During my 6 days in Darwin and national parks I managed to take about 2,200 photos, so I've spent hours sorting them into files, discarding some, etc, etc...
It was a dream trip, with amazing natural wonders and I loved every minute of it, even the sore and hot feet at the end of the day, after all the walking and climbing!
I'll probably do 5 posts about the trip as there is so much to show.
Joining Tom for the SIGNS meme, please check his blog for other signs from around the world.
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Day 1 - Departed Perth on Sunday 19th September at 11am, landed in Darwin at 4pm. A 3,30h flight, with lunch and I managed to watch 2 movies.
Travel to the Northern Territory involved an online application for a "border entry form" that can be applied for up to 7 days before travel and a 2G2 pass to re-enter Western Australia as a resident of the State, where you have to upload your vaccine certificate and declare your health status - no colds, coughs, etc.
I arrived by taxi at the Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel just before 5pm, met up with my 2 friends already at the hotel and we then walked to the very pretty and family friendly Waterfront, just 15min away. Bonus: I managed to snap a few murals on the way too.
|Photos taken on the way to the Waterfront - a church, Smith street pedestrian mall, Chinese temple, the ruins of the Town Hall that remained after the 1974 cyclone, a lawned area with a food market and Chinese dancers|
At 6,30pm we were back in the hotel's lobby to meet the other tour partners and our guide Paul. After the meeting we went to dinner at Tim's Surf & Turf in Litchfield street, just behind the hotel.
|The tropical restaurant Tim's Surf & Turf - I chose prawns and rice|
|Having breakfast outdoors|
Our first coffee/toilet stop was at the Litchfield Tourist park, for the tour guide to pick up the National Park pass for the group. The park covers about 1500km2, near the town of Batchelor, 100km south-west of Darwin.
|At the Litchfield Tourist Park Cafe - flowers at the park and our van|
We then drove to the Termite Mounds.
On one side of the parking lot, the cathedral termite mounds are impressive structures that can be as high as 4mt (13ft), constructed by termites that feed on grass. The mounds can live from 50 to 100 years and it's thought that a single termite queen can live for the entire life of the mound.
On the other side of the parking lot, the magnetic termite mounds have their thin edges pointing north-south and wide backs facing east-west. This regulates the temperature for the termites inside. They are built by a different termite and can be up to 2mt (6,5ft) high. These structures are unique to the Northern Territory.
There are lots of boards with information about the different termites and constructions.
Our next stop was at Buley Rockhole, for our first refreshing swim. Not many spots to sit and relax as the pool was surrounded by rocky terrain, but it was pretty with some gentle waterfalls and various swimming holes.
Florence Falls - the easiest pool go get into, it had a couple of metal steps leading to the water. There were also a few boulders in the water where you could sit and rest after a swim and and a narrow area where people sat and relaxed just outside the pool.
I didn't want to risk swimming to the falls as it can be very deep in certain areas, but a lot of people had foam pool noodles or other floating devices that made it easier to swim across the pool.
|Resting area surrounding Florence Falls|
|The Golden Orb spiders|
|Sunset from the hotel's window on the 22nd floor|
|Waterfront area - the restaurants are on the building at the end (top photo)|
|Wharf One restaurant - share plates|
After dinner we walked back to the hotel, repacked and had an early night as we had to check-out of the hotel the following day after breakfast, and would be picked up at 8,30am for our 3 day trip to Kakadu National Park.
|Map of Darwin's city centre - Our hotel was in Woods str (2nd from top, nr.27 on right)|
Map of our itinerary in the Litchfield National Park: