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samwhite

Darwin and Beyond 2014

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Australia 2014

 

Darwin and Beyond

 

 

We departed Alice Springs the morning of April 24th and picked up our rental car. Russ stayed behind in Alice Springs and would meet up with us that night. The flight track is shown below.

 

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Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territories and also its biggest city. The tour book says that it is surprisingly cosmopolitan (what ever that is). Darwin is also at 12 degrees south, which puts it in the tropics. Most places you visit have an average temperature. Darwin is always at 94 degrees. The only thing that changes is the humidity, which does fall off in the winter months. But we were there in the fall and it was both hot and humid. Darwin was bombed in WWII and then almost totally destroyed by a typhoon a decade later. It is mostly new. We chose to stay at Cullen Bay resorts and here are some pictures and maps of the area.

 

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The next day, Anzac day, we went into the city and did some exploring. Darwin isn’t much of a city in size but it does have some history. During WWII it was obvious that the oil storage tanks at the harbor were venerable to bombing. So a project was put underway to install them underground. This was done but the project was not completed until after the war and then they were never used. But it is an interesting tour to take. I had hoped that, as it was underground, it would be cooler. But nothing in Darwin is cool.

 

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There is a very nice park downtown which we visited.

 

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The old town hall.

 

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In the afternoon we drove over to Crocodylus Park which is near the airport. Here they have a large collection of Salt Water crocs. These are not the timid Alligators we see here in the US. They are, and some were that we saw, man eaters. They are true monsters and they are everywhere in the north end.

 

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This is a movie of a croc being fed. Nothing much happens (ambush is everything) until my hand moves over the camera.

 

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Our real reason for visiting Darwin was to visit Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks.

 

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It is about an hour or so drive out of Darwin until you enter the western end of Kakadu NP.

 

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The road from the western entrance to Jabiru is somewhat uneventful. At the village of Jabiru we checked into our hotel, which is in the shape of a croc.

 

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After lunch we went over to the Bowall visitors centre. We then went and visited the Nourlangie area which is famous for the aboriginal art and outstanding views of the area.

 

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At night the bats came out.

 

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The next day we drove southwest in the park and did a few hikes including one across a creek. We were not able to visit the prime exhibits of Jim Jim and Twin Falls as the road had yet to be opened and the area cleared of crocs.

 

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We stayed the night in the small town of Pine Creek which is associated with the railroad in the area.

 

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The room was very interesting but also very small.

 

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The next day we set off for Litchfield NP. One of the first things you pass are the magnetic termite mounds. Here Pat was drawn to one.

 

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Further down the road we came to Florence Falls and Buley water holes. It was a great swimming place.

 

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A few miles down the road was the walk out to the view point of Tolmer Falls.

 

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The most famous set of falls in Litchfield is Wangi Falls.

 

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Normally this is a great waterhole but the crocs had not yet been cleared from it. We did see a large lizard.

 

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Russ found an off pavement road route back to Darwin. On the way we passed the WWII airfield and Russ got into a Spitfire.

 

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The locals like Litchfield much better than Kakadu. As the sayings goes “Litchfield yes, Kaka don’t”. Part of the problem was that we had come at the end of the wet season. But to get to Jim Jim Falls you would still need a 4wd vehicle with a snorkel. We checked, and every rental agreement specifically forbade taking the road to Jim Jim Falls.

 

If I was to do the Darwin trip again I would most certainly visit during the winter months when the humidity was lower and when you could get into some of the dirt road exhibits. Nonetheless, we swam in the water holes and had a great time.

 

We arrived at the airport a bit early and took the final in country flight to Cairns.

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Wow Sam! Some of those pics look like post card ads! - Very cool!

I could leave those termites behind....They are eating up my house and its good that I don't have a mound THAT size under my house!

Thanks for posting!

smiles, ladybug

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