Kakadu National Park and Katherine
Trip Start Aug 15, 2006
159Trip End May 27, 2008
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Monday morning was a bit of a nightmare as we had to buy food and pack the car-after over an hour we realised we had no room for food and had to leave a lot of our belongings back at the hostel. The car was jammed full with just 4 of us and we eventually made it to the campsite at Ubir rocks in Kakadu. The Canadians are used to eating in style when they camp so we had burgers with the works that night.
Breakfast was also luxurious - scrambled egg, cheese and bacon sandwich with the works. We headed off to Ubir rocks to see some aborigional rockart and a great view from the top, apparently used in Crocodile Dundee. We drove down a corrogated dirt road to Sandy Billabong (very bumpy in our X-Trail!) but couldn't find any crocs. We did a nice walk up a steep hill to a lookout point and ended up at Yellow Water caravan park - more like a resort with it's fancy pool and waterfall which of course we dived straight into. That night was more good food and we saw a dingo which was cool.
The next morning we drove to Yellow Water Billabong andspotted a baby croc floating next to the boat ramp and saw the local croc in charge of the joint, Pluto
Thursday we hatched a plan and decided to finish our week in Katherine as I'd heard you can canoe and camp overnight down the gorge there. So we made a quick swimming stop at Maguk Falls which was very pretty and I saw a huge Garfish underwater then we drove to Gunlom Falls campsite and hiked up to the top for the sunset and a quick swim - I have some amazing photos from that evening but they will have to wait until I find broadband
Friday morning I headed off on a short hike and saw some huge red kangaroos then headed to the top of Gunlom again for more exploring of the pools up there. That afternoon we drove to Katherine Gorge but were told we couldn't take a canoe overnight so we were gutted! The only thing we could do was canoe for the day then drive to Edith Falls for the following night to swim there. The campsite at Katherine Gorge was pretty busy but still quiet and I saw some beautiful birds including a blue winged Kookaburra. I also chatted to a local guy who told me about Edith Falls and mentioned that the pool at the top was worth checking out - it's always good to get tips that way.
Saturday we canoed down Katherine Gorge which was stunning. We took lunch with us and had a swim and made it to the end of the 4th Gorge - as it's dry season the water level is low and rock bars form, meaning you have to carry the canoe over these sections. At the end of the 3rd section it was a few hundred metres of rocks so we dumped the canoes and swam 500m to the end of the next section which was tiring as we then had to swim back and canoe back down the gorge
Last night we drove to the Adelaide River pub and camped there as I'd one the week before - unfortunately they'd taken the crocodile away for rennovations! It was pretty quiet except for a school group taking part in the solar car challenge (building a car and driving it 320km from Darwin to Adelaide) and I got chatting to them this morning. They were from Perth and hadn't made the check-in time at the last check-point but were determined to finish the distance.
Arrived back in Darwin today and I've spent the whole afternoon trying to get out of town. I'd been told I couldn't get to the Kimberleys myself and all the tours had either finished for the season or didn't leave for another week. There's no way I'm spending a week in Darwin with nothing to do so I've been looking at my options. I decided to take a Kimberleys tour as they have me $390 off the price and a free night a their hostel and have said I can work for my bed for the week, however I'm looking into voluntering out of Darwin in exchange for food and a bed as I can't get work for just one week anywhere and I don't want to be in Darwin. I've a few phone calls to make in the morning so fingers crossed I can sort something!