Crocs, dingoes and galars. Welcome to Australia. Northern Territory part 1

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Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Alice Springs
November 10th 2011
Published: November 22nd 2011
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Northern Territory

Mimi spiritsMimi spiritsMimi spirits

They are said to live in the rocks
Crocs, dingoes, (flaming) galars and other birds, kangaroos, wallabies, sharks, poisonous snakes and spiders, killer jellyfish, bush-tucker, and now, us.

A few simple truths are quickly confirmed to us soon after we arrive in the world’s smallest continent. The variety and diversity of wildlife is inescapable; the landscape is bewildering vast; everyone really does say ‘no worries’.

It’s also a pleasure to reacquaint ourselves with some ‘first world’ pleasures: fresh milk; wholemeal bread; drinkable tap water; wine; enlightened attitudes to recycling; punctual public transport. Of course, it all comes at first world prices. No more eating out twice a day for us – not that we had much choice in Indonesia.

It was a pleasure to be cooking our own food again. We contrarily celebrated our arrival at Alice Springs, the furthest we’ve ever been from the open sea, by making fisherman’s pie, a favourite from back home.

Earlier, on our first day in Darwin, home to over half of the NT’s 200,000 residents, we overhear the TV news announcing that Lonely Planet have designated the city one of the top ten to visit in the world. It does boast an excellent and varied museum, with permanent exhibits ranging from aboriginal art, natural history and maritime exploration. It’s also home to two attractions that make Darwin somewhat less appealing – a huge (stuffed) saltwater crocodile, and two rooms dedicated to the horrors of cyclone Tracy, which flattened the city on Christmas Day 1974.

So, if you do plan to visit Darwin, avoid ‘the wet’, which runs from December to March. Also, avoid the five or six months a year when the sea is off-limits due to killer box jellyfish. Actually, it’s best to avoid the sea altogether; aggressive saltwater crocs don’t mind what time of year they eat humans.

Another of Darwin’s plus points is this it provides a good base for exploring the ‘Top End’, including two national parks, Kakadu and Litchfield. This means a good base in Australian terms – Kakadu is still a three hour drive away – but it was worth the trip. It’s teeming with wildlife, particularly in the waterways. Take a look at the many pics and you’ll see what we mean.

More to follow in Northern Territory part 2...

Additional photos below
Photos: 31, Displayed: 23


Swimming in DarwinSwimming in Darwin
Swimming in Darwin

Despite being surrounded by the ocean, box jellyfish and saltwater crocs necessitate pools like this one.
Termite moundTermite mound
Termite mound

Kakadu national park

Apparently he strikes females with his yam-head, then eats them. Beware.
Nabulwinjbulwinj and Namarrgon Nabulwinjbulwinj and Namarrgon
Nabulwinjbulwinj and Namarrgon

Namarrgon, the lightening being, is to the right. The belief is that it played a central role in the creation of the landscape.
Wallaby at Burrunggui, KakaduWallaby at Burrunggui, Kakadu
Wallaby at Burrunggui, Kakadu

The huge rock at which all these paintings reside.
Hunting sceneHunting scene
Hunting scene

Burrunggui, KakaduBurrunggui, Kakadu
Burrunggui, Kakadu

There is a story about an incestuous lover throwing herself off this rock, being saved by the elders, but then turned into a rock.
Saltwater crocodileSaltwater crocodile
Saltwater crocodile

They attack for fun!
Unidentified bird 1Unidentified bird 1
Unidentified bird 1

Any ornithological experts out there?
Kakadu boat tripKakadu boat trip
Kakadu boat trip

From where many of these photos were taken.

22nd November 2011

Lonely Planet recommends?
Clearly the Darwin tourist board are sponsoring Tom... Love the photo of the great egret, it's beautiful. Vxx
24th November 2011

Looks like your having a ball. XX
6th December 2011

The Birds
Fantastic photos of the wildlife, particularly the birds! Where's the jellyfish, still in his box?

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