Mudgee to Darwin day 30-something Kakadu 4 nights

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 11:55

Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW)

Mudgee to Darwin day 30-something Kakadu 4 nights

Blog and drive

We have spent the last few days in Kakadu, what a wonderful place. The distances are big, you need to allow plenty of time to get around. We camped at Malabandjubandju campground for three nights (toilets) and Gunlom for a night (showers). Weather was hot and dry, up to 35 degrees, dropping to about 18 overnight.

Day 1
Visitors centre - good displays, very helpful staff
Nourlangie rock - rock art, great views, two free ranger talks on the stories behind the artworks, the aboriginal kinship laws, and the David and Goliath battle to get one of the mining leases returned to aboriginal ownership.

Day 2
Twin falls, 50 km 4wd very corrugated road, 600mm river crossing, well worth the trip in. Short walk, followed by a boat shuttle along the gorge, to a beautiful pool and waterfall.

Jim Jim falls, medium walk including much scrambling over rocks, disappointingly little water over the falls, nice swimming beach and plunge pool.

Yellow water cruise, a bit pricy, an informative cruise on the billabong and into the South alligator river, plenty of crocs and bird life, nice sunset spot.

Day 3

4wd track to Alligator billabong, red lily billabong. This took longer than we expected, made us late for high tide at Cahills crossing. A few interesting water crossings, nothing deep, plenty of rutted and corrugated track.

Jabiru, not a lot to see here, we had pies for late lunch (very nice, pastry a bit thick).

Cahills crossing, the crocs wait here for fish to go over the causeway at high tide, we saw a few crocs, one huge one. This is the border to Arnhem Land, permits are required to enter.

Ubirr, spectacular scenery, great rock art, well worth spending time here.

Ranger uranium mine, you can drive in past the big open cut pit till you reach locked gates, but no viewing area.

Day 4

Packed up early and headed to Gunlom, called in at Maguk on the way, nice spot. Did the 1km walk in to a lovely swimming spot with waterfall, well worth the walk. The croc signs here and at Gunlom are a bit sobering, saying crocs can enter the area, swim at your own risk. We didn't swim at Maguk as nobody else was in the water.

Gunlom was absolutely spectacular. The road in was not too bad for the first 20 km, corrugated and rough In places, but after turning to Gunlom it was pretty awful. However it's a pretty special place. We got set up in the campground (fairly bare, not much shade, good showers and toilets), had lunch, then headed over to the pool at the base of the waterfall. What an oasis, plenty of people were swimming so we hopped in for a cool refreshing swim.The pool was probably 120 metres across, lovely clear cool water, sandy bottom and a waterfall (not a huge flow, but enough to make it nice). It's getting late in the dry season now, and the last wet was pretty poor, so water levels are getting low everywhere. Late In the afternoon we decided to brave the steep, strenuous climb to the top of the waterfall, and were amply rewarded with lovely views, and another cool swim in a small infinity pool at the top of the falls, just gorgeous! By the time we got back down again we needed another dip to cool off, so back to the bottom pool we went. We hardly needed our showers that night, but enjoyed them anyway, had a nice feed of lamb chops and fell into bed quite tired from all the walking and swimming.

Lisa McDonald
Toyota Hilux SR5 2010 D4D
Echo Kavango
BlogID: 5227
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