A Travellerspoint blog

Kakadu/Mary River

5th Feb- 8th Feb 2013

sunny 38 °C


Mary River, Kakadu and Bark Hut Inn

We left Darwin and Headed for Kakadu. Because we had Tyso with us, we decided to stay at Mary River Caravan Park, which is right on the edge of Kakadu, about a 110km drive to the visitor center. We got up early, left the old mate in the air con and ventured off to the world famous Kakadu.

We were both extremely disappointed with Kakadu. Nearly three quarters of the roads were closed, due to the wet season, even though the Kakadu web site strongly recommends to visit during the wet. We honestly felt like a number walking into the tourist information center where none of the staff could be bothered been there let alone to help you out.

With an entrance fee of $25 dollars to the park per person, which I wish I didn’t pay, we got to visit 1 gorge. The place was amazing, with incredible rock art, with a beautiful walk. It moved both Jenna and I to see a real Aboriginal site where the people used to live and socialize.

The best thing about staying at Mary River, is it was also close to the world famous Barramundi fishing spot called Shady Camp. That is until I get there its world famous!!! I have heard people describe the place as “like shooting fish in a barrel” but I couldn’t catch a thing. My excuse is, it’s the worst wet season in 42 years, so the old fella’s say, and shady camp is a famous “Run Off” spot with really need to be fished after or during the wet. Basically, no rain equals no fish. Just my fishing luck.

We headed out to a gagudju caravan/park/lodge for lunch. They had a nice outdoor eating area with good meals reasonably priced. We couldn’t stay there as no dogs allowed.
We also stayed a night at the Bark Hutt Inn. This is just a road house with a pub, with some accommodation out the back. It was nice, with good gardens and shady clean sites. They had some farm animals chickens/ dugs/ emus/ water buffalo on site, however the area wasn’t well kept, it was very dirty and the little amount of water the animals had was brown and dirty.


Posted by Jenaben 18:37 Archived in Australia Tagged darwin kakadu mary_river jabiru Comments (0)


30th January -16th February 2013

sunny 38 °C



We left Litchfield Tourist Park with heavy hearts due to Tyson being sick, but we were determined to let him enjoy his days out, weather it be a year or a few months. Jenna now has him on a anti cancer super diet, so fingers crossed we have his company for a while longer yet.

We arrived into Darwin and checked into Hidden valley Caravan park in Berrimah. The park is really nice, and we had an ensuite site, as most of the park was closed for the wet season. The rates were $45 per night, plus $5 dollars per night for the dog, but Jenna found a special on the internet, stay 6 nights get the 7th free, which brought it down a bit.


The park is only a 10 min drive into the city Centre of Darwin, which is great because a lot of the other parks are a fair way out of town. This was a chance for us to have a catch up on a bit of maintenance and a massive clean out of the van.

We went straight to the Darwin Waterfront and we couldn’t believe the infrastructure that was there. A massive wave pool, with shops, and bars, it really is a great spot for the locals!!!

We visited the Darwin Botanic Gardens where we read that Dogs are welcome!!! Something that you defiantly don’t see everyday. It was great to walk around and have a look at the different garden sections.


We also visited the war oil tunnels, and were blown away by how much action Darwin actually saw during the war. It was amazing there was so much confrontation right on our doorstep.


One of the highlights for us in Darwin was the Wildlife Park. Usually we don’t like zoos or other places that cage up animals, however this was really well done with the animals not being to confined. We walked around the whole park throughout the different sections , the animals were either left in their natural habitat or had large areas of space to move around in. Not stuck in tiny little cages. Cedar really enjoyed this too, even if she did fall asleep half way around.

We also attended the Museum. We were amazed by the exhibits, especially the devastation caused by cyclone Tracy. They really have done a great job of recreating what happened for all of us to remember. There is also a great bike/walk path which hugs the ocean starting out the front of the museum. We rode our bikes around this pathway which was a great way to get abit of extra exercise in.


We met a couple at the caravan who we had dinner with a few nights, they took us to the boat club for dinner one night and we watched the spectacular sunset , a definite must whilst in town.

