Today was the day we took a tour into parts of Kakadu Park that are only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles. We were picked up in from of our hotel at 6:45 AM and began the adventure that went from a paved road to a 2-lane gravel road to a one-lane 4-wheel drive road. Our vehicle was a truck-like tour bus that held 16 people, but we were a group of 12.
Our first destination was Twin Falls. To reach the car park we had to cross Jim Jim creek in the truck. The water was more than half a meter deep and a favorite spot for crocs! It was an exciting crossing! After reaching the car park we had a short walk to get to a boat which took us upstream a bit. Then it was a short rock scramble to a metal bridge walkway to a lovely beach and pool at the end of a sliver of two waterfalls. This is the end of the Dry (season) so we were happy to see some water in the falls. The area around Twin Falls is sacred to the Aboriginal people and traditionally is an area for only men. There is no swimming in the water in this area because it is a known habitat for saltwater crocs. We saw several croc traps today. These large metal traps use pigs legs as bait to lure the croc into the cage. When the croc pulls in the pigs legs, the door at the back of the cage drops down, catching the croc so the rangers can re-locate it.
The steep cliffs and narrow canyon around Twin Falls was a beautiful spot and we felt fortunate to see it.
Our second destination was Jim Jim Gorge/Falls, with the promise of a swim in the 2 pools at the base of the falls. The hike into this area was a bit more strenuous, involving lots of climbing over and around large rocks. But we were rewarded with a beautiful swimming hole with a nice sand beach. Our guide told us that if we swam around a corner of this water pool and climbed over more rocks we could get to the plunge pool where the falls hit during the Wet (season). Of course Jim and I did this along with 2 others from our group. We discovered a magical pool with cliffs rising straight up over 150 meters! The water was a gorgeous shade of teal. We swam across the pool, a distance of over 200 meters to discover that a small amount of water was flowing in Jim Jim Falls! The whole place was spectacular and our experience was priceless!
The tour guide took good care of the group providing a stop for Morning Tea, lunch between waterfall visits, lots of good info and superb driving skills on an amazing 4-wheel drive road! Jim and I have no off-road driving experience similar to the conditions we saw today so we could not have seen these special places unless we did this tour. It was fabulous!
We are staying in the Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn and the interesting thing about this place is that it is shaped like a crocodile! You enter the reception area though the crocs mouth and go through one its legs to get to your room! I hope to be able to find an aerial photo of this place on the Internet and then include it here.
My free Internet time is running out! Cheers!