And Hooroo Kakadu
With the immanent threat of a monsoonal trough developing and heralding some much-needed heavy rain to end the (relatively dry) wet season, we decided it was time to say hooroo to Kakadu and start making our way back to Queensland.
Before leaving we stopped at Bukbukluk Lookout for one last glance back across the park.
Covering 20,000 square kilometres (almost 5 million acres), it’s impossible to see every part of Kakadu. It’s impossible to see everything on offer especially during the wet season as many attractions and roads are closed.
But we didn’t let that spoil our visit.
We saw as much as we could, and loved everything we saw. Visiting at a time of year when most would not choose to do so, we were blessed to witness this incredible World Heritage Area at it’s best – rich and abundant with greenery everywhere, the wetlands full of water, copious volumes of water cascading from the Arnhem Plateau, and the temperature (believe it or not) rather pleasant. For the most part, the humidity was greater than 90%, so it’s a blessing the temperature was forgiving.
It was a little sad to leave and our visit to the Northern Territory seemed short considering the amount of time we’ve spent elsewhere, but this was our second visit. We’d spent a week visiting Uluru back in October, so with that in mind, and having seen what we came to see*, we started our long drive back to our home state – Queensland.
Though it would have been ‘nice’ to continue along Savannah Way – Australia’s Adventure Drive linking the east and west coasts across the country’s top end – but our mini home is not an ‘off road’ model and therefore it is necessary to bypass the Katherine to Normanton section. Only an extra 400 odd kilometres (250 odd miles), this sealed road detour passes south via Mount Isa and Cloncurry where you are able to turn left and then travel north along the upper section of Matilda Way, finally rejoin Savannah Way at Normanton. Exciting times lie ahead.
* Dean wanted to see a Water Buffalo but didn’t. Mind you, I did, but at the time Dean was driving and he missed it.
Where we stayed in the Northern Territory’s Kakadu and Arnhem Land Region
Location No 87 – Jabiru
We stayed at the Kakadu Lodge (and Caravan Park), and for the money it cost us, I expected more than what we got. The grass was more than ankle high, the pool was cool but surrounded by cracked and broken tiles and although the park had only one other caravan in it, not once did I find the toilets clean. Owned and managed by Aurora Resorts, I expected more. Dean disagreed with me about the park’s unloved feel, but only until we checked into our next stop.
Location No 88 – Cooinda
At Cooinda Campground and Caravan Park, we, or perhaps I should say “I”, found what I was looking for, yet DEan did agree with me. Cooinda is a beautiful space, obviously loved and cared for. The grass was cut, the amenities clean, and overall the park emanated pride. Managed by the Kakadu Tourism, an indigenous owned collection of business consisting of Kakadu wetland cruises, 4WD Kakadu tours, cultural experiences and Kakadu accommodation. They say they are focused on positive indigenous outcomes.
All I can say is – Well done and thank you very much for providing us with an amazing Kakadu experience. If you missed it, check out what I had to say about Yellow Water Billabong.
Because this update has become much longer than expected, stay tuned for Part Two later today.