Monday 8th July
We left Daly Waters after filling up with fuel, and headed to Katherine Gorge. We had a couple of stops planned for this journey, which broke the driving up for me, as it was my day of driving.
Our first stop was Mataranka Hot Springs. This was a gorgeous pool of crystal clear, warm water! Crocodiles inhabited the area, however the springs were safe to swim in, so we joined the other tourists and jumped in! All except Holly, who didn’t realise how deep it was, and stepped off the bottom step, only to disappear under the water haha! It was a lovely place, and we stopped to enjoy lunch there too.
The next stop was Cutta Cutta Caves. Unfortunately we arrived 15 minutes before closing time so were unable to go in and have a look at the caves, but it looked like a very nice national park!
Our campsite tonight was a spontaneous find – we arrived in Katherine and realised we had nowhere to stay so had to quickly google and find a cheap one! Not only was the one we found cheap, it was also very picturesque! We were surrounded by fields, some of which had cows in. We tried to befriend them but they weren’t very interested! As the sun set, Tom got our camera out and we spent a little while playing with it to take cool pictures of the night sky! It was a beautiful sky, all twinkly, and we could clearly see the Milky Way.
Tuesday 9th July
Today we planned to stay in Katherine another night, so we got up and headed to Nitmiluk National Park. This is the place to find the Katherine Gorge. We expected this to be a waterfall… this was not the case! We did a short 2 hour-ish walk, via the river. It was boiling and there was not much shade! My highlight was seeing all the bats hanging upside down in the trees! So cute!
Wednesday 10th July
It was our final day in the camper today! The last journey rewarded us by giving our first glimpse of wild kangaroos (3 of them!) and a kookaburra! We split the drive between us, doing about an hour each, all the way to Darwin. It was sad to say goodbye to our lovely camper but we had a new city to explore!
We ditched our stuff at the YHA Hostel, and headed out for an exploratory walk. After finding the nearest beach, we continued further into Darwin, to a safer water area – the beach is home to crocodiles so isn’t the safest place, and you certainly don’t want to swim in it! They have a man-made beach next to the wave lagoon, which is not home to any crocs, but we found some hermit crabs and fish whilst paddling!
Thursday 11th July
Today, Tom and I headed just down the road to Crocosaurus Cove! Here we met lots of different crocs, and learnt a lot about them!
Did you know…
Crocodiles remember faces! If you have a routine, for example, jogging along the beach every morning, the crocodile will recognise you and your routine, meaning they know when to attack.
A crocodile will also lose its teeth multiple times a year, and a new set will grow back.
As well as learning lots of new things, we also got to stroke a baby croc! They feel very squidgy, and apparently have needle like teeth!
After learning all about crocodiles, we met back up with Holly and hit the wave lagoon for the afternoon. We had a noodle, a rubber ring, and a bodyboard to float around on.
Once we’d changed, we grabbed an uber and headed to the Mindil Beach Sunset Market! Here we met up with one of my old travel friends, Tristan, and his girlfriend Bri. It’s been almost 3 years since I last saw Tristan so it was awesome to catch up!
The sunset market was a bustling market, filled with lots of stalls selling food, crocodile skin, crystals, clothes and jewellry (I may have bought a wave ring to add to my ring collection…).
We said goodbye, and headed back to our hostel, where it was still happy hour on cocktails so of course we had to have goodbye drinks with Holly! Holly headed off to the airport later that evening, ready to start her farmwork adventures!
Friday 12th July and Saturday 13th July
Two days of chilling and brainstorming led us to the idea of buying a campervan! Cut to Saturday and we viewed an awesome Mitsubishi… and bought it!
To celebrate, we moved out of the busy hostel and into the peace and quiet of a motel – with a pool!
Sunday 14th July
We leant into the tourist side of the city today and visited the Darwin Botanical Gardens. We saw lots of cool flowers and plants, on a nice walk. We decided to have lunch there too which was super yummy (if a tad on the expensive side!).
We had a bit of time left over in the afternoon so headed to a place called Aquascene. This was advertised as a place where you’re able to feed wild fish! However when we arrived, a customer walked out and told us the water was too murky to see much, so we saved ourselves $15 and sat on the rocks to watch the sea and mangroves for a bit. A chill end to an action packed week.
Next week… Week 4
A little place called Berry Springs