Trip Start May 17, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Cooinda Lodge Kakadu Kakadu National Park
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Monday, June 17, 2013

 Tuesday 18th June
We arrived midday to Cooinda Waters in Kakadu National Park. This is home to Yellow Waters Lagoon.  We set up camp and wandered around the park. We wanted to watch the Knights on the TV at the café/bar but the V8 car racing in Darwin was on so we settled for a drink and watched some car racing.

Wedneday 19th June

Our journey today was to Jim Jim Falls. The road was dirt and the last 10 kilometers was a sandy track that took every bit of concentration to watch for the giant potholes and rises in the track. Once at the picnic area, the sign told us it was only 900 metres to the falls. Ha, it didn't say what we would have to encounter even though it was high graded walk. We set off along the track through scrub to find ourselves climbing over rocks, all sizes and shapes, we had to hang onto tree branches and other rocks to scale some large, slippery, precarious rocks, though I should say boulders, as they have tumbled from the gorge high above us. The climb was hard and the temperature was 31 degrees.

After 50 minutes we came to the first plunge pool surrounded by a sandy beach, and we were straight into the very cool clear water for a refreshing swim. Next we scaled around rock ledges and rocks in the water to eventually swim over to even more rocks to climb and gaze at the waterfall  dropping into a very deep plunge pool. The water was dark and not all that appealing so we swam back, (all the time I was thinking, are there any crocs down below me) to the rock ledge and climbed back into the clear water of the first pool. The gorge walls towered over us, glowing red in the sun. The sandstone walls were once estimated to be 1.5 kms now they are 350 metres high and eroding at a rate of 1 metre every 1000 years.

After cooling down we started on the long arduous trek back.

Back at camp I settled myself inside as the mosquitoes came in clouds around our vans and I have been bitten several times, despite all the best repellant.

Thursday 20th June

Today we visited the Maguk Falls, another trek for  2km's  through the bush, over rocks and creek crossings, with signs along the creek edge warning us of crocodiles and not to stand on the edge of the creeks. We finally made it to the falls and plunge pool , though we refrained from swimming today due to all the signage.

Then onto the Gunlom Falls. These we had visited before and are quiet spectacular only today there was no falls, due to the fact that the top end had a very poor wet season and most of the rivers are already drying up. This also has caused the number of barramundi  to fall around the top end to the distress of many fisherman. We passed on the climb up the top and walked to the bottom pool but no swimming as the water was very still and not inviting.
Back to camp in the air-conditioning for me.

Friday 21st June
We awoke to raindrops hitting the roof of the van, it lasted for 30 seconds.  The sky is overcast and the morning cool. We packed up and moved on, heading to Timber Creek which sits on the edge of Jadburra or Gregory National Park, named after the explorer Gregory, who sailed from Moreton Bay, Queensland to the Northern Territory and down the Victoria river, he sailed up a creek to cut timber to repair his boat and hence the towns name.

We passed into the Victoria River area, which is absolutely beautiful.  The mountain ranges are deep red rock with a scattering of green trees and grass. The beautiful Boab trees mostly denuded of their leaves but still bearing fruit, dots the landscape, the river is full and wide, winding along side of the highway. We arrived at Timber Creek, 2 caravan parks a pub,  a petrol station, grocer all combined in one area. The sites are shady though its dirt and leaves on the ground. The park backs onto Timber Creek.

We toured the local area visiting popular spots, one being  a lookout where in the second world war  the army set up a unit nicknamed the "nackeroos" which was to lookout for Japanese infiltrating the North of Australia..

Back at camp we walked down to the creek to watch the feeding of the fresh water crocodiles and then the hand feeding of Kites
Saturday 22nd June
Judbarra / Gregory National Park, formerly Gregory National Park, is a national park in the Northern Territory, 359 km south of Darwin. The park is the largest national park in the Northern Territory, with an area of 13,000 km².
Today we headed into Judpurra /Gregory National Park, . We set off on the Buchanan Highway which despite its name is a dirt road. First off we visited the Bulita Homestead. Bullita was an outstation for the Durack family; they were firmly linked with cattle and the opening up of interior Australia in the 1880s. The old homestead still stands and the name of one of the Duracks is carved into a nearby boab tree. 
The buildings and stockyards have been preserved beautifully, inside the homestead are copies of hand written letters, giving an insight into the hardships that these people faced. The homestead was inhabitated up until 1977 and in 1885 became part of the Gregory National Park.
After lunch we headed back to drive into Jasper Gorge.
Next onto Limestone gorge but we only got a few kms along the track. It was to risky for us to continue along this track so back to Timber Creek. Along the way we saw wild brumbies and donkeys.
We booked on a river cruise departing at 4pm. We saw numerous crocodiles, wallabies and jabirus' after 40 mins of cruising we boarded a pontoon in the middle of the Victoria River and had drinks and finger food. All excellent. The sun was setting so aboard the boat again heading back to Timber Creek. The cruise home was lovely, the breeze , cool and the river smooth. The setting sun gave us a beautiful sunset over the river, the quietness punctuated by the clicking of cameras.

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Dianne Alcock on

Gorgeous photos. Would love to visit Jim Jim Falls & the Gorge. The river cruise sounded lovely in fact it all looks & sounds wonderful.

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