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Kakadu National Park. (29 December 2010)
contributed by DerrickJessop
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We made two trips to Kakadu National Park. One in October 1998 and the other in July 2000. Our first experience was the sight of the jumping crocodiles on the lower reaches of the Mary River. From the tourist boat a piece of meat was held out over the water on a pole and a string. The crocodiles, knowing what was on offer, slid off the banks and headed underwater to surface near the boat, viewed the meat, then gained speed under water again to launch themselves, often half out of the water, to snatch the meat.
Ubirr (or Ubirri) Rock is on the edge of the wetland to the North of the park. After a short climb some significant Aboriginal rock painting can be seen under an over-hang.
At sunset the view of the setting sun on the wetlands from the top of the rock is breathtaking.
Noorlangie is another site with magnificent rock art. They are in such profusion, often with painting on top of paintings that when memory dims it is difficult to decide which way is up on some photos.
Further South I took an all day trip to visit Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls. Jim Jim falls can be reached by rock hopping quite a way down the gorge with the falls in full view most of the way. It is only when you reach close to the falls that the sheer height of them become apparent. The falls pool is large and a swim was enticing, but time did not allow the pleasure.
The tour continued over a deep creek that led to the water coming from Twin Falls. In 2000 the only way in was to paddle on li-los about 800 metres to the falls. Once at the falls the sandy beach and enticing water on a hot day made swimming irresistable. The falls are two distinct sections, separated by a rock pile at the top and can be quite safely swum up to, to be pounded by the water which falls from a considerable height.
I borrowed a plastic container and ferried my camera across the pool, climbed the rocks and had a first class view of both falls. The twelve hour day trip was well worth it, but as always it would have been nice to have spent much longer at each of the falls.
Yellow Water Creek provides tourist boats a chance to explore the wetland. Wildlife abound and beautiful water lillies and paper bark trees and undergrowth provide an ever changing spectacle.
Gunlom Falls, on the upper reaches of the Alligator River, to the South of the Park, also provides safe swimming, both at the foot of the falls, and in a rock pool immediately at the top edge of the high falls. Further up, the cascades and rock pools also provide pools of almost spa quality.
The unique sites in Kakadu National Park demand much greater time be taken to explore and absorb all that the park has to offer.
This story was uploaded into the Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia entry for the Nature Conservation Reserve 'Kakadu National Park'.
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