March 7 Darwin – Litchfield National Park
Yay! After a week in one place, we were finally back on the road. It was hot again so we hurried to pack down to enjoy the cool air conditioning. We had a few last supplies to pick up. Thinking this would be easy was a silly thought. The first 2 shops didn’t have what we needed but finally we found some butane and aeroguard and were on the road to Litchfield.
We had tried to visit for the past 3 days but for whatever reasons hadn’t made it yet. Only an hour and half on the road and we arrived at Litchfield National Park.
Our first stop down the main road in was the termite mounds. Now we have been seeing these get bigger over the last week but the ones that greeted us here were massive! We felt dwarfed as we gazed upon these huge mounds made by the tiniest creatures! Truely amazing.
We didn’t wander for long as it was scorching and almost lunch time so we pressed on down the road. Next was the Buley Rock Pools. We were told this was a must see in the park so we headed down the track for a look.
It was easy to see why the carpark was so full. A series of pools (extremely deep) connected by small waterfalls stretched out before us. Many a traveller was enjoying the refreshing waters and some even jumping off high rocks into the pools. With so many people in the water, the kids weren’t keen on swimming here so we pressed on to our camping destination for the night.
Arriving at Florence Falls 2wd campsite (all the 4wd only ones are closed for maintainance over the wet season) we scoped out a spot and set camp. The ranger informed us that the showers weren’t working so he had to close them and leave only 2 toilets open so we didn’t have to worry about paying…winning!
Hot and very sweaty we quickly ate lunch and donned the bathers so we could head to the Falls for a swim. We chose the shortest route, even if it did mean climbing down 135 stairs, and started our decent. The view was incredible! We hurried to join the other people who were already swimming beneath in the clear waters.
A cold swim! Yay! All our swims lately had been warm ones as the sun keeps everything warm up here. It took the kids a bit longer to hop in as they had spotted some fish that they were unsure of sharing the water with.
Adrian swam out under the waterfall. It was hard work to swim against the current as it was very strong. With the kids now ok with the water we swam out to a rock in the middle and chilled while watching the water thunder over the rocks.
We marvelled at how a few trees managed to grow on the rockface in what seemed to be a soil-less environment. We watched a couple of crazy early twenty-somethings climb up the rock and jump into the water. The kids had a blast climbing over the rocks and navigating the current.
We headed back up the stairs (much harder up than down) and got tea started. While I was cooking, the kids and Adrian drew some pictures for our bonnet map. It is looking really cool now. The relaxing evening was finished up with a game of Quirkle after tea.
March 8 Litchfield National Park – Kakadu National Park
After a very hot, still night we woke up feeling fairly well rested. The air was slightly cool so we packed in 1/2 hr! We wandered back down all those stairs for a quick dip before our drive. This time we had the whole place to ourselves and although it was nippy we enjoyed being cool for the first time in weeks.
Today we were off to Kakadu National Park. The drive was longer as it is across the other side of Darwin and inland. After 4hrs, and a quick stop at the boxing crocodile, we arrived at the visitors centre. The ranger was very helpful in marking our map with the areas that are still open and where is not due to flooding. We enjoyed a bite of lunch at the cafe while we made our plan for the afternoon.
A flooded road about 10kms out was preventing us reaching one of our planned destinations (Cahill’s Crossing, sorry Colin), but we thought we would drive out as far as we could and check it out anyway. It was 1m deep and we had no intention of crossing it but we thought we might glimpse a croc….no such luck.
It was now about 3pm so we drove into Jabiru in search of our nights accommodation. We drove past a hotel that is called the crocodile hotel and for good reason…it is croc shaped! It’s so cool. (Image found online)
After fueling up we drove to Kakadu Lodge and Caravan Park. Finding a lovely shadey spot we set up and headed to the pool. It is lagoon shaped and again lovely and cool. We chilled for an hour or so and with goosebumps (I almost forgot what they felt like) dried off for a before dinner game of Kubb (The kids are becoming really good shots!). It was nice to stand and not sweat.
After tea the kids had another quick swim before bedtime routine. With Zach tucked in, Clarissa and I set to a few last minute birthday preparations. With pressies wrapped, cards written and the birthday bag (all the cards etc from family that we have carried with us since we left) retrieved from the back of Blu, Clarissa tucked in too.
Once the kids were asleep we were able to set the tent up for Zach.
All set to celebrate 11 years of being this amazing boy’s parents!