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Rich’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 04 Oct 2005

Location: Darwin - Cairns, Australia

MapSpent a couple of days in Darwin before we picked up the campervan which we will have for the next 2 months. We then headed south to Litchfield National Park for a couple of days. Spent time doing some walks and then cooling off in the waterfalls and pools. Stayed in a few of the National Park campsites, it was good to be out in the wild (and the cheap fees pleased Rich), though we would spend half the evening trying to get all the insects and bugs out of the campervan before bed.
Then headed over to Kakadu which turned out to be a real highlight. Spent 5 days doing lots of guided walks, talks, river cruises and watching the wildlife. Because we are here at the end of the dry season a lot of the billabongs have dried up which means the wildlife is concentrated around the few that still have water, makes it easier for us amateur birdwatchers. No swimming here though as its croc country and we managed to see a few which was cool. As well as the wildlife there is also a lot of aboriginal rock art going back up to 40,000 years. All the paintings have significance and we learnt a lot about the legends of the good and evil spirits which are in the form of animals like the Rainbow Serpents and people like Lightening Man. To be honest I think Rich was a bit scared at times, but he hid it well.
After Kakadu we headed south to Katherine. Spent a half day canoing in the gorge and on the other morning we did a gorge walk.
After a night in the the hot springs in Matalanka we headed south to Threeways (a roadhouse on the junction of two of the main outback roads) and then east to the Coast. In all took about 3 full days solid driving through barren outback country until we reached Cairns. Not much traffic on the road though we were slowed down a bit when we came accross a road train that had lost its load of fruit and veg, had to hang around while they cleared the road. Tonnes of food just piled by the side of the road and I could tell Rich was tempted just to nip out and take a few freebies (would have lasted us a fair few weeks).
Hoping for some rest and relaxation on the East Coast.