On top of all this, we visited the three main weekend markets around Darwin. Jenna was in her element here, with all the fresh fruit and veg, and I was in my element with all the Asian foods including steamed pork buns, and pork and prawn dumplings. I can never resist a dumpling!!!

The markets we went to were Nigtcliff, Rapid Creek and Parap. All of these stall holders also go to the main Mindell beach markets which were closed due to wet season. We did experience a negative whilst at the Rapid creek markets shopping. Some jerk pulled back our UHF aerial so it flicked back hitting the bonnet causing a aerial sized dent . I guess you get idiots in every town, but we weren’t going to let this spoil our visit!


Jenna had her birthday in Darwin so we went out to dinner one night and as babies and casinos don’t mix, I dropped her at the casino so she could tick the Darwin Casino off her list of places to gamble. Yes she does have a gambling streak but no she didn’t win, “Sigh.”


Posted by Jenaben 21:58 Archived in Australia Tagged darwin wetseason Comments (0)

Lichfield National Park NT

24th January to 30th January 2013


Litchfield National Park

We had originally planned to stay at Tumbling Waters Caravan Park, but they were closed for maintenance. So by chance we pulled into the tiny town of Bachelor. We stumbled upon Litchfield Tourist Park, and it now stands as our very favorite caravan park we have stayed in. The park is only 4 km’s from the entrance to Litchfield National Park, so it’s perfect for us to leave Tyson in the air con comfort while we explore the NP. They are a very dog-friendly caravan park too, and even offered to check up on Tyson while we were away. For $30 per night, with a stay 4 get the 5th night free, it was unbelievable value.


The owners of the caravan park could not do enough for you, I really couldn’t recommend this place highly enough. On arrival they gave me a map of all the open swimming holes and bush walks worth doing. The day we arrived we visited Florence falls. After 150 odd steps, we arrived to the most perfect plunge pool with about a 12 meter waterfall for backdrop!! We all swam the afternoon away, with just 2 or 3 other family’s there. Amazing.




The next day we went to Tolmer Falls. We did the longer walk along the creek bed, as we are both still trying to lose a few Christmas kilo’s, and it was great. We popped out onto a very spectacular waterfall, with a natural arch! No swimming at Tolmer, so we headed to Greenant Creek for a swim.


Greenant Creek is not the most well known of the Litchfield walks, but the guys at the caravan park recommended it so off we went. It was about a 2.5km walk, uphill via a goat track, but defiantly worth it. At the very top of the cascading waterfall is a perfect little plunge pool that looks like an infinity pool, where the edge just drops away. It was amazing.




In-between all this, we had to take our faithful dog Tyson to the vet. He had a blood blister on his ear that needed to be treated, and a large lump on his rear leg. Unfortunately it was terrible news, as big Tyso has tumors all over his body. It was devastating news for us both, as he really is part of our family. I was thankful for the first time we had no internet or phone range, so we just holed up for a few days in Litchfield and really fussed over our big fella. We will let him see his days out with us traveling, not a bad way to finish off really. He was a rescued dog from RSPCA and Jenna looked after the whole litter of pups. We took him on, and he became my work dog day in, day out for the next 11 years. He really is a great dog.


After a few quiet days, we took of early in the morning to visit Cascades. This was the longest walk in that we would have, but is totally worth it. A rocky goat track up over the range, and then into the falls area. The cascades go for a couple of hundred meters, and at the end there is Curtain falls. Simply incredible to stand under the falls for a fresh dip after a hot walk.



We called into Wangi Falls after Cascades, knowing that we couldn’t swim, but just for a look. Very very spectacular falls to see. A kiosk was there but under renovation for the tourist season.



I know I have used a lot of words like spectacular, amazing, and breathtaking, but Litfield National Park should be on everyones bucket list to do. The place is Brilliant, and they really do know how to look after tourists over here. I love Perth more than most, but WA could really take a leaf out of their book, in reagrds to walk trails, sign posts and rubbish bins.

But all good things come to an end, and it was time to see the rest of ehat Darwin has to offer, so onwards we travel into Darwin City.


