flight. These were considerably smaller than the flying foxes we had been used to seeing but when they are flying in and out of the cave in their thousands they make quite a sight. Apparently the colony is 80,000 strong!

At the end of the tour we were dropped off at the entrance to our campsite and made our way back to our new luxury residence. As we passed the shower block we heard the shout, “There’s a snake in the shower!”. We walked towards the shower block, out of curiosity, along with a few others when a woman came running out of the block after obviously getting dressed in rather a hurry. Someone opened the door and the thin, 4ft snake could clearly be seen. There then followed a debate as to what type of snake it was, without any positive conclusion. Sarah, fueled by three or so glasses of wine said “I’m going in to take a photo”, and off she went as Steve shook his head in disbelief. Then after several snaps from different angles trying to get the snakes best side, she emerged saying, “If you’re going to get bitten by a snake you need to be able to identify it”. Or you could stay well away and not get bitten in the first place, thought Steve! In the end it transpired the snake was a brown tree snake and apparently only mildly venemous!

Hissing Sid!

We left Undara the following morning and started our long journey towards Darwin and ‘The Top End’, 3000 kilometres away. With only a couple of significant towns in between, it was going to be a long drive. We had driven across the Nullabor earlier in the year, on our way from Perth to Cairns, so we’d had an introduction to lonely roads. We found this a real advantage and felt quite prepared and when the main road went from single carriageway to single track and a sign saying “Next fuel 345 km”, we felt pretty confident in our plan.  “How much fuel have we got?”, asked Sarah. “Oh, at least enough for 350 km’s” replied Steve.

“Don’t worry we have loads of fuel”

Just like our trip across The Nullabor we loved our journey through the Queensland bush, over the border into the outback of The Northern Territories and North towards the National Parks and Darwin. Our Elton John and Abba CD’s had been replaced by a subscription to Spotify (welcome to the 21st century, thanks Mark!). This was good in some ways but not so good in others, as Steve turned up the volume and re-lived some of the music from his youth. With AC/DC, Rush, Led Zepplin and similar bands on tap he was in his element but it wasn’t long before Sarah drew the line and although she didn’t say anything, Steve knows ‘the look’ by now, and soon a compromise was made and we found some music we were both happy with!

We drove for five or six hours a day, stopping for coffee and lunch by the side of the road, watching the changing scenery as we slowly made progress across the map. During the beginning and end of each day’s drive we were extremely cautious watching for the kangaroos which are more commonly seen at that time of day. We saw several bounce across the road in front of us, as well as a couple of dingos who needed the horn to encourage them along. But probably the biggest hazard on this leg of the trip has been the Road Trains. We became used to them on The Nullabor, where cabs pulling two trailers were common, three trailers were seen occasionally and we saw a spattering of four trailers being pulled. Now the stakes had been upped, with three being the most common and four being quite regular. These beasts can be up to 70 metres long and roar along at 100 kph plus! When you are faced with one coming towards you on a single track road your only option is to pull off the road completely and let it pass. Luckily the roads aren’t busy at all and we probably see about 50 vehicles, at most, all day.

I know he is a small one but I’m still getting off the road!

We have been staying at a variety of different types of campsites. One was on the edge of a fabulous lagoon, another was a roadhouse campsite, one was a commercial site in Mount Isa (the only town of any reasonable size on our route) but our favourite had to be Daly Waters Historic Pub. Originally established towards the end of the 19th century to service the ‘gold rush’, it has become something of an Australian icon. A dirt track road leads to the pub which also has a museum, service station, campsite and entertainment venue. The current owners have created a collection of expertly restored vehicles and memorabilia, and each section of the pub itself is dedicated to a substantial collection of various items, including car number plates, flip-flops (or ‘thongs’ as they are known here), Police Force badges, Fire Station badges, football shirts and country flags. But the real show piece, and where it all started, is the long line across the bar of women’s bras and pants in every size and colour imaginable!  “I’m more likely to take one than leave one”, said Sarah “I’m running short as it is”.

Sat outside the pub at Daly Waters.
Part of the collection inside.

After Daly Waters pub we made our final push towards the main sights of The Far North that you read in all the brochures and the locations for many films, including the three National Parks of Katherine Gorge (aka Nitmiluk), Kakadu and Lichfield. There are plenty of other places in the area but the three mentioned are regarded as the big attractions.

Katherine Gorge was our first stop. We pitched up on a campsite right next to the visitor’s centre and on the main walking routes. The walks connect together at various points so you can choose from an easy couple of kilometres to over 20 kilometres. There is even a multi-day walk that links up to the next Park with primitive camping along the way. We decided on a “difficult” 13 km route which would apparently take us to somewhere we could swim. This was a tempting option as the temperature had been hitting the low 30’s centigrade every day. So with plenty of drinks and snacks we set off.

Sarah having a bit of a rest at Katherine Gorge.

It is peak time for tourism here as we are right in the middle of the dry season, when the weather is cooler and the humidity is low. Apparently it gets to 40 degrees and super high humidty in the wet season and “monsoon madness” is a common health problem….. count us out on that one! However, due to Covid-19 and the international (and some domestic) borders being firmly closed, the number of tourists are minimal. We saw very few people on the walk and after getting used to no-one being around we quite enjoyed the solitude. We scrambled over rocks, wound our way through the bush, walked along dry river beds and were treated to some great views of the gorge and river below. Eventually the route led us down a steep trail with high, vertical walls of rock on either side. We were starting to think we had come the wrong way when the trees cleared and we found ourselves on some rocks, a couple of feet above the water, in the main section of the gorge. We had brought our swimming gear so we couldn’t resist jumping in to cool off. We had been assured that there was little chance of any crocodiles making it to that part of the river, but it was still in the back of our minds!

What a fabulous place to cool off!

After a few minutes of relaxing and floating around, Steve decided he was going to swim across to the other side of the gorge, so off he went. It was an eerie feeling being deep in the gorge with the massive cliffs towering out of the water with no-one around. He made it to the other side then turned around to start his return when, in the distance, he heard the noise of an engine getting louder and then saw a boat heading his way. Soon it became clear the boat was carrying tourists which operate from further down the river. Steve continued to cross back to Sarah making sure he was avoiding the boat. As the boat came within a few feet, some of the passengers spotted Steve in the water. At first they couldn’t work it out. “How was someone swimming miles from anywhere?”, then they started waving and taking photographs much to the annoyance of the guide who was mid flow in his ‘Aboriginal history of the area’ speech!!

Back on top of the gorge

After our swim we resumed our walk and made our way back up to the top of the gorge and back to our campsite. When we arrived we were both tired and hungry after six hours in the heat but we both said it had been a great day. One to remember!

After Katherine and on our way to Kakadu we decided to take a small detour to Edith Falls which is not a regular stop on the tourist trail but we had heard good things about it. We got settled on the great little campsite and then set off on another long walk. This one was a little less strenuous but still a great walk. We had lunch by the river and on the way back we took a small detour to The Falls and a rock pool beneath them. What an amazing place with a waterfall, crystal clear pools, and beatiful rock formations. Another swim to cool off beckoned before the short walk back to the campervan and another great day done.

We are finding some amazing places!

Next stop and our final one before Darwin (we decided to visit Lichfield National Park on the way back South) was the biggest of all the National Parks in Australia, called Kakadu. The place is huge, set within 20,000 square kilometres. It would take at least at couple of weeks to see the major sites so we had to prioritise. Some areas are only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles, which we don’t have, so they were ruled out straight away. We wanted to do some walking, see some Aboriginal rock art (well Sarah did…. Steve just pretended he did just to keep the peace!) and most of all we wanted to see some of the big saltwater crocodiles that Kakadu is famous for.

It was mid afternoon when we finally got to a campsite and, like Katherine Gorge, on the drive through the Park we were already getting the feeling that it was deserted. After setting up we decided to go for a short walk along the Yellow River which was accessible from just a couple of kilometres away. We set off on the walk hoping to see a big croc. It was a lovely setting, the sky was clear and blue, the sun was starting to make its way down to the horizon, but there was plenty of heat left in it. The landscape was full of deep green tall grass, interspersed with the occasional eucalyptus and a herd of cows were making their way across it grazing whilst being pestered by a flock of birds. A family of wild boar with four tiny piglets were also eating and meandering along. Dozens of different types of birds were coming in and out of view. Neither of us are very knowledgeable in this department, but we could identify cormorants, herons, kingfishers, cranes and wedgetailed eagles but there were so many others. It really was a fantastic scene.

Great place for an evening walk.

