Saturday 5th June 2004
The first task today was to wash the caravan on the outside, fortunately
the inside scrubbed up pretty well last night. As in many states,
the water restrictions mean that a hose can not be used to wash
any vehicles, it must be done with a bucket and a sponge etc. Well
it took a while but the red dust has gone and both the caravan
and the Patrol look clean again. Then it was time for a good feed
of pancakes before contemplating what we would do next.
Our decision was to take it easy in the morning and later in the
afternoon we headed out of the caravan park and back down the Kakadu
Highway to Cooinda and Yellow Waters, some 54 kilometres to the
south of Jabiru. On the way we called in to a lookout car park
but on discovering that it was a 1500 metre walk to get to the
lookout and we didn't have that kind of time, we chose not to ascend
the lookout and continued on down to the boat jetty at Yellow Waters.
We arrived with some time to spare but not enough to visit to
Aboriginal Cultural Centre nearby, so we sat in the car park for
about fifteen minutes until the boat returned from a previous trip.
We finally boarded the boat at about 4.30pm and then set off for
a two hour cruise of Jim Jim Creek and the South Alligator River.
We had only traveled about five hundred metres when we saw the
first of the ten crocodiles we saw in the next two hours. The first
one was about three and a half metres long and had been given the
name 'Pluto' because about seven years ago he had eaten a dog the
someone had brought into the park (against the rules) and was throwing
the water for it to fetch. This crocodile played the game but it
was not the stick it fetched and it didn't return the dog either!
We continued on the cruise and were able to see a fair variety
of swampland flora and fauna which included a range of bird life,
a snake, fish jumping from the water and and even a few feral
pigs as well. Over the course of the two hours
larger crocodiles and even one that was poking his head over a
large root ball or stump that was about a metre and a half or
more up out of the water. On the return journey the boat cruised
through a forest of paper bark trees and water lilies, many of
them flowering in white and mauve colours (although they were called
Our cruise ended with the sun having set and the dying light giving
a good display of red, pink and orange colours in the clouds that
in the smooth swamp waters. This was a beautiful and peaceful sight,
however the smooth water was deceiving as it was hiding a large
number of primitive predators that do not hesitate in taking a
chomp out of anything they can get close to, including members
of the human race. Fortunately for us the boat did not sink!
After the cruise we then made our way back up the Kakadu Highway
to Jabiru and the caravan park where we were ready to settle down
for the night. As we did not return until about 7.30pm there was
not sufficient time to complete the web site and upload it before
our free time ran out so it was prepared and left for uploading
tomorrow night with the Sunday edition of our journal.
Tomorrow we plan to visit a few of the dry tourist sites within
Kakadu National Park and will be mobile a little earlier than today.