Posted by Jenaben 02:23 Comments (3)


23th-24th January 2013

sunny 38 °C

Katherine Northern Territory


We pulled into the Riverview Caravan Park in Katherine, because it was located nearest to the thermal springs. Little did we know that the springs were closed due to rainfall, and making the water unsafe to swim in. The caravan park was nice, a little bit old, but really well maintained. We had a nice spot at the back of the park all to ourselves, and for 30 per night, who can complain!

We were given a recommendation to visit Katherine Gorge, and what a recommendation it was. I booked the boat cruise thru the visitors center, and for $75 per head, we thought it a bit steep. But I can assure you, it was worth every last cent!

Katherine Gorge is 30 km’s out of town, and you pass thru some beautiful properties, and then enter the gorge region. It is just so green and picturesque at this time of the year. I said to Jenna, we could almost be in Denmark its that green!

Our boat tour guides name was Ben, so automatically he’s a top bloke. He was so informed and full of information, we both got a lot out of the tour. Its just breathtaking how beautiful the gorge is, massive vertical cliffs, waterfalls everywhere. Ben gave us a real insight into not only the Aboriginal heritage of the gorge, but also the first white settlers, and settlers who changed the face of the Northern Territory.

Katherine town itself was nothing special and we had heard not to walk at dark as it was quite unsafe however the actual countryside itself was well worth a look as it really was quite spectacular. After we realized the springs were closed, we shortened our visit to Katherine and decided to head of the next day to visit Litchfield National Park.


Posted by Jenaben 04:10 Archived in Australia Tagged waterfall crocodile gorge katherine Comments (0)

Fitzroy Crossing, Kununurra

17th January- 23th January 2013

sunny 36 °C

Fitzroy Crossing, Kununurra

When it was time to leave Derby, Jo had arranged some of her work at Fitzroy Crossing hospital, so we tagged along with them and camped at the Fitzroy lodge caravan park. It’s a beautiful park, and the rooms that Jason and Jo had were nice to. On the morning we left derby and into the day, Derby had a full on monsoonal shower, which I had to hook the van up to in!!! it was a great display of rain, lightning and thunder.


We went our separate ways the next morning after a quick visit to Geikie George, which was fairly closed of due to massive rains the night before. We headed out of town, through Halls Creek and we camped on the upper Ord River 24 hour stop. We had the whole place to ourselves, and Jenna cooked a delicious curry for dinner. It was our first night without the air con for a while, but it ended up raining for about 4 hours with a nice breeze blowing.


The next morning we woke with an easy drive into Kununurra. This is a very scenic drive, all the more because its in the wet season. Its as green and wet as Denmark at the moment, and its just stunning. My overall opinion to date of travelling in the wet season is Yes, it can be hot, but it’s a completely different place that in the dry season. We have seen some brilliant sites, and cant wait to see some more Rain!!!


We stayed at Hidden Valley Caravan Park, and although a bit older, it’s a great park, with nice lawn for cedar to run amok on. Tyso loved lying on the cool lawn under the Mango trees also.


Kununurra is a naturally beautiful town but Jenna and I were both shocked at how much litter there is. It is everywhere. The beautiful water ways with nice walk paths are just covered in litter. Down by Ivanhoe crossing, litter and fishing line everywhere. It is really sad to see no respect for such a beautiful spot. We stayed in Kunnunurra for a few days but wanted to keep moving as we had seen all the sites it had to offer on a previous Gibb River trip. We visited Ivanohoe crossing, The Grotto and a few other spots whilst in town.


We departed Kununurra excited at the prospect of seeing new things, as we had never ventured out of the state by road before. We took our obligatory photo of the two of us under the state border sign and continued on. I took some advice from some good people on the Bushtracker forum for this drive, and stayed in 4th gear towing at about 90 to 95km’s per hour. I got the best fuel economy of the trip so far.


20 km’s from timber creek, I had my first ever blow out on the caravan. The tyre just shredded but amazingly the van stayed nice and straight, and I was able to pull over no worries at all. A quick change, after sweating out about a liter, and we were back on. We pulled into an overnight rest area about 5.30 pm, which is late for us, but we were adjusting to the time change. A quick cook up of steak sandwiches, and then an early night.


Posted by Jenaben 21:14 Archived in Australia Tagged crossing fitzroy kunnunurra Comments (0)

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