Well, The Boi and I survived our week long trip into Northern Territory's most famous sites. We had an excellent time, took a million photos (some of which are here) and thorougly enjoyed each other's company. BTW thanks to the parentals for loan of the car and trailer ;D.
I'll break it down into Kakadu and Katherine, and try not to ramble on too much!
Day 1: We drove 3 hours out to Mamkula Wetlands (not as wet as we hoped!) and trekked around the outside. I think we were the only tourists crazy enough to do the walk and this sets the tone for the rest of our trip hehe. Then drove onto Jabiru and unpacked the parents campertrailer (with much swearing from The Boi).
Day 2: Got up early and visited Ubirr - one of the most picturesque landscapes with Aboriginal Rock Art that was thousands of years old. Totally gorgeous! This is what you think of when you think Kakadu.
Then onto Cahills Crossing, which is the main crossing into Arnhem Land. We didnt think my Dad would appreciate us taking the sedan across a crocodile infested river so just looked at it from the bank.
We did Bowali visitors centre (to get a taste of the history/culture of the area) and then back to camp for a nap and a swim!
Day 3: Drove to Yellow Waters/Cooinda and re-set up camp. This involved much less swearing as we now have the knack! After lunch, we set out to Nourlangie Rock (more Aboriginal art sites and much scampering over rocks) and the associated walk (2 kms is easy right? in 33c?). We wanted to see Arnbangbang billabong cos its on all the postcards, but it was closed.... or so we thought.
Instead I suggested the Nawurlandja hike to the lookout (not sure why it was labelled 'moderate' when 'steep like a biatch' would have been more accurate). Off to the side was a trail to Arnbangbang.... what the hell. Turns out it was closed because the water was still over the trail and crocs were about - we got as close as we dared though.
After the hike from hell to the top of the lookout we went back for another nap and dinner.
Day 4: Did the obligatory tourist cruise on Yellow Water - not really worth it in my opinion. We did see some crocodiles but not much else (unless you love herons and egrets I guess).
We decided to push on to have a look at Gungurul lookout (about 50 kms away). Really glad we did - besides all the crocodile warnings, the river bed was pretty dry and we could clamber around down there. Didnt bother climbing to the lookout cos we were hot and exhausted!
Drove back up the road and visited Mardugal - really pretty billabong, again full of crocs (Fin seemed determined to get near the edge).
Day 5: Packed up and left Cooinda. We obviously hadnt seen enough lookouts yet - lets walk to the top of Bukbukluk. Views wernt that spectacular but pretty enough.
Highlight of the trip - Gunlom!!!! It was 37kms over unsealed, corrugated roads (The Boi swearing the whole way hehe) but worth it. Emerald green plunge pool that just screamed lush. Another 1km walk ('steep' is understated) up the side of the cliffs to the most beautiful place we'd seen so far. Cascading clear pools that run right to the edge of the waterfall and drop over the side. We really, really want to go back. Spent alot of time up there, but are thinking of coming back just to visit Gunlom again. Only fell on my butt twice!
Decided to push onto Katherine (about 250km) as we were exhausted from the climb. Next post for Katherine.