The top end

Friday, March 25, 2011

Back in December when my mom was here visiting us, my mother in law let us know that she would be giving us some of her air miles so that we could go and explore another part of Australia. Excited and very grateful, we started thinking about and researching potential destinations. For a while there we were stuck between the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru, the two must-sees of Australia. And then one day my mom was flipping through a coffee table book we have called Australia: 42 great landscape experiences. She found a photo of Kakadu National Park and said, "I want to go there." And that was that. We booked our tickets, our hotels, our rental car and off we went. Neither my husband nor I had ever been to the Northern Territory, or "the top end" as it's more commonly known, so it was a pretty big adventure for all of us. Here are some of my favourite photos from our trip...

Warning - image heavy post!

Botanic Gardens. First impressions of Darwin: it's hot. So very hot. Did I mention that it's hot? No seriously, the heat was a serious impediment to our touristing activities.

my mom and I
On our second day up north we drove to Litchfield Park. It was absolutely beautiful up there, but even hotter than Darwin because it's inland. This made it pretty hard to go for the walks and hikes that I had thought we could do. Instead, we went for really slow meanders with lots of stops.

The "town."

Florence Falls. Although Litchfield has several swimming holes and waterfalls, every single one of them except for Florence Falls was closed due to crocodiles. You see, we went in wet season and this had all sorts of repercussions we didn't anticipate. Wet season is the hottest time of the year, and the wettest (go figure). This abundance of rain means that the saltwater crocodiles have a field day and the areas that they usually don't/can't enter they now can. As my friend Kellie, who lived in Kakadu National Park for a year, explained: "It's the salties [saltwater crocodiles] that you have to worry about. The freshwater crocs are pretty much vegetarian." Me: "What do you mean pretty much?" As you will see in the sign below, even freshwater crocodiles can become aggressive, but most people ignore this. Anyway, although visiting in wet season did limit our swimming options it did make for some spectacular vistas.

That's me in the front waving to my mom.

Kakadu National Park

At the end of this really well laid out loop that takes you by some of the area's art, you can climb up to the top of Ubirr rock for a bird's eye view of the park. This was definitely the highlight of my trip.


* I'm away camping right now, but I hope you enjoyed this pre-scheduled post. xx


  1. Oh my goodness. I would not go swimming anywhere near "salties", or "unsalties". I had no clue there were saltwater crocs. Crazy.

    Love the picture with your back to the lens hands crossed above your head, and the clouds are breaking in the sky, nearing sunset-the scenery there is so lush and green, and the sky looks amazing. Also love the vibrant sunset photo.

    Seems to have been a lovely trip!

  2. i love that you posted about this! patrick and i have friends in darwin, and have been planning to visit them for a while... and i wouldn't mind going for a little trip down to see some of central australia as well. thanks for the inspiration :) x

  3. Love the photos of you on top of Ubirr rock. Also that swimming hole looks amazing. Too bad the crocs were taking over the other ones.

  4. These pictures are AMAZING! I can't even pick a favorite... Australia is SO beautiful. I think I have to add going there to my bucket list ;)

  5. Dang, what an adventure! I don't think I've ever seen a dingo - they're cute!

  6. Fabulous photos! & that heat, it is just like walking into a brickwall of heat, full on! I hope your mom enjoyed herself. Litchfield is my favourite place 'up' there, as well as Three Ways & Katherine Gorge. Enjoy your camping. x Katies x

  7. It looks simply amazing. I'd love to visit Australia some day.

  8. The art looks amazing - it must have been a real experience seeing it in situ. My sister-in-law and her family are in Darwin. Apparently they call the winter 'RAT season' - it stands for 'relatives and tourists!'


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