Joining Tom for the Signs meme
21 Sept 2021 - Had breakfast, then checked out of the hotel, as we would only be returning 3 days later. The tour guide picked up the group of 7 at 7am.
Our first stop was at Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve, about 70km from Darwin. We drove along the dam wall and stopped at a couple of lookouts to sight local birds. A beautiful and quiet spot, lots of waterlilies and a we saw mainly a lot of ducks. At one of the lookouts we were told by people there they had spotted a crocodile but we didn't see it while we were there.
The Humpty Doo Rice trail - was an experiment in the 1950's by a joint Australian-American company - Territory Rice Ltd - to irrigate the plain of the Adelaide River to produce a commercial crop of rice to supply to Asia!
Fogg Dam was then built by the Royal Air Force Airfield constructions squad to provide water for the Humpty Doo rice project. By 1959, the project which was a disaster was abandoned and Fogg Dam became a bird protection reserve, and the land was given back to the Northern Territory government.
|Murals with local birds at Fogg Dam- birds of Lilied shallows and birds of grassed shallows|
Next we stopped for coffee at the quirky Corroboree Park Tavern, and we also bought something to have for lunch later on. The tavern on the Arnhem Highway is halfway between Darwin and Kakadu National Park.
They also have accommodation, and they are know for keeping 2 crocodiles - Brutus the salty (salt water crocodile), famous for an encounter with a chain saw in 2016, and Fred the freshy (the not so dangerous fresh water crocodile), a couple of buffaloes (introduced from Asia) as well as a huge pig!
|The signs for Fred and Brutus the crocodiles and a tour bus for the over 50's 😆|
|Inside the bar area, a crocodile skin on the wall, white cockatoos, buffaloes and one fo the crocs|
About 1,20h later we arrived at the Mamukala Wetlands, considered to be one of the best birdwatching areas in the Kakadu National Park. (Time to start planning your next trip David 😉).
The park has an area of 20,000 sq kms (7722 sq mi), and is home to one third of Australia’s bird species, many of them not found anywhere else in the world.
The observation platform has murals illustrating the seasonal changes through the year. The area has a large number of magpie geese (usually at the end of August), jacanas, cormorants, purple swamp hens, finches and kingfishers that congregate in this billabong.
|We learned about the 6 Aboriginal seasons|
|Plumed whistling ducks, pied heron, cormorant, black necked stork (jabiru)|
The town has a lot of services - eating places, pool, sports oval, golf course, tourist accommodation (the Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel is famous for its crocodile shape), and an aerodrome from where the scenic flights over Kakadu depart.
|Jabiru sign, Mercure Crocodile Hotel, jabirus in the park|
We stopped for lunch at the man-made lake by the park which had been planned to be used for water sports by the residents/mine workers, but apparently a few months after its opening a salt water crocodile moved in.... so no more water sports!
|Park and lake in Jabiru, where we sat down for lunch|
After lunch we visited the Aboriginal-run Marrawuddi Gallery, that sells artworks created by Aboriginal artists living in Kakadu and surrounding region. They had books, clothing, bags, souvenirs, wall art... lots of beautiful things, but quite expensive (for me anyway!). The only souvenir I bought were two fridge magnets. There was a huge Aboriginal mural at the back of the gallery, which I'll post sometime. No photos were permitted inside.
|Signs at Cahills Crossing|
|The Alligator River crossing with boulders on one side and fishermen|