Monday, 1 June 2009

Gunlom Falls & Katherine

We left the Crocodile Hotel at Jabiru at about 07:15 and started heading South through Kakadu. After about 2 hours at 60mph we were still in Kakadu, which gives some idea of the size of the place. The plan for the morning was to take a turn off to Gunlom Falls in Southern Kakadu.
After about 30 mins on a dirt track we arrived at Gunlom. The waterfall is most spectacular during the wet season but in the dry most people come here for swimming. There are swimming holes at the base of the waterfall and at the top. The bottom pools have crocodiles during the wet season, but at the start of each Dry the rangers move them out and they’ve got no way of getting back in until the next Wet. Even so, the sign at the bottom pools said you swim at your own risk. The pools at the top are guaranteed 100% crocodile free. There is no way that crocs. can get past the barrier of the waterfall. Five of us and Tim the guide decided to take the steep climb to the top pools. The climb took about 30 mins. but was well worth it.

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We spent about an hour swimming and after climbing back down, found that the rest of the group that had stayed at the bottom pools and all survived and then had a picnic lunch. We then started the long drive out of Kakadu to Katherine. We stopped briefly at Pine Creek and decided to stop the truck next to a rather large termite mound for a quick picture. This one is at least 6m high. As we drove south you could see the country start to change from the monsoon belt that covers Kakadu to a more dry rocky savannah type country. We arrived in Katherine about 16:15 and just spent 45 mins looking round the town before heading to the hotel.
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Tomorrow we’ve got another early start as we’re going into Nitimiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park then we’ve got 600Km to cover to get to Kununarra. Kununarra will be the last hotel stay and the last internet and mobile phone until we get to Broome. We’ll be on our own. Any emergency will be a Flying Doctor job…no medical facilities after Kununura.

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