Litchfield & Darwin, Australia

We spent our final day in the Northern Territory exploring Litchfield National Park and checking out Mindil Beach Markets in Darwin. After an early start, we sadly departed Kakadu and drove towards Litchfield National Park. Although Litchfield has some spectacular waterfalls and waterholes (all crocodile free), we were somewhat disappointed due to the plethora of people visiting the park. Unlike Kakadu which was sparsely populated with tourists, because of Litchfield’s proximity to Darwin, less than an hour’s drive south, it was busting with day trippers escaping the Northern Territory heat and bathing in the cool waterholes. We stopped briefly at Florance Falls and Wangi Falls, but found more ‘private’ waterholes along Walker Creek and Tolmer Falls. After a few hours of exploring the park, we headed towards Darwin to visit the sunset markets at Mindil Beach. These markets are on twice weekly, Thursday and Sunday night, starting at about 4pm and finishing at 9pm. Although not the best markets for handcrafted goods, there is a huge array of international food on offer, which you can take-away and enjoy whilst taking in the stunning Darwin sunset. We had an amazing time in the top end and would very much like to explore this fascinating area of Australia further. Untitled-23 IMG_5033 Untitled-24 IMG_5040 IMG_5041 IMG_5051 Untitled-25 IMG_5062 Untitled-26 IMG_5080 Untitled-27 IMG_5087 IMG_5102 Untitled-28 IMG_5108 Untitled-29 Untitled-30 IMG_5134 Untitled-31 IMG_5146 Untitled-32 IMG_5136 IMG_5167 IMG_5184 IMG_5188 IMG_5194 Untitled-34Essentials:

Getting Around:
Hire a car. If you’re thinking to take the less accessible parts of Kakadu and Litchfield, make sure you hire a 4WD. Cars can be picked up and returned from Darwin Airport.

Eat:
Mindil Beach Markets. A huge selection and the prices are great – we bought vege laksas for $8 and they were delicious.

Buy:
If you can find some original Aboriginal artworks, the top end is the place to buy them. Many galleries support local artists and art cooperatives. We purchased a bark painting at the Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Kakadu.

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Kakadu, Australia – Day Two

Our second day in Kakadu National Park was just as good as our first. After our laid back breakfast in our bush bungalow in Jabiru, we headed out for a long drive to Gunlom – a spectacular infinity pool, free from crocodiles. The majority of the drive was on the nice sealed Kakadu Highway. But from the turnoff to Gunlom, it was 4WD territory. A sedan could handle the first part of the unsealed road, and although the latter part didn’t require the 4WD capacity of the car, the road was extremely uneven, which required the height clearance of a 4WD to pass.

Gunlom plunge pool is located at the top of a mountain, and it’s a steep and strenuous 45 minute walk to the top. But it is worth the hard work and effort, as you arrive at a beautiful waterhole with a spectacular view as a backdrop.

After Gunlom we headed back north to Cooinda to embark on a sunset Yellow Water cruise. If I had to give a Kakadu highlight, this would probably be it. The two hour cruise takes you down Yellow Water were you see a plethora of birdlife and the odd crocodile or two. The river and the surrounding vegetation is spectacular, especially against the orange and purple hues of the top end sunset.

Back at our bungalow we had a BBQ dinner of local barramundi to top off our day.

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