Discover Travel discovers woodlands, wetlands, waterfalls and wildlife…
Travelling through the Northern Territory you could be forgiven for thinking you are in Africa. The wetlands, with its vibrant birdlife and crocodiles, are very similar to Botswana and you could easily imagine cruising these lilypad covered waterways in a makoro. And the waterfalls are exquisite – huge steep cliffs, and sand bottomed billabongs – absolutely perfect for swimming after the rangers have removed Mr Crocodile!
Five days exploring Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks was an absolute highlight of our Northern Territory holiday! We had a guide and a very comfy 4X4. We saw huge termite mounds and endless bush fires – an intregral and necessary part of life in the North, and spent our days visiting waterfalls and swimming in the billabongs. Florence Falls was gorgeous, a steep stairway with great views of a thundering waterfall. The billabong at the base was filled with families swimming and, of course, the brave ones climbing up under the falls to jump in. Flying over the Escarpment in a helicopter is pretty stunning – we viewed Jim Jim and Twin Falls by air – they were still closed thanks to some rather large salt water croc’s who were resisting the rangers attempts to trap them and move them on.
Fogg Dam is a bird lover’s paradise and in summer, birds including the Brolga, Jabiru and Magpie Goose flock here as it is the only remaining water in the area. The highlight of our whole holiday was 2 fabulous hours spent on the Cooinda Sunset Cruise where we saw amazing birdlife including the huge Sea Eagle, the Jesus bird, aptly named as it walks on water, and lots of different Egrets. We also saw crocodiles and snakes cruising through the waters! The Paper Bark Tree Forest was utterly beautiful and somewhat eerie with its huge trees growing out of the water and on the return journey we enjoyed a fabulous sunset.
Gunlom Falls was a highlight of Kakadu. Many will recognise the pool at the base of the waterfall from the Crocodile Dundee movie! A steep but short climb to the top of the cliff and we came to a series of exquisite pools where we swam and relaxed and looked out over the woodlands.
The outcrop at Ubirr provides magnificent 360 degree views over the differing landscapes including wetlands and of course all the fascinating Rock Art. The caves and rock overhangs are all decorated with colourful X-Ray art and are absolutely stunning.
For those keen on sport fishing there are great Barramundi fishing adventures from 1 day through to 5 days – the best operate out of Arnhem Land.
We were amazed at how beautiful this area of Australia is and also how relaxing a holiday you could have! The weather remains a pretty constant 30 -34 degrees from May to November and, with camp sites and hotels throughout the park, you could easily enjoy a family holiday if you rented a 4X4. Just go prepared for lots of picnics, lazy days spent swimming and wildlife watching. The perfect holiday!