Kakadu National Park last day – Mamukala Wetlands Bird Hide and the South Alligator River Crossing.

Sunday, Aug 09, 2009 at 00:00

Motherhen

Nine days was not enough to do Kakadu National Park justice, but we had seen a variety of the features on offer, from the scarp and waterfalls to the vast plains and wetlands filled with wildlife, Aboriginal rock paintings and culture and crocodiles.















The Mamukala Wetlands have a wheel chair accessible bird hide with information placards about the six seasons of Kakadu and the birds that come in each of these climates. We saw mostly marsh hens which were grazing in the shallow near the bird hide. Wallabies could be seen at one end of the lagoon, and a crocodile was out in the centre of the wetland. Walks of up to three kilometres can be taken along the edge of the wetlands. The Mamukala Wetlands is along the Arnhem Highway, 29 kilometres west of the Ubirr road junction.















Shortly after leaving Mamukala, we crossed the South Alligator River via a high bridge. There is a large parking and picnic area and boat ramp west side of the bridge. The river here is wide and the tidal surge was racing in, although from the wet muddy sides of the river, it still had quite way to go. Mud skippers hopped in the moist light grey mud.

After crossing several branches and tributaries of the South Alligator River, we passed the Northern Entrance Information Site and soon sadly left Kakadu National Park. Nine days was not enough to do the park justice, but we had seen a variety of the features on offer, from the scarp and waterfalls to the vast plains and wetlands filled with wildlife, Aboriginal rock paintings and culture and crocodiles.

Farewell to wonderful Kakadu.

West of the Kakadu National Park boundary for some way it is Military land, with numerous warning signs.

We drove into Leaning Tree Lagoon Nature Reserve planning to stay the night and reach Darwin early in the day, but found no camping signage had recently been erected. Part of the Marrakai Floodplains, in the wet season the lagoon drains into the Adelaide River via the Marrakai Creek.

There was a little water left in the centre of the lagoon, lots of snowflake lilies, and a greater variety of birds than we saw at Mamukala Wetlands. Around Humpty Doo and onwards to the Stuart Highway, there were Mango Farms and a number of new residential subdivisions. In 1954, rice growing was trialled in the area, with the Fogg Dam being built for irrigation. Rice growing failed, but mango farming has been very successful.Fogg Dam is now a Conservation Reserve and bird watching locality.

There was a large wetlands area as we approached the Adelaide River, with the Window on the Wetlands Centre on a small hill. We chose not to stop, as we needed to find a place for a few nights in Darwin and it was already well into the afternoon.

Read more detail about this trip and see all the photos in our 2009 Travelogues

Motherhen

Red desert dreaming

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