Australia · Australia - West Coast/Central · Travel

Crikey! Croc Central! Exploring Darwin & the Litchfield National Park

When you initially announce that you’re off to travel Australia, everyone warns you not to be eaten by the usual nasties; spiders, snakes and crocodiles but being the idiot that I am, I was on a mission to see one of everything on the dangerous list whilst I was here. And so when we landed in Darwin, gateway for the Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks, crocodile spotting was high on my to do list.

First stop was Crocosaurus Cove, a small but popular aquarium well known for its selection of large crocodiles and its ‘Cage of Death’ attraction, which sees humans lowered into the croc infested waters, protected only by a glass cage. Sadly the cost for said attraction was a bit our of our price range so we watched instead of getting involved and also enjoyed the crocs, snakes and other reptiles that the aquarium has to offer. We also got to feed and hold some baby crocs and the Aquarium is even home to Bruce, the famous croc used in the Crocodile Dundee films.

Making the crocs work for their dinner and showing us those massive gnashers! @ Kirsty Milburn 2017.
But seeing crocodiles in an aquarium wasn’t enough for us thrill seekers, we wanted to see them in the wild! And so, after a quick chat with our hostel owners, we were booked onto a Litchfield National Park tour which was due to leave the next morning. Our tour guide, Joey, picked us up at the crack of dawn and gave us a guide to Darwin as we drove the short way to the mouth of the Lichfield National Park. First stop was a cruise down the croc infested waters of the Adelaide River. We nervously boarded the small, tin boat and set sail, scanning the murky waters and rivers edge as we went. Finally, after a bit of coaxing using a chicken carcass, we spotted him. He was huge and fast, coming at the boat smoothly through the water, ready for his dinner. He launched himself with all his might at the food that was being dangled in front of him. It was terrifying. I wouldn’t like to be caught between those teeth!

Yowch! I wouldn’t want to be caught between those teeