On top at last!

Trip Start Nov 02, 2003
Trip End Mar 01, 2005

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Flag of Australia  ,
Friday, February 20, 2004

A... We've now reached our last stop off in Australia - the top end. We're in Darwin for a few days now, though tomorrow we'll be heading off to Kakadu, which is meant to be one of the best national parks in Australia. We'll be seeing it at its wettest, which means that the famous waterfalls will be gushing, but you can't go and see them, and the crocodiles will have dispersed to all corners of the park. It should be nice and green though.

Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory, but it certainly doesn't feel like a capital city. It's small, quiet, and comes across as surprisingly friendly. The weather has settled into a classic wet season pattern since we've been here. The mornings are hot and sunny, with gorgeous blue skies, then sometime between 12:00 and 2:00 the heavens open sending everyone scattering for cover. The rest of the day is then a hot and humid mix of sunshine and cloud. We're expecting much the same when we get to Indonesia next week, so maybe we ought to invest in some umbrellas.

C... On our way up here from Alice Springs, we had a compulsory train stop at a place called Katherine. If we had a spare $100 I am sure we would have enjoyed the trip to Katherine Gorge. However, two months in Aussie land does not come cheap, and although we have reached the top of the country, we have reached the very bottom of the budget, so looking forward to moving on. We spent the compulsory $8 each to get into the "Amazing Catherine" but after travelling all night we were not that amazed. Unless you are desperate to see another branch of Coles and walk across an old bridge, our advice would be to stay on the nice air-conditioned train for four hours and spend your money in the buffet car.

Word of warning too, the new wonderful station that has been built for the Alice to Darwin link does not have a public telephone. Don't ask me why? in fact don't ask anyone why. So if you arrive in Darwin like we did and not have a clue where your hostel pick-up is, be warned by the lack of being able to call anyone.
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