Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The silence of Crocodiles....

Ok get your suitcases out, we're off again! This time we're going to Darwin, at the top end of Australia, a four hour 30 minute flight north from Melbourne to visit Kakadu National Park.

Looking out from the airplane window on landing we can see the afternoon monsoonal rains have been through. The place looks green, like it's had a good hose down. "Welcome to Darwin where the local time is 5.15 pm and the temperature is 25 degrees celsius." Nice we think...until we step out and the humidity of the tropics hits immediately, it feels steamy hot.


We discover that we are in the lowest of low seasons in the Northern Territories, and if you are prepared to travel there at this time of year, there are benefits to be had. Like no-one around, and free up-grades galore.

We are soon driving off in our 4-wheel drive Nissan X-Trail. We booked a Holden Cruise - thank you Europcar! The car comes with only 100 km's per day included in our rate and with our journey ahead we're pretty sure we will cop an excess mileage charge....watch this space... However we are told with very few roads to take, they'd be impressed if we get lost...

It takes just over an hour to reach Mary River Wilderness Retreat and we are welcomed with advice to stay well back from any waters edge to avoid the crocs and an upgrade to a pool cabin! Our room key is attached to a torch and we are soon feeling very young explorer, searching for our cabin by torchlight.


The cabin is great and without a TV, wifi or telephone reception we think the word Retreat sums up any stay at Mary River Wilderness resort! We wake to the sight of the Agile wallabies lolloping around the pool area, as if they own the place. Clearly no-one has told them that we crept in under the cover of darkness...and they look a little surprised to see us emerge into the dawn...


We set off on the bamboo walk on a crocodile hunt...and come across a strange green door in the bush that leads down to the billabong. We push through the long wet grass, our socks are already ringing wet, and sloshing around in our shoes, the sun rises and the heat intensifies...


"Woah" we stop dead in our tracks. Ahead is a massive spiders web stretched out across from path from bamboo pole to bamboo pole, it is midst a humungus Golden Orb spider on guard with its thin yellow legs spread eagled across it's web. "Enter of your peril" it seems to be saying...


The chorus of crickets reaches a crescendo, the screeching of sulphur crested cockatoos, together with to the massive majestic wedge-tailed eagles which circle above us with a wing span of 2meters, their prey hidden from us.... is all like a natural animal drum roll, all adding to our sense of excitement about what we're about to discover....



We trek out onto crocodile bridge but sadly but the silence of the crocodiles is deafening........


This is just the way the locals at Mary River like it......nice and relaxing

Little Wandering Wren

Location:Mary River wilderness retreat, Northern Territories, Australia

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