Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Darwin and Kakadu

The Top End

When you think Australia, you probably think Great Barrier Reef, Outback, kangaroos, perhaps a little Sydney and Melbourne thrown in. Just as the wallaby, the jilted - yet better looking - cousin of the much-heralded kangaroo is too often overlooked by the adoring masses, so is the city of Darwin. Sure, it holds the record with 500% humidity, but hey, it shares it's name with one great naturalist, and it is the jumping-off point for visiting Kakadu.

So you haven't heard of Kakadu? For shame! Okay, we hadn't heard of it before we started off, either, but two wrongs do not make a right. Kakadu is a World Heritage listed (means it's extra special) national park in the tropical Top End of the Northern Territory, jointly managed by the Aboriginal landowners and the Australian government. It is home to lots of plant and animal species, some of which we saw up close. Perhaps a little too close, given a python tried to cut off the circulation to Kate's arm, and talented crocodiles attempted to jump into our boat. Even the insects were amazing; we stood next to a termite mound at least 15 feet tall and licked the rear end of a green ant that was filled with vitamin C (because our guide told us to, not because we have a habit of licking ants' behinds).

There is actually wonder in Kakadu beyond the fauna. In fact, this is the land that Mick Dundee (and in our photo, a more civilized-looking Geoff) claimed as his 'backyard' in the Crocodile Dundee movies. It houses spectacular views, where you can sit atop rocky cliffs and look out over enormous expanses of green far below. Or, you can take the waterfall option - there certainly are plenty of them to go around - where you can amuse yourself by playing king-of-the-mountain or if you want to be like Kate, jump-off-screaming-like-a-banshee. For the more reserved, and less insane, there is a wide range of rock art, kindly provided by ancient Aboriginals -- figures in ochre and animal blood preserved for thousands of years. It is by all counts a magnificent land, well worth the time of any traveler.





Return to Homepage