"Kakadu National Park" Kakadu National Park by grets
Kakadu National Park Travel Guide: 274 reviews and 971 photos
We took a two-day, one-night organised trip out of Darwin as part of a much larger world tour.
When a full-size bus turned up on the first morning to pick us up, we were getting rather concerned about the size of the group. We needen't have worried, there was only eight of us in the end. In a 50-seater bus!
This is extracts from the diary I wrote at the time:
The road leading out of Darwin is boring, mostly straight with palms and plantations either side. I'm really not in the mood though. The chest infection is making me feel very low and run down, and I have severe diarrhoea. It doesn’t help that this is the hottest season here in Darwin with relentless discomfort from the exceptionally high humidity. At present the temperature is well into the 40ºC’s with 86% humidity. Everything feels too much trouble today; I would sooner curl up and sleep than see the sights.
Our first stop is for breakfast in a real Outback place. The seats inside are benches made out of whole logs, the seat backs are logs with hides. All the furniture is very rustic, there are lots of old signs around and generally a great atmosphere. Their muffins are yummy.
Next stop: Warridjan Cultural Centre. I feel we don't do it justice, we do rather rush through. There is a very interesting display of aboriginal culture with ancestral worship and pay back traditions! If a member of one clan has injured or killed a person from another clan, the wronged person’s family will insist on retribution in the form of money, gifts and sometimes violent reprisals.
Barry has talked a lot about bush tucker, he even showed a video in the bus about it, and now is our chance to try some. The trees around the centre are crawling with ants, and these are particularly delicious ones. We pick up an ant, hold him by his little head and bite his bum off. Tasty. I never thought I’d be eating live ants on this trip! They taste of lime and the flavour lingers for a long time afterwards. Apparently the locals drop them in their gin and tonic for added zest.
At the centre we overhear two English girls discussing their forthcoming swim in the nearby Sandy Billabong. Barry is horrified and tells us about a German tourist on an Overland style truck who also went swimming in the billabong recently after being reassured by her guide that it was perfectly safe: ‘the aborigines have been swimming here for years’. Unfortunately she was grabbed by a crocodile and despite efforts to save her, she died from her injuries. This area is known for its killer crocs – I don’t think I would go swimming anywhere around here! I even heard a story about a crocodile that somehow found its way to the public pool in Jabirou, the only sizable town around here.
Next is the Yellow Waters cruise - see details in Tips below.
We stop for lunch at Cooinda. The salad buffet is good, but I take a large mouthful of what I assume is hummous, and it turns out to be mustard! Yuk!!!!!!!!!!!
Back in the coach there is a video showing the making and playing of didgeridoos.
After visiting Nourlangie (see tips below) there is only a short drive to Jabirou and Crocodile Hotel (see tips below)
Our first activity today is an optional flight over the escarpment. Barry initially assumes that no-one wants to participate, there is only us and another couple (Helen and Bob), but we soon put him right. We always want to take any pleasure flight available. We like flying. (see tips below)
Our stop at the Bowali Cultural Centre is somewhat forgettable. The discomfort of the heat, the aggravation of the flies, the pain in my chest and the inconvenience of my tummy upset all add to increase my disinterest. There are stuffed animals and stories of aboriginal culture but it all goes in one ear and out the other.
We stop for a traditional Barbie Lunch, with buffalo burgers, chicken satay and barramundi. The chicken tastes decidedly odd, very greasy and the wrong texture. Unfortunately I am still feeling bad, and have to check out the long-drop dunnie across the road. Not a pleasant experience.
After the cruise (see tips below - I'm beginning to sound like a parrot), we return to Darwin via the Visitors Centre (guess waht - see tips below)
- Pros:Lots of wildlife and stunning scenery
- Cons:Hot, very hot, extremely hot, and damp! Oh, and the mosquitos!
- In a nutshell:Wildlife and history - a great combination
The last stop is for a view of the sunset at Window on the Wetlands Visitors Centre. The building is very modern with a... more travel advice
As if the heat and humidity isn’t enough, out here in the bush the air is filled with pesky flies. They crawl around my... more travel advice
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