Lower Pool Koolpin Gorge, sunrise. See anything moving…?

Early morning outback selfie…Frightening….

OK, outback adventure, third and final installment, promise…Thanks for sticking it out…Up early, into Koolpin Gorge…Not psyched to climb all the way back up into the third pool, due to fatigue and general bad juju…Water calm, clear…hmmm… inviting….No Crocs evident, anyone up for a morning dip with the Salties…? What are the odds….?  A thousand times safer than the drive out here, statistically speaking, I’m sure….So there we were, feeding up “crumbed children” to the Crocs…(see the attached video evidence…) Some example of a father you are Dr Nolan…….I mean really…! Guards and lookouts posted, a quick dip…. no limbs lost, or even skinned up….Sublime…and a real wake-up, I guarantee…

Now, how can you say no…?
Fresh and baited

A fool’s bathtub…
Some rules are just begging to be broken


(Copy the above link to see shockingly bad parenting…LIVE!!)

The famous Archer Fish, spits water 6 ft to hit prey

Refreshed,  it was time to head back towards civilization, or at least a paved road. Miles to go, and miles to go……

The Sickness Country, sure looks nice to me…

Another oddity, this tree is in full flower, after having dropped all it’s leaves…

On the way out we stopped and saw some remains of Uranium mining, stopped in 1964. The area is riddled with unsafe mine sites and shafts, enter at your own risk…

The road out

River ford

Gunlom Falls

Next stop, Gunlom Falls, famous for having been a scene in the first Crocodile Dundee film, as well as the plunge pools above the main falls. It’s just a drive up to the campground and popular on weekends, but a beautiful spot indeed… Of course, being Australia, it just has to be a bit weirder…We were at the beach here, and I was about to jump in from a rock when I noticed this massive snake under water right below me, four feet long, as thick as my forearm, ISYN! Later, we learned from a ranger that it was most likely a harmless File Snake…but still…I mean REALLY, I think this country is trying to kill me….

Look again….a very large snake, 4 feet, right below….

 It seemed a bit better to climb up above the falls to swim. And it was; perfect cool pools under the tropical heat…

Above Gunlom Falls

Perfect plunge pools

Aussie outback rangers
Future Bogans at play….

Eucalypt savanna

 Back on the road again, out the southern entrance to Kakadu, then turning north towards Litchfield NP and in a few more days Darwin…

Wild Horses, aka Brumbies

Emerald Springs Roadhouse

Outback Art

 After a hot six hour drive, we made it into Litchfield NP. Not as remote as Kakadu, and a popular weekend destination for Darwinians…but the falls are fantastic, as good as Kakadu. We spend two nights camping rough, exploring and swimming…same old same old…

That sure feels good…Buley Rockhole


Water equals life…

Florence Falls

A monsoonal rainforest pocket
Excellent Aussie infrastructure

Falls approach

Florence Falls morning, all to ourselves

Snorkeling the pools

Wild paradise

A Flying Fox bat colony

River Pandanus Palms

The Lost City, limestone bluffs out in Nowhere, NT

Tolmer Falls; sacred, no entry allowed

Wangi Falls
A Golden Orb spider; huge, scary, harmless

Possibly a Brown Snake; non-descript, but extremely poisonous

Nankeen Night Heron
Carpenteria Palm rainforest above Wangi Falls

Above the falls

My wonderful young men; Luke 14, Aidan 10

Feral Hogs, a big problem wherever they’re found

 Getting closer to Darwin, we came upon a large field of Magnetic Termite mounds. A different species than the Cathedral, they actually orient their thin mounds North to South, keeping one side of the nest in the shade all day long. Internal temperature recordings confirm that this keeps the nest dramatically cooler than a random or East-West orientation…fascinating stuff….!

Magnetic Termite mound

Parap Markets

 After eight nights camping in the bush, and seeing many amazing things, it was finally back to Darwin for a final night. At least we had more markets, Asian food, swimming pools and souvenir hunting as compensation. And no more peanut butter and jelly!

Laotian savory rice pancakes, served with sweetened coconut water as syrup..Nice brekkie…!

Local street buskers
Darwin wave pool

 After all that swimming, the boys were still dying to try the Darwin wave pool…It was OK, but not exactly Florence Falls.

Vietnamese dinner…oh, yeah
East Point bluffs

 Our last day, we crammed in as much sight-seeing around Darwin as possible. East Point has a wonderful park with lots of WW2 fortifications. The Mangrove boardwalk was interesting, especially watching the locals spearfishing. We also managed a quick look at the Art Museum of the Northern Territory and Botanical Gardens ( both highly recommended and free..)

Darwin from East Point

Mangrove boardwalk

Spearfishing success    
Dinner…note the homemade spear, with rebar

WW2 gun emplacement

Glossy Ibis

Returning the Beast

Darwin Airport

 Finally, we were out of time and winging our way back home to Brisbane. It all seemed another world after the remoteness and timeless silence of Kakadu and the outback Northern Territory. After eleven days and ten nights out, I have to admit , it felt good to sleep in my own bed and get back into a comfortable routine. But the memories of unstructured hours in the wilds of the Top End with my two rapidly growing sons will bond us forever, and become the stuff of family legend and tall tales for years hence.  We are truly fortunate to have had those precious days and nights alone together. And our best wishes for you all reading is to be able to share similar time and experiences with your loved ones. The are growing up so very fast. Safe travels!  Luke, Aidan and DDU…


Wings over the Outback

Back home in Brissie

Great trip Dad, whoo-hoo….Where to next….?

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