Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 177. Darwin to Litchfield Park

Time to turn south and head towards home…

This morning we packed up camp and said goodbye to beautiful sunny Darwin. Our time here has been very relaxing, and it is a shame that it’s time to leave; but if we never never go, we’ll never never know what it’s like to hold Isabella while she is still a new born.

Humpty Doo Hotel
We stopped off to have a look at the Humpty Doo Hotel on our way out of town, as it really is a bit of an Australian icon. Looking at the memorabilia alone on the walls tells a story of Australian Ocka-ism. It was great to see, but unfortunately we had to keep going, so an ice cold beer was definitely out of the question.

Berry Springs

Next we called into Berry Springs, located just to the south of Darwin. Bec wanted to see the thermal springs here – and she wasn’t disappointed. The trees and Pandanus palms really gives a feeling of the tropical north; and the crystal clear waters of the spring were just to inviting to ignore. We all put on our swimmers, and with masks and snorkels we quickly jumped into the refreshing waters Berry Springs is well renowned for. It was fantastic, the animal life and fish life was amazing. The water was so clear that we could easily identify a number of fish; including Common Archerfish, Mangrove Jacks, Eel-tailed Catfish, Freshwater Longtom, Spotted Scat, and Barred Grunter.

Fresh or Salt water croc
We even spotted a lone Freshwater Crocodile – which we sort of got a photo or two of. We tried to get closer, but it disappeared underwater, so we looked under with our masks and found the little bugger swimming only inches below our feet as it tried to find deeper water. I say little, but in actual fact it was probably closer to two metres long, so it wasn’t so little after all. Even Scarlett was a bit ‘freaked out’ when it swam under us; and wanted to get out of the water.

Mertens Water Monitor
On the banks of the spring, we saw a Mertens’ Water Monitor going about its business; including foraging under water for small fish and yabbies. The wildlife here was amazing to watch; and if it wasn’t for the rumbling in my belly letting me know that I had already missed lunchtime by an hour or two; I’m sure Bec and Scarlett could have floated in these waters forever. At one stage I’m sure I heard Bec mention that she could easily live in a place like this!

Cathedral Termite Mount
After lunch, we headed south towards Litchfield National Park; our destination for the next few nights. We’ve explored Kakadu already, and we’ve been told not to miss Litchfield, as the waterfalls and scenery are spectacular.

We ended up finding a camping spot at Wangi Falls campground; which I must admit is a beautiful spot to spend the next few days. We are only a short walk from the waterfalls themselves; which I can hear at this moment from our van as I write this blog. Scarlett and I went for a short walk exploring before dinner tonight, and we already spotted a number of wallabies and flying foxes. Unfortunately the plunge pool at the bottom of Wangi Falls is closed to swimming at the moment due to high water levels and the possibility of estuarine crocodiles being in the pool. ‘Freshies’ are known to inhabit this swimming hole, but apparently ‘Salties’ like to visit when the water levels are up. Bugger!

Wangi Falls

If we are lucky enough we might even get to spot one here before we leave….

Magnetic Termite Mounds
PS: As we packed up the van ready to hit the road this morning, a lone C-17 flew directly over the top of us. It reminded Bec of her workmates back in Brisbane; and she just wanted to let them all know that she misses you all and can’t wait to catch up next time we ‘visit’ Brisbane. Cheers!

FOOTNOTE: Media Release: 27.07.11
Crocodile Removed from Berry Springs Nature Park
Parks and Wildlife Service rangers last night removed a 1.57m female estuarine (saltwater)
crocodile from Berry Springs Nature Park, believed to have been the crocodile that reportedly
bit a woman on the neck late yesterday afternoon. Parks and Wildlife Service Senior Wildlife Ranger Tom Nichols said the estuarine crocodile was captured and removed from the main swimming pool at Berry Springs, and that the crocodile was destroyed during capture.
“It is believed this is the same crocodile that was reported to have bitten a woman while she
was swimming yesterday afternoon,” Mr Nichols said.
“It is unclear at this stage how the crocodile entered the swimming area; however it has
probably travelled upstream or downstream through Berry Creek given its small size.
“This is another reminder to people to be crocwise and be extremely cautious about any
waterways in the Top End, because estuarine crocodiles can move around throughout the
Just goes to show that you can never be to careful. By the report, the attack happened on the same day we were swimming in Berry Springs - in exactly the same spot! Maybe it was a 'Saltie' we saw and swam with?

posted by Shane

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