From Katherine to Darwin

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Edith Falls.

After a brief stop in Katherine it was onward to Darwin our second time in the top end! We drove the 60klm round trip out to Edith Falls as we were told not to miss seeing it.Made it there later on in the afternoon thinking we could most likely pull up somewhere on the side of the road for the night as we had heard of a few buses out that way.Our visit to Edith Falls was short lived we parked in the bus area so we could have a quick look and camp further on up the road and come back in the morning.No luck! as the falls shut by 6pm we had only half an hour to enjoy it until the next day.Before we had even made it out the bus door the ranger was straight on to us saying no staying here over night as the park is shutting soon and you’ll need to drive back out until your out of the National Park.There’s a campground there but we didn’t have a chance at making it in not really made for buses.We had a very quick look and then left just as the ranger was doing another round of the carpark.We drove on out of the park entrance and looked for a place to park, nowhere really and we had a shocker of a time turning round. A bit annoyed with it all we lef the place and ended up parking in a truck rest area that night and are still contemplating whether or not to visit on the way back down.

The next day we headed for Adelaide River stopping off on the way at Pine Creek for a look around and Hayes Creek as well.That night we stayed in a parking area near The Adelaide River museum.The next morning we were lucky enough to get a spot at the ARRS the place was busy when we first pulled in but the numbers have now dwindled as the build up has come.It has a pool and the charge was $110 a week when we arrived but has now increased to $132 a week and they only charge for over 16 year olds. It’s a great place to base your self for exploring the surrounding areas.

Old Tin Mine Litchfield

The ARRS is where we stayed for about 8 weeks,in this time we drove out to Litchfield four or so times visiting everything accessible by our van.We started at the far end of the park and worked our way back.First on the list was the Old Tin mine,cool looking back on a bit of mining history.Next along was Walker Creek not bad ,allot of bush around the swimming hole though but clear water,after that we walked the 4 k return walk up to Cascades,thinking it was pram friendly but got mixed up with Wangi Falls.We ditched the pram halfway and ended up carrying a couple of the little kids.The walk would be easy if you didn’t have a pile of gear and little kids in tow.After some rock climbing toward the end plus Beaudine and I having a bit of a fall we finally made it to a beautiful waterfall with smaller water falls further on up the stream.Wangi Falls was the next stop along but too late for a swim first time there so on our second trip back we had a swim,nice and easy access.We took it in turns to swim over to the water falls the quickest swim the kids and I have ever had we were a bit worried after reading the signs they have in place there for crocs.For us Tolmer Falls was next,awesome view!  We then visited Florence Falls,they have a viewing platform and a walkway with a few steps down to the lagoon at the bottom but worth it.This is where Dajarra had a close encounter with a tree snake he was after a frog that was sitting by her side Maddison spotted the snake first and we couldn’t quite hear what she was screaming out,we all thought she was saying croc! so we were frantically trying to get out of the water,until we realised it was a snake. Buley Rockhole was our favourite at Litchfield for swimming,great for little kids and older ones too! with so many rock pools there’s something to suit everyone.

Cascades,Litchfield

Cascades, Litchfield
Wangi Falls

The snake that Maddison spotted near Dajarra

We spent 18 months in Darwin a few years back and did all the tourist attractions back then so this time we gave them a miss and explored more of the outer regions,though we enjoyed watching the sunset in  different locations throughout  Darwin including Mindil Beach where we visited the markets a few times and had a few lessons in whip cracking with Mick from Micks Whips! .Another thing we did allot of this time was sitting in the park of the esplanade having dinner while a few local possums paid us a visit. We also took a visit to the wave pool which was under construction last time ,cool Fun! for our family we paid $26 dollars for the day and for anyone who hasn’t been there they have boogie boards,tubes and balls available which is included in the entry fee.The water slides at Leanyer water park were also great.We made so many trips to Darwin in the 8 weeks there ,love the place!we did have the option to stay a little closer to Darwin at Freds Pass, a reserve south of Darwin for only $135 a week but passed on the idea and enjoyed being based at Adelaide River.

