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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kakadu National Park

This is a place we had read about so it was a must see on this trip.  Mind you, covering an area of 20,000km, we could only see a fraction of it.  Kakadu National Park is on the UNESCO World Heritage List in recognition of its outstanding natural beauty and as a living cultural landscape.  The Aboriginal people have inhabited Kakadu continuously for more than 50,000 years, tracing back in time to before the last ice age.

Our coach driver picked us up at 6.10am, so it was another early morning start.  First stop was at the Bark Hut,  a café, bar, petrol station, motor camp combination type of business.  We enjoyed a little something to fill the gap for our missed breakfast.

First stop on our trip

Our driver Michael carried two large containers of water and happily filled up passengers water bottles at each stop.  We were reminded to keep drinking water all day – it was so hot and muggy that most of it evaporated away.

Our friendly coach driver

Our trip was the Yellow Water Billabong Cruise, and we walked a short way to board one of the boats, and were soon on our way, gliding slowly across the water. 

On the Yellow Water Billabong

It was so lovely and peaceful, calm water surrounded by trees, reeds, and water meadows.

But in the water lurked danger.  It wasn’t too long till we spotted the first crocodile, and she wasn’t at all happy with us venturing into her territory.  Up she swam, and bang, gave the boat a good wallop with her tail!

First sighting of a croc

There were birds everywhere, in the shallows, up in trees, and further away in the water meadows.  We spotted Magpie and Pigmy geese, and a whole lot of cute little Whistling ducks.

Geese and Whistling ducks

The boats gently nudged up to the side of the billabong as the guide pointed out one bird after another.  There were rafts of beautiful pink lotus lilies at the waters edge, their large leaves waving slowly in the warm breeze.


Hello to you, Jabaroo

Our sharp eyed guide spotted a tiny Azure kingfisher in the fork of a tree, and guided the boat in closer so we could get a good look.  The front and back views look quite different, so we were thrilled when he turned around to show off the lovely colours.

Azure kingfisher

On our way back to the dock, another large croc came into view, making quite a splash.  He was eating a poor little turtle for his dinner, and soon swallowed it all down.  Then the croc just cruised along, giving us the evil eye, to let us know that he is the one in charge here.

Just finished a turtle dinner

We stopped at a local hotel for a nice refreshing lunch, cold meat and salads, just what we needed on such a hot sticky day.  Then it was time to refill our water bottles, and climb back on-board for a further look around the area.


The distances are vast in this part of the world, and it was a long trip back to Darwin from Kakadu,  taking 2 1/2 hours.  The sunset was full of lovely colour, starting off moody pink, and fading to a yellow/orange as we got closer to the city.

Colours in the twilight

It was another lovely day in paradise, we just loved the tiny part of Kakadu which we were taken to see.


texascraft said...

So pleased you visited Kakadu we did the cruise back some years when Peter & Jane lived in Darwin. Yes the crocodiles are always waiting and watching.

Janice said...

What a great way to spend the day. Stunning scenery. One day we'll get there.

NickiJ said...

The bird life looked wonderful, well worth the boat trip even if you did get a "knock" from a croc!