Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Shutterbug's Take on Exploring Australia's Top End - Northern Territory

Incorporating Berry Springs, Litchfield National Park (Batchelor), Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine), Kakadu National Park, World Natural Heritage Site and RAMSAR Wetlands (Jabiru) and the Darwin environs.
 Pics by Barry Greville-Eyres

View of the Nitmiluk Gorge, a major attraction within the Nitmiluk National Park outside Katherine. The park provides excellent outdoor recreational opportunities including canoeing, boating, fishing and hiking. 

A feature of the Litchfield National Park outside Batchelor is the enormous termite mounds, in this a case cathedral-shaped mound.

A saltie - estuarine or saltwater crocodile sunning itself on a causeway between Arnhem Land and the Kakadu National Park near Jabiru.

Walker Creek within the Litchfield National Park provides ample swimming opportunities for hikers and campers alike.

Rare and endangered cycads found only in the Litchfield National Park (Batchelor) displaying their resiliance and fire survival adaptation.

Darwin's beaches are no-go areas for significant parts of the year due to dangers posed by salties, box jelly fish and other creepy crawlies. Locals and tourists alike enjoy Darwin's waterfront wave pool located at the entertainment and conference precinct.

A large saltie captured in the reflection of a paper bark tree

Incredible land forms are a feature of Arnhem Land which is seperated from the Kakadu National  Park by the perennial East Alligator River

The pristine East Alligator River - freshwater in upper reaches and saltwater in the lower supporting a healthy population of crocodiles. 

Batchelor's resident birdlife enjoying a feed.

Adelaide River at the heart of the Top End provides interesting historical insights into the development of the region as well as a welcome leg stretch. 

The floodplains of Kakadu which explode into life with the arrival of the Big Wet. Smoke from runaway bushfires drifts across the evening sky.

Florence Falls in the Litchfield National Park provide welcome respite from the energy-sapping heat.

No worries for this sizable Golden Orb Spider as she waits patiently for her next meal.

Winging my way back to Dili, Timor-Leste on the first local carrier - Timor Air

Jabiru's green and blue open space contrasts with the parched surroundings struggling at the peak of the dry season. 

A visit to Erwin's Kakadu Bakery located in the hamlet of Jabiru is an absolute MUST where one can feast on his famous hamburgers, deliciously fresh salads, meat pies, wraps and mouthwatering pastries.

Lotus flowers - Yellow River - Kakadu National Park

The reward at the end of the Butterfly Gorge Walk - cooling off in the Nitmiluk Gorge in stunning and pristine surroundings

An interesting roadside sign courtesy of the Northern Territory / Australian Government Initiative  

A freshwater mangrove on the shoreline dwarfed by magnificent paperbark trees.

A muted yet still impressive Sea Eagle - Australia's second largest raptor perches on a paperbark branch above the Yellow River (Kakadu National Park). This sighting immediately brought back nostalgic memories of Africa's iconic bird call - the Fish Eagle.  

Neville - Aboriginal Elder, Tour Guide and Ranger demonstrates his spearthrowing technique as part of the Guluyambi Cruise experience on the East Alligator River - Kakadu National Park

Arguably the most scenic and popular swimming spot in Litchfield's National Park - Wangi Falls 

The towering Tolmer Falls accessed via a short, circular walking trail in the Litchfield National Park (Batchelor) 

Waterways and wetlands - Yellow River Kakadu National Park

Extensive freshwater wetlands that make up the Kakadu National Park consisting of  pandanus in the foreground and towering paperbark trees in the background.

Dawn cruise on the Yellow River - Kakadu National Park, World Natural Heritage Site and RAMSAR Wetland is another one of those MUSTS when visiting this area.

Motorised cruises in the Nitmiluk Gorge (Katherine) for the couch-potatoes and less adventurous tourists. The canoeing option is highly recommended.

Berry Springs - less than an hour out of Darwin is a fresh water paradise with shady forest remnants and a series of natural, refreshingly cool swimming holes.
On the trail ... hiking the Butterfly Gorge in the Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine) is not for the fainthearted especially at the height of the dry season where temperatures can reach the high 30s / low 40s 

For the uninitiated this is what a true, blue Aussie billabong looks like!

High intensity tourism with low environmental impact is a feature of the Nitmiluk Gorge within the Nitmiluk National Park. During the Wet most of the Gorge is out of bounds to tourists due to dangerously high water levels and wandering crocodiles.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos ... really makes me want to visit the area! Thanks for posting them.