"VT Survivor Meet - May 2008 chapter 2" Northern Territory Travelogue by kiwi
Northern Territory Travel Guide: 2,343 reviews and 7,951 photos
KAKADU NATIONAL PARK is the crowning glory of Australia's national parks, and home of the "Crocodile Dundee" movie set. However it's real claim to fame is it's WORLD HERITAGE status, which is truly deserved, being uncommonly for both Cultural and Natural heritage. Here we were entering a very very special corner of the planet. Kakadu is jointly managed by Aboriginal Traditional owners and Government National Parks. The name dates back to an early Aboriginal language, and the park is almost 20,000 square kilometres. The area is extrememly rich in cultural heritage making it very interesting and precious.
It's very important for visitors to respect Park Laws in order to protect and conserve all cultural aspects of life in the park. All details on this can be obtained from the Bowali Visitor Centre near Jabiru in Kakadu. You can download the visitor information brochure here: http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/kakadu/visitor-information/index.html
...VTers live and breathe life with cameras and just occasionally look like a bunch of tourists ..... Virtual Tourists :-))
This was to be my view of the Northern Territory for the coming days. This and the side windows. Although our faulty aircon seemed a disaster, driving with the windows open provided a lovely cooling breeze and for me the opportunity to hold my camera out the window and take photos and videos on the fly.
We were still on the bitumen, so no dust and we could see the troupie behind, VT2, easily.
In the outback of Australia where the roads can be long, straight and well maintained, the speedlimit is often 130 kph. This is practical and makes sense, to cover good ground in the hours of driving. Of course once off the bitumen our speed reduced a lot.
It was a bit of a surprise to some of us to come across fires so close to the road, and blazing unopposed. About then, as we realised these were all around, Zig explained to us that these "cool fires" are intentionally lit to burn the undergrowth. This is to get the potentially flammable dry grasses eliminated before the real dry part of the dry season. Called "Cool Fires" because at this time of year only the undergrowth burns and the trees and shrubs are not killed. Later in the year, the grasses could cause massive and vigorous fires that would do much more destruction. However they don't burn all areas, rather what is called "mosaic burning" where some sections are left to give a variety for predator and prey to both have a chance.
The fire burns quickly and passively as it moves along removing the grass but leaving the trees.
We crossed the South Alligator River.
I might mention at this point the "Alligator" rivers. There are differing theories as to why these rivers have the name Alligator. I guess the most believable is that the pioneers mistook the breed of crocs for alligators. Another theory is that the rivers were named after a ship.
Who knows, but anyway, it's the South Alligator River.
Link to next chapter.
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