A trip we promised the kids last time was a jumping croc tour which we did this time round. We went with the company called Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise.They are situated not far from the turn off to Windows of the Wetlands which we paid a visit to after the croc cruise.We turned up for the 11am croc cruise right between low tide and high tide,as they say low tide is better for the crocs when jumping out of the water.We watched the buffalo’s rolling around in the mud while we waited and all the kids held a python,then all a board we went.We chose the bottom level of the boat but could also go from bottom to top deck.We saw quite a few crocs and summed it up as being a great experience seeing them in the wild.

Another drive we did was along the Gold Loop we took the northern turn off just near Hayes Creek and finishing off near Pine Creek.It takes you through a few old world war 2 sites near Brock’s Creek but not much left of them though,then onward to Grove Hill a old Hotel with allot of character,the owner is Stan and Mary they have been there for 12 years.Stan gave the kids a few fossicking bags and a mud map of where to get some crystals from.He had quite a collection  of old things and one room was set up to resemble yester year with all it’s old wares,a old fashioned bathtub stood in the room and in it sat a big fat rat we thought it was dead until all of sudden it moved glad to see the kids learnt their lesson from Kiana’s infected finger from the last rat and left this one alone.Next stop was the old Burrundie cemetery ,only a few marked graves there, up the road is the old township where all that remains is allot of concrete slabs a chimney and a old railway siding  but further on up the track are two underground explosives magazines, one above ground and the other below. We walked into the above ground one but didn’t bother with the underground one as it was full to the bottom step with  water.Our last stop for the day was Spring Hill mine we walked amongst the battery and ruins that are left still standing.

Burrundie,above ground explosives magazine

Underground explosives magazine, Burrundie

Spring Hill Mine

Douglas Hot Springs was another favourite of ours,we visited this place a couple of times,the water temp in some parts can be 60 degrees so you move around until you find an area that suits.You can camp out there but no dogs allowed,they do have toilets and there’s quite a bit of room.On the way out to Douglas Hot Springs going from Doorat road is Robin Falls,it’s a bit of a walk up to the falls along a bit of a rocky walkway,it was hot when we were there so it was nice to cool off in the falls. Pete was the only one who climbed on further up the cliff face to have a look from up the top over the falls.The walk back Tyrrheanna found one huge brown snake skin,glad we didn’t see the owner of the skin.Further on down from the falls in the creek is also a nice swim spot where the water is clear.

The very top of Robin Falls
Robin Falls

Snake Creek

Another thing we explored allot of in the Adelaide River area were the world war 2 sites ,so many old runways and bases one that stood out was a armanent depot ruins at Snake Creek a couple of the buildings are still standing the railway line is still there and what use to be the old hospital bed frames are still sitting there most of it though has copped a hiding from fires over the years.Amongst it all  are over 15 bunkers tucked away in the hills.There’s a sign post with a map so if your keen you can reference the map with the ruins that are left, it has a little more meaning to it when you know what buildings once stood there.

A old bunker snake creek
Snake creek Armanent depot ruins

The crash site of a B-24 Liberator is another place we went out to! It crashed back 1945 during world war 2 the crash site was about 3 k from Fenton airstrip on a road most likely cut off during the wet season .There’s no signs on how to get there and since our first visit they now have new signs up on the gates saying private property, no camping ,shooting or fires.There’s not allot left of the plane as over the years so many parts of it have been taken.Two men died in the crash and were buried at Adelaide River War Cemetery where we also paid a visit to.The girls went among the graves and laid a flower on each and everyone of them.

The Crash site of a B-24 Liberator
Adelaide River World War 2 Cemetery

Most people have seen Crocodile Dundee and if you can remember the buffalo who featured in the movie with one of the largest set of horns,he now resides on top of the 303 bar at the Adelaide River Hotel.After his appearance in the Crocodile Dundee movies he took up residence at the back of the Hotel where he was admired by passing tourists and spoilt by his owners with his liking for carrot cake.He passed away in 2000 and was preserved as they couldn’t be without his presence.Charlie was his name!

” Charlie” the Buffalo

holidayroad@y7mail.comFrom Katherine to Darwin

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