NOW: DALY RIVER AND LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK
The top end had had a very long wet season so we’d headed up to Darwin hoping the roads and waterfalls would be open when we were ready to start travelling south and we were in luck. We couldn’t get to Douglas Hot Springs as the whole area was still under water but we got into Daly River and camped under the mango trees. I bet the fruit bats love it here in summer when the mangoes ripen!
About 100kms south of Darwin lots of people camp along the creek below Robyn Falls. The water was running clear and a cool dip was readily available. Another 100kms on you can camp under the 100 year old mango trees on the banks of the Daly River and take a cool dip in the swimming pool.
The old causeway still connects the Daly River township with the camping properties that line the river but most people use the new road access. Follow the signs because our Hema was a little lost. Lots of people come to this area to fish in some very little boats on a big river with very big crocodiles.
We’d also come to Daly River to catch barramundi and catch them we did! Much to the disgust of the 3 men on board our charter mine was the catch of the day and the only keeper, a 70cm barra. My second biggie was one centimetre short at 54cms and had to go back. I did land those whopper fish myself but the guide talked me through the whole battle. Lots of smaller fish were landed using live cherabin (huge prawns with big nippers) as bait. You can eat the cherabin if that’s all you can catch.
We’d intended to travel up the Reynolds River Track to Litchfield but the road was still closed because of the long wet so we went around through Batchelor and on to Florence Falls. With pool noodles in hand we swam all afternoon in the plunge pool at the bottom of the falls.
When you camp here you can wander down to the plunge pool before the tour groups arrive and float under the waterfall and across the pool all on your own. After lots of floating we did spend the afternoon dozing in our chairs in the shade.
Wangi Falls was not yet open for swimming. In fact there was a crocodile trap in the swimming pool still waiting for a resident. You can view Tolmer Falls from a short walking track and lookout platform. Access is restricted to the falls themselves but it looked a rugged climb. Buley Rockholes were open and we sat in the rushing water coming over the rock ledge from the pool above. Some of the local kids did somersaults and landed in the deep holes with a splash.
After we packed up our camp we had another dip in Florence Falls to cool down. When we stopped at Adelaide River our Melbourne friends saw our emus, made a u-turn and pulled in behind us. What are the chances of us both being in Adelaide River at the same time while heading in opposite directions? You just never know!
When travelling on really hot days our Redarc charger seems to overheat and cut out. We visited the sparky in Katherine who suggested we give the freezer more air space. We’ll see but it would take him a week to get a new one anyway. We had more success getting our permits for Nhulunbuy when we visited the Land Council Office in Katherine for the transit permit and applied on line for the others. We’re heading to Nhulunbuy after the Big Red Bash in Birdsville. We really travel all over the place like an emu! The hot springs in Katherine were a good place to relax after sorting all our business out.
NEXT: NORTH TO KAKADU
See you on the Emu Track
Cheryl and David