Around 3 am I must have drifted off to sleep. Rain was falling heavily on our tin roof. It is a pretty sound at night. When we got up and ready to leave looking outside I realise we hadn’t been the only people staying here. In fact there were several caravans down further. Not only that, the AAT Coach line trip from Darwin to Litchfield stop in ‘because the food here is really good ‘ . Ha ha I obviously read too any freaky stories 🙂 I do tend to have a good imagination and the ability to turn nothing into a really good story ( I sense you all thinking “no, never” and laughing )
Today we headed to Litchfield National Park. It is only about an hour and a half drive from Darwin. Litchfield National Park features numerous waterfalls and streams which cascade from the sandstone plateau of the Tabletop Range.
The first tourist stop was at the Magnetic Termite Mounds. It appears like hundreds of tall tombstones . Probably lucky I hadn’t seen this yesterday 😉 They are built by magnetic termites and have arches, tunnels, chimneys, insulation and nursery chambers. The mounds are aligned north to south to minimise the exposure to the sun. This helps with cooling.There are also cathedral termite mounds here. The cathedral termite builds a column styled mound . The build them up to about 6 metres high. As the younger termites grow they begin making their own nests. When the colony dies out in the large one ( with young left home and building new colony nests ) the tall nest is used by small animals for a home. Termites are not in fact ants. They are actually part of the cockroach group eating cellulose from grass and wood while ants are scavengers.
Magnetic Termite mounds
Cathedral Termite mounds
Driving on from these majestic tower and eerie tombstones we visited the Buley Rockpools . Buley Rockpools is a stream which has formed rock pools of varying sizes and depths as it makes it way down to Florence Falls. Brian swam in the rockpools , I splashed in a shallow one 🙂 The water was tepid far from cool but still it was refreshing. The heat here near the water is bearable. It is exhaustively hot however , away from the water and trees.
We were quite hungry by noon having not had breakfast and drove to Wangi Falls as the only open kiosk was there. We ate the best hamburger…the type that has meat , lettuce tomato, beet root, egg, bacon , pineapple and onions. DELICIOUS !!! We then walked the 80 m to the Wangi Falls plunge pool to swim. This swim involved a certain amount of trust in the Parks and Wildlife people. Salt water crocodiles and freshwater crocodiles visit here during the wet season , but rarely in the dry season ( that’s the season of the moment) . Traps haven’t caught anything ( aren’t crocs supposed to be smart though) . It was a really pretty sight with two falls cascading down. The thunderous tones of the waterfalls is audible from the car park about 100 m from the waterfall. The pool has a concrete step with handrail into the water which makes entry easier. I sat on the steps . The water was cool and refreshing, little fish swam around my feet. Brian took off to swim to both falls. The larger of the falls he said, tumbled really hard on you.
We had one more ‘must see’ left in this park ( well ‘must see ‘if you only have a 2WD car like us…4WDs can get to more things ) which was Florence Falls. I read the 135 steps down ( translates to 135 steps back up !!!! ) and decided to give it a miss. I preferred the photos option for this. Off trudged Brian armed with towel water and camera .
Time to head to Darwin. There was no Internet yet so had to wait until we were near Humpty Doo to be able to search for a hotel for the next two nights. how arc could it be to find a room not too expensive for two nits in a city ?? Well I shall tell you !! It wasn’t dissimilar to another experience I had in another city – Hobart. Rooms that normally sold for say $300 we’re advertised at around $700!! Then there weren’t even many of those with vacancies. Vacancies were as you can see at a literal premium. I didn’t want to do another caravan park cabin ( metal even with air con in this climate is hot). So , I saw one in the main street of Darwin for only $105. Ok it was budget but in a city I thought how how could it be?? Well it could be really bad!! I was just looking for clean with a comfortable bed and air con. On arrival in our room the Ghan cabin was starting to look huge when in the perspective of train size compared to this. To enter the bathroom one of us had to stand hard in the room corner so the other could pass to go in. I like two pillows so I took the one from the single bed and it had dirty fingerprints. I went straight to front desk. They changed the pillowcase and came back to the room to check it out. She said the rest was clean ( which it was). I said I wanted to cancel the second night which she obliged but said she couldn’t refund tonight’s ( lets face it I couldn’t be any accommodation anyway and she probably knew that judging by the line at the front desk looking for accommodation. She offed a bottle of wine to make the night better but I explained I wasn’t looking for to be bought 🙂 retrospect I should have accepted it ha ha.
Ate out at a really good Indian food restaurant and finished with cold rock ice cream.
We returned to our box and found a night in the travelodge for tomorrow night. Thankfully all the rooms re returned to regular prices 🙂
Tomorrow will be our last day on holidays. It has ran away so fast 😦