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Monday, 7 September 2015

More of Kakadu, a glimpse of Arnhem Land and into Litchfield National Park. More beauty, more beasts.

The beauty and the beasts tour of Australia's Top End continues, as promised. Are you ready for the magnificence of Kakadu, Arnhem Land and Litchfield National Park. Sunscreen and hat? It's hot, even though it's still winter.


From the top of Ubirr Rock, a sneak peek of the Nadab floodplains that stretch all the way north to Van Diemen Gulf.



But, before we make it to the top, we wander through the gallery that tells us what fish and turtles we can catch … barramundi, long-necked turtles ...


A smorgasbord of seafood documented for generations, at least 2,000 years.

Smooth holes in the rocks show us where artists ground their ochres.


Mabuyu reminds us that if we steal we will be punished. (Death by entombment, for those who stole his fishing catch.)


Yellow footed rock wallabies and their young watch our progress.



High above us the painting of a Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger), 2 to 3,000 years old, looks down upon us.


No the artist wasn't really tall; the level of the land has changed and so, sadly, has the fauna.

Then, when we reach the top, the awe inspiring flood plains open up before us.



A photo together at the top.


On our descent, we pass the rainbow serpent


and what appears to be an arthritic elder.


The monsoon forest leads us back.





And now it's on to glimpse Arnhem Land. Our guides know this river and this land well; it is their home.



Kakadu National Park to the west, the mistakenly named East Alligator River in the centre, then, on it eastern bank, Arnhem Land and the escarpment. Stunning.


A few locals.





And Nevil, known well to our guides, with his tracker on his back.  Nevil is big, really BIG.


Litchfield is, for us, about bird life. Egret.


Purple swamp hen.


Some others I'm not brave enough to name (help me out brother please).



Giant termite mounds, that align north to south,


cathedral termite mounds,


waterfalls


streams,


 and swimming holes.


That's me. Loving it.




Perhaps because it's the weekend, this monitor lizard ventures out amongst the crowds to see what scraps he can find.




There is some evidence of Spring's imminent approach.



Sadly, the beauty and the beasts tour of the Top End concludes.

My advice … you must go and see it for yourself. It is stunning, awe inspiring, magnificent.

Hire a car in Darwin and take your time.

But never, ever swim where you see these signs!


I want to go back to see more.
Do you?

Are there secret spots that you know about that I should add to my next-visit list?

Are you convinced?
Are you ready to go?
There's so much more to see.