18th June, 2012
we got up a bit before 6am as we made a boat trip on the Yellow
Water. Shortly after the start the welcomed the sun and could see how
the nature was slowly getting awake. We saw countless birds and could
watch their morning activities. Our guide told us that we may not see
crocodiles. The cool temperature makes them stay in the water and so
they are difficult to see. But we were lucky and saw five crocodiles.
A big male was laying already at the shore and warmed himself up. Our
guide could even point out three tree snakes which were very
difficult to see. It was a very beautiful morning tour and we enjoyed
a big breakfast at the lodge we drove to the Warradjan Aborginal
Culture Center. Here we could read a lot over the Aborginals and
learn how their life is looking like.
we drove to the Old Jim Jim Road, a 100 km long gravel road. We were
driving towards Darwin as we encountered a big puddle. Due to the
dirty water we could not see how deep it was. I did not feel well
about it, then I did not like to get stuck here and to wait until
maybe another car passes. We could not walk into it to check the
depth (crocodiles?). So we turned and made a detour of 100 km on the
highway to Bark Hut. There we stayed overnight. Twice we drove
through thick smoke, also here the underwood got burnt down. At one
fire there were many birds on the road. This morning we learned that
they follow the fire to hunt escaping animals.
Bark Hut we got the hint to make a short walk to see a nice sunset.
So we enjoyed our last sunset at the Top End.
17th June, 2012
the night we experienced different noises. First our fire alarm
started to beep and only calmed down after we removed the batteries.
We guess it was the cold smoke from the fireplaces. Then there was
the howling of the dingos and at the end the birds whistling their
just started to drive when a few wallabies jumped over the road. A
bit further a dingo crossed the road. At Yurmilkmik we started to
hike to a viewpoint. We just start as Konrad spotted moving rocks. At
a second look they were wild pigs. Some of their ancestors must have
we crossed a suspension bridge and hiked through dry grass to the
view point. Here again we had a wonderful view over the National
I got induced to walk another few kilometers to the Motor Car Falls.
A wide path led nearly to the falls, only the last few meters we had
to climb over rocks. The effort was worth it as we got to a waterfall
with a relaxing ambiance.
at the camper we continued driving to Bukbukluk and a short walk
allowed for another view over the park.
we drove to the Gagudju Lodge in Cooinda. On the way we saw at times
the flames blazing in the grass to clean the country.
a break we drove to Nourlangie. A walkabout passed different places
with rock art. Then we walked up the nearby Nawurlnadja and enjoyed
the view to Nourlangie. As the sun was about to set we drove slowly
back to the camping site. On the way we saw a wallaby crossing the
road. In the restaurant of the lodge we enjoyed a nice dinner. Our
stock of food is going low and as we are soon flying back we did not
16th June, 2012
made our first stop in Batchelor to shop. We could not send the
postcards as the post office is only open in the afternoon. We
continued to Hayes Creek. Here we got rid of the postcards and
strolled through the small market. There were a few stands were
everything from honey to clothes was sold.
Pine Creek we made a refuel stop. After we went without further stop
back to the Kakadu National Park. 35 km of gravel road and two places
with water we had to pass to get to the camping site of Gunlom.
Arrived there we explored a bit the area. We wanted to do a small
hike to the river, but there was too much water on the path and we
were only allowed to walk to a billabong. Back a the site we went to
the falls. In the pool below a few people were swimming, even if the
risk of saltwater crocodiles was not eliminated. A warning sign state
also that here live freshwater crocodiles. But these are not
dangerous for humans. We decided first to hike up to the plateau at
the top of the falls. After a steep climb a nice pool and a wonderful
view over the Kakadu National Park welcomed us. I jumped into the
water as it was quite warm. Later Konrad also followed. At the water
we could also watch how small frogs were playing. With still wet
clothes we descended. After we walked again to the waterhole in the
hope to see wallabies there. Unfortunately we did not meet any.
11th June, 2012
the morning we drove to the Mamukala Wetland. Here we made a short
hike through the bush. We saw a big waterhole with some birds
enjoying themselves. The area around the path was mostly burned down.
It is normal here that the shrubs are burned down. This is done at
the beginning of the dry season, also now. Next morning the fire will
be put out by the thaw. Like this the Aboriginals clean every few
years a part of the forest. This reduces the changes of big bushfires
at the end of the dry season which destroy everything.
Kakadu National Park is owned by the Aboriginals. They leased the
country to the government to run a National Park. There are more than
5000 places with rock art in the National Park, but only two of them
are allowed to be visited by tourists. One of them is in Ubirr. We
mazed at the many rock paintings and hiked up and up. Already in the
middle of the hill and the more on the top we had a wonderful view
over the country.
we drove to the Bardedjilidji Walk. At the start we were informed
that we should not go to close to the water as crocodiles have been
seen lately at the river shore. We hiked through bush to the river.
It was a nice hike and we did not meet a crocodile.
we drove back to Ubirr and listened to a ranger who told us about the
plain and its history and significance. As the presentation was over
the sun slowly set and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.
10th June, 2012
the room beside us it was sometimes quite load because of the
Football Euro Championship and I could only sleep badly. After a lazy
start into the day we went to get our camper van. The kind lady from
the rental office talked to us in a mix of high German and Swiss
German. We learnt that she is from former Yugoslavia and lived for a
long time in Zurich. She made a perfect handover and we got a nearly
new camper with only 11'000 km. Next we bought food for the next few
days. After we had everything packed we started. On the Stuart
Highway we drove towards Kakadu National Park. In the Wetland region
we made a short stop and visited the visitor center. We enjoyed the
view into the wide country. It was already late afternoon as we
reached Kakadu National Park and thus we went directly to the first
camping site. From there we wanted to make a short hike. We asked at
reception if the path is open. Unfortunately there is still to much
water and so it could have salties there. So are the saltwater
crocodiles, the biggest crocodile species, commonly called by the
Australians. So we spend the rest of the day studying the brochures
of the region. I met a slightly shocked Dutch when I went to the
toilet in the late evening. She just met a frog in the toilet.
Nothing new for me as on the west coast I had seen some frogs in the
restrooms. When being in the nature you may see some animals you
usually do not see.