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Litchfield National Park and Howard Springs Nature Park

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On the last day of our tour, we bade farewell to Kakadu and visited Litchfield National Park and Howard Springs Nature Park.  It was another scorching hot day in the Territory, so I was pleased that we were going to be near water.  Even better, we were promised a swim in the rock pools if we desired it - hooray!

Our first stop in Litchfield National Park was at the Magnetic Termite Mounds and Cathedral Termite Mounds.  The Magnetic Termite Mounds are so called because they are aligned north to south, and there are heaps of them  on display in a large field.  There are many more than in this photo:


Here's a close up of one of the mounds:


Just across the way from the Magnetic Termite Mounds are the Cathedral Termite Mounds, so called because of their towering structure:



This mound is over four metres tall.  It is hard to believe that something as small as termites could build such a magnificent structure.

Having seen the termite mounds, we headed to Florence Falls to escape the heat.  He…

East Alligator River and Arnhem Land, NT

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On our second day in Kakadu National Park, we spent the early part of the day looking at Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr, before going on another cruise, this time on the East Alligator River.  This cruise was very different to the wetlands cruise, and demonstrated how diverse the landscape is in Kakadu National Park.  Our cruise was by Guluyambi Cruises, which are run by the Aboriginal people of the Top End.


We were taken down the river in a boat by our Aboriginal guide from Arnhem Land, who skilfully negotiated the many snags in the river.  Along the way, he gave us softly spoken commentary about what we were seeing and its significance to his people.

This plant is used by the Aboriginal people to make fibres and medicine:


Some of the river bank was lined with sandy beach:

Don't you just love the contrast of these ghostly trees against the bright blue sky:


The scenery along the East Alligator River was breathtaking, but in a much more understated way than the wetlands:


You normally need …

Wetlands, Kakadu National Park, NT

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As part of our visit to Kakadu National Park last year, our tour group did a Wetlands Cruise on the Yellow Water Billabong.  This was my favourite part of the entire trip - the scenery and wildlife were just breathtakingly beautiful, and it is what I imagined when I thought of Kakadu National Park.

The tour started with a road trip from Darwin.  At our first rest stop, we saw this albino buffalo:


It was feeding time, so this buffalo was very pre-occupied with his breakfast.
We also saw this massive crocodile, which some of our tour group thought was not real, but believe me, I think this dude was alive and just waiting for someone to come in and test their theory:

After a visit to the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre, we headed out to our wetlands cruise by Yellow Water Cruises on these boats:

It was a stunning day, with sunshine, blue skies, and dark blue water:

There was a diverse range of birdlife at the billabong.  First up was a magpie goose:

Next up, we saw an egret:

This sharp look…

Aboriginal Rock Art, Kakadu, Northern Territory

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During our trip to the Northern Territory in May, we visited Kakadu National Park.  There is a lot to love about Kakadu, including the many examples of Aboriginal rock art that are open to the public to view.  We visited Kakadu with an AAT Kings tour group so that we were taken to the relevant places, and had a guide to explain what we were visiting.
On day 1, we visited the Nourlangie rock art gallery, which includes the Anbangbang rock art gallery.
First up is a man using a woomera to spear a kangaroo:

Here is a wallaby, I think:


This is a closeup of the man spearing the kangaroo, with the woomera clearly visible:


This looks to me like another kangaroo:

I am not entirely sure what is going on here, but it looks like a hunting scene to me:

One of the most distinct paintings is of this nasty individual, Nabulwinjbulwinj, a spirit who kills females to eat by hitting them with a yam:

This is Namarrgon, the lightning man (top right) and his wife, Barrginj (just under the large central figure).  …