Day 18 (September 27, 2015)   Kakadu National Park


Kakadu map

   We’ll wake up this day at Kakadu National Park to complete our visits in this park until we’re delivered at our hotel in Darwin by the evening.

   The spots marked at map, which we may visit, are:

 1- Mamukala
 2- Ubirr
 3- Camping Center
 4- Jim Jim Falls
 5- Nourlangerie art site


   The daylight is not here when the live starts at our encampment. This is a chain reaction as, with all the tents uncovered, we’re sensitive to any movement or noise. As there are toilets and showers facilities here and Dale has set the breakfast table. I pay attention to a black paste called Vegemite and I’m told is a very Aussie thing. As I like more these salty things than the sweets I get a toast with this strange taste.

   The daylight is all around when we leave the camp. Our guide’s strategy is being the first ones at Jim Jim Falls to be able of enjoying the place before the horde of visitors arrive. The road is rough and in some parts even worse than yesterday’s.

Road to Jim Jim FallsJim Jim Falls track

   Once out of the car we’re ready for taking the path leading to Jim Jim Falls. It’s around one kilometer long. This way goes along the river made by the falls which we’re advised may be crocodiles in it. It’s a pity as the water looks pristine.

Gorge Viewing areaCrocodiles warning sign

   The first part of the way is easy, like walking by a forest, with some rock or fallen trunk here and there. Somehow, in the last part one has to make his way through big piled rocks. The picture below at right shows one of these areas.

Path to Jim Jim FallsPath to Jim Jim Falls

   The reward is at the end, under tall rock walls that block any chance of going further. There is a white sand beach and pools of still water. The only missing here is precisely the running water: there is no fall. The landscape is breathtaking and your imagination can add the missing vertical white line in the place where it should be. Our guide explains it’s difficult to see this place with the water fall as in the wet months when the water is falling, the park is isolated by the floods he commented yesterday while coming here.

Jim Jim FallsJim Jim Falls

Swimming at Jim Jim Falls

   This “detail” is not an obstacle to enjoy this beautiful environment and when Dale tells us crocodiles are not reaching this place and it’s safe to swim here we are in the water in no time.

   This time worth totally the early waking up. We’re feeling privileged when enjoying this place alone. We’re more aware of this when we’re coming back to the car park and see all the people is going to there in our way. This visit has taken around three hours in total.

Jim Jim Falls beachJim Jim Falls landscape

   We’re back in the rough road when we can see a regular car that hasn’t cared about this road labeled as 4WD only and is stuck in the sand. We leave the campsite behind and get a ride like the one yesterday until the blessed tarmac.

   We stop by a sort of lake full of birds for lunching. We use the rest of the same ingredients than yesterday for our fajitas. We can eat enjoying the landscape, and the come and go of the flocks.

Birds in a Kakadu's billabong
Birds in a Kakadu's billabongBirds in a Kakadu's billabong

   We then go to our last visit in Kakadu Park: Nourlangerie. This area is full of Aboriginal paintings over the rocks and termite mounds. The visit takes about one hour.

Nourlangerie's trackNourlangerie's track

Aboriginal paintings in NourlangerieAboriginal paintings in Nourlangerie

   Once back to the car park, Dale takes one of ant’s nests in the trees, made by some leaves put together, to show us the golden ants with green bottom I’ve being seen around this country. He explains if we suck this green part of the ant it tastes like lemon, and encourage us to do it. I don’t think we’ve done this entire long trip to Australia to end it by sucking an ant’s bottom, but I taste the water full of these ants to check that it takes some soft lemon taste from them.

Ant's nests in Kakadu's treesAustralian ants

   It’s time to come back, but before leaving the park, our guide makes a stop in a resort where we can use the swimming pool. We don’t go to swim as we’ve already changed our clothes after swimming in the Jim Jim Falls. We go to the store for drinks and souvenirs instead.

Swimming pool of resort we rest in before leaving KakaduIn our way back to Darwin

   Today is market day in Darwin and Dale leaves in the market whoever wants to go there and only we and the French family are delivered to the hotel.

Road back to Darwin

   At evening we go to look for the restaurant advised by Dale for dinner but, as we cannot find it, we finally take a taxi to Nando’s, where we already were the first day in Darwin, as it was good and cheap.