Mudgee to Darwin Day 19 and 20 Mataranka to Daly River, Daly River to Litchfield NP

Thursday, Aug 01, 2013 at 15:27

Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW)

Mudgee to Darwin Day 19 and 20 Mataranka to Daly River, Daly River to Litchfield NP

Fuelled up at Katherine, a big town, then made it in to Daly River quite early and stopped at the pub. Main highlight of the trip was the sight of an enormous dead bull by the road, looking about to explode. We made some enquiries about someone named "mousie" who does fishing tours. Then we checked in to Daly River Barra "Resort" which was a nice place to stay and very casual and uncrowded, though maybe not exactly a resort. Good facilities, probably the best shower all trip,camped among the 30 year old mango trees.

We went out with Mousie (Shannon) the next morning, down the river to try and catch a barra
Sadly The big ones eluded us, I hooked two huge ones but they hid under snags and wouldn't come up. I caught 1 undersized, and Peter caught 5 but all too small to keep. However the boat trip and wildlife spotting was amazing. I lost count of the number of crocs we saw, freshies and salties, and quite a few over 5 metres long, sunning themselves on the mudbanks. We also saw a water buffalo, wild pigs, a jabiru, and many and varied other bird life. The river is said to contain on average, 10 crocs for every 100 metres of its length. From the boat ramp where we launched, it's 90km downstream to the rivers mouth.

By the time we got back in, it was lunchtime, so we headed back to the pub for the most superb steak sandwiches, cooked by Mia, Mousie's partner.

Then it was off to Litchfield, stopping at Adelaide River for refreshments. We saw The Ghan go past, heading north to Darwin. Heading out of Adelaide River, we had to stop for roadworks, only the second time this trip. We passed through Batchelor, marvelling at the number of caravan parks, then tried to get a camp spot in Litchfield NP. By this time it was getting towards 5.30pm and there was no room in any of the campgrounds. We tried our first preference, Buley Rockholes, two campgrounds near Florence Falls, and the main campground at Wangi Falls to no avail. The largest, Wangi, only has 33 campsites, and the others are much smaller. Take my advice, if you want to camp in the National park, get there early! We we nearly ready to head back to Batchelor, and even briefly contemplated camping in the day parking area, but spotted a sign to Litchfield Safari Camp, only 5km further on, and headed there instead. Thank goodness they had a spot for us! It's quite a big campground with good facilities and many shady trees, and we were made to feel very welcome.
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