Kununurra to Kakadu NP via Katherine - Day 207

Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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In my car somewhere

Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bush fires on the drive to Kununurra this morning. The wooded hill sides surrounding the main highway were a blaze with smoke hanging in the air like an early morning fog. Must be a different fire to the one triggered by the helicopter crash yesterday because this blaze was quite a distance from the national park. First bush fire I've seen up close on the road so far.

Checked at the airport in Kununurra and all scenic flights to the Bungle Bungles have been cancelled due to the crash, even the 4x4 tours have been suspended for 48 hours out of respect. Four locals died in the crash and the small community has been hit hard by the loss. I suppose my visit wasn't meant to be, could have been one of the highlights of the entire drive. Anyway, on a positive note it's a good excuse for me to visit again one day.

Instead of going to the Bungles I visited Mirima national park in Kununurra, known as the "Mini Bungle Bungles" by the locals. A small but impressive park with a short trail leading round some of the interesting formations and plant life. The trail finishes at a lookout platform overlooking the park and the small township. Nice place, but not the Bungle Bungles :o(

After leaving Kununurra I drove the short distance over the border into the Northern Territory. Had to put my watch forward by one and half hours, the first of two time-zones I'll be crossing.

A big electrical storm broke out after heading north from the town of Katherine this evening. It's the first rain I've seen since Perth, washed the red dirt off the car. Ended up driving to the outskirts of the Kakadu national park just south of Darwin. Found a place to park down a dirt track in a noisy rainforest. It's really hot and muggy tonight, can't open the windows because the bugs will get in, so turned the a/c on in 10 minute blasts throughout the evening to keep cool.

Will explore the wetlands of Kakadu tomorrow.
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