Saturday, June 30, 2018

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Darwin

Over the next few days we explored around Darwin. First stop was Crocodylous Park. Along with hundreds of crocodiles the park had monkeys, lions and many other animals.

We also headed to the morning fish feeding in the harbour. This was something Amanda had done 30 years earlier.

Friday, June 29, 2018

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Berry Springs to Darwin

As it was only a short drive to Darwin we had a sleep in and then drove into town. We arrived at the Free Spirit Resort Caravan Park early in the morning (around 10am). However they wouldn't let us on our site, it took us 3 visits to the office to tell them that the site was empty and for them to reluctantly let us in. A bit of a shaky start for us in Darwin. We had heard great reviews of this place.

Our site was directly opposite the toilet block and street light. Convenient in some ways but the light never turned off so our site was lit up all night. Poor Nathan in his swag - luckily he didn't seem to bothered by.

First priority was do some grocery shopping - we eventually found a Woolies and stocked up. The GPS sent us on a wild goose chases.
Next on the agenda was a visit to Mindl Markets. After another GPS wild goose chase we found the beach and markets. What an amazing place - it was so busy. We strolled through all the stalls and found a few things we wanted to buy. Madi found a wildlife encounter where you can hold birds and reptiles while taking selfies.

Deciding on what to have for dinner was a challenge - so much to choose from. Once we had our meals we headed to the beach to watch the sunset, along with about 1000 other people. We definitely were not in the remote outback anymore.

Dinner on the beach


Market entertainment

Thursday, June 28, 2018

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Litchfield NP - Berry Springs

Berry Springs wasn't on our original plan but we are glad we stopped here. Only about 60km from Darwin it still feels like you are in the middle of nowhere. The caravan park was very accommodating for short notice and we were soon set up and making a picnic lunch for at the springs.

Berry Springs were amazing and a great place for a refreshing swim. We finished off our visit with a delicious choc coated mango ice cream.

Swim time

Berry Springs waterhole

messing around

Lots of fish in the water

Berry Springs waterfall

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Litchfield National Park

We went exploring Litchfield National Park today. First stop was Florence Falls. To get there was around 1000 steps down into the valley. Once we arrived we were meet with a large school group which it very busy. Lauren and Nathan went in for a swim, they found a great jumping spot and discovered there were lots of fish in the water.

Florence Falls  from the top of the stairs

Lauren preparing to jump

After Florence Falls we headed to The Cascades but the walk put us off. It was nearly lunch and looked like it was going to be a long walk. Instead we went to Walkers Creek which is a series of swimming holes and camp sites along a creek. We had been told that the swimming hole at Camp 7 was the best. It was still quite a hike but the swim was worth it.

Just Chillin

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Bitter Springs to Litchfield National Park

We left Bitter Springs tentatively not knowing how the car was going be. We had a plan - we would have decide to drive to Darwin or go to Litchfield as planned. We had around 150km to decide and it was going to depend if the car behaved or not. Thankfully we had no issues so we went into Litchfield NP as planned.

We decided to try to camp at Wangi Falls but had read on WikiCamps that the camp ground fills up very quickly. You can't book NP campgrounds. We arrived before just on lunch time and thankfully there were still a few sites available that we could get the van in. By 5pm it would have been a different story.

The camp ground was a lovely bush setting with toilets and showers. Very good facilities for a national park. After setting up we walked over to Wangi Falls. The cafe was just closing (3pm) which seemed to make the place very busy. The kids were keen to get in the water but it was very cold. Lauren soon found where she could jump from and proceeded to do this a number of times.

Wangi Falls

As we were headed back to camp after our swim we went into the information bay where they run helicopter flights from. We were asked if wanted a discounted flight which the last flight of the day where the bring the helicopter back to the base. Reluctantly we agreed. It was was a great experience for the girls. The helicopter didn't have any doors so we were exposed and could see so much.

Ready for our flight

Wangi Falls from the air

The Cascades

Litchfield National Park

Monday, June 25, 2018

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Bitter Springs

We needed to time consider our options with the car. Colin had done some research and read that by disconnecting the battery overnight you reset the computer - so we gave this a go. Only time would tell when were back on the road again.

We would wait and see if it played up again and then decided to go straight to Darwin or do Litchfield as planned.

As it was Sunday we just had a rest day and explored Mataranka - starting with a yummy cooked breakfast on the camp kitchen. We then explored Mataranka Springs.

Cooking up a feast

Mataranka Spings

We were supposed to be feeding the Barramundi but they didn't show - ended up feeding a turtle. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Tennant Creek to Bitter Springs

Our original destination was Daly Waters Pub - apparently this should be on everyone's bucket list. We pulled in here at lunchtime and the campground was already packed full. We parked up down the side street and went out to check out what all the fuss is about.

The pub is definitely unique  - lots to see hanging on the walls. I am sure the food and entertainment would also be great but we decided to have lunch and keep going.

We had parked outside an abandoned building that used be the old post office amongst many things. The kids had fun exploring through this building. Out the back was old jail cells - a real step in time. We had a bit of fun in here as well.

The journey here had been challenging - more car trouble with the car shutting down while driving at 100k and then being stuck in gear and no power steering. We thought we were headed straight for Darwin but is was the weekend and nothing was open so we went to Bitter Springs (Mataranka). We were lucky to get a camp sport at the caravan park. Once set up at camp we went down to the Springs - these were amazing. 32 degrees and we just floated down the stream. The walk back to the start was a bit fresh though.

Lock him up and throw away the key!

Old Jail Cells

Bitter Springs

Bitter Springs Caravan Park

Apparently there could be crocs in here?