We walked along in silence next to a shallow tributary taking in the scene. Then the silence was broken. “Is that a crocodile’s head?”, said Sarah pointing at a large rock semi-submerged in the water. “No”, replied Steve “It’s way too big, but I can see what you mean”. The rock looked like it had a couple of nostrils and then a large square forehead with eyes on the top. We continued along the bank, then the rock with the nostrils, forehead and eyes started to move!!! “S#!t, it is a croc, you were right”, said Steve. We watched the croc move very slowly towards the end of the tributary where the water had almost dried out and more and more of its wide prehistoric looking back emerged from the water. It moved onto the mud with one slow moving leg at a time, then its tail emerged, long, thick and spiny. We made a conservative estimate that it was between four and a half and five metres long and we were, at this point, about 30 metres away behind the croc and holding our breath.

There is a croc in there somewhere.

The croc came to rest in the mud, close to a large puddle, so we settled down to watch. We started whispering to one another and it felt like we were doing the commentary in some David Attenborough wildlife documentary. First a crane landed by the side of the large puddle and started to drink, but the croc didn’t move as the crane wandered closer and closer. “It must be in striking distance”, whispered Steve, but the croc never moved. After about 15 minutes the crane had its fill and flew off. Next we saw the family of wild boar ambling along, eating the grass as they went, heading straight for the puddle. Thirty metres, twenty metres. “This is it”, whispered Sarah, “He is going to get one of the babies”. Ten metres, five metres. Then the family of boars deviated away from the large puddle and wandered back into the grass. “This croc wants his dinner served up on a plate with apple sauce and a cold beer”, said Steve.

We watched the croc for well over an hour, then as the sun started to set we decided to head back. Then just as we were about to move a red and brown bird landed in the mud right behind the croc. In an instant the croc exploded, four and a half metres and probably four or five hundred kilos spun 180 degrees in a split second. Its jaws went for the bird as our brains tried to catch up with events. The mud and water settled and although the croc had been super fast the bird had been quicker. We saw it fly off, probably thinking to itself “that looked like a rock to me”.

To see a croc in its natural habitat is a brilliant thing but to see it stalking, moving so stealth like and attacking so explosively was a real treat. A great first day in Kakadu.

We really are getting to see these crocs up close and personal.

We spent another couple of days in Kakadu. One day was taken up almost entirely with one of the longer walks, this one was marked up as “Strenuous”. We found ourselves scrambling up and over rocks and boulders and through dense bush until we reached the top of an escarpment where some great views of Kakadu opened up stretching to the horizon in every direction. The walk took us around the top of the escarpment through strange rock formations which resembled old destroyed buildings. Then it was back down into the bush for the final few kilometres home. The walk took us most of the day but it was worth it as it was one of the best we have done.

Sarah strides out through the bush.

The highlight of our final day in Kakadu was at a place called Cahills Crossing. Again this isn’t necessarily a place where many people head to, but Steve had read it was a good place for croc spotting (it seems like we can’t get enough of these creatures) especially at the turn of the tide, when fish are forced along the river and the crocs just open their mouths for dinner. “See I told you…. on a plate with apple sauce…. or maybe tartre sauce this time”, said Steve. Cahills Crossing didn’t disappoint, in fact it was amazing. In the space of about 100 metres we saw 15 enormous crocs, probably the biggest ones we had seen so far. We really are starting to get a little bit addicted to these prehistoric looking creatures as they are amazing to see close up in their natural environment.

Coming out for lunch!
Save some for me!

Also on our final day in Kakadu we managed to squeeze in another walk at the very North of The Park, this was a much easier walk and led to a great look out point across the wetlands and into the Aboriginal lands. The walk also passed some examples of Aboriginal Rock art so Sarah managed to get a couple of photos which made her happy!….. oh and Steve was just thrilled too!

Aboriginal rock art……apparently!

With Kakadu done we started to make our way towards Darwin and potential civilization, but we had one more stop to make and one more crocodile fix to have. Steve had read about a place called Corroborree Billabong which was apparently a good croc spot. The place is located several kilometres along a 4-wheel drive track and so we decided to take a tour which picked up at the local roadhouse where we were camping. Tours aren’t really our thing. We do them occasionally when doing our own thing just isn’t practical our just too difficult. This particular tour turned out to be one of the best we have ever done. We could go on for hours about how close we got to the crocs but it was more than just about them. The billabong was a fabulous place, the wildlife and plants were amazing and our guide was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. We were both enthralled with it all, and the sunset to finish it off was stunning!

Last croc photo….I promise!
A Jabiru near the lily pads
A “Jesus bird” walking on the lily pads.

We have had a pretty good first two weeks back in a campervan, let’s hope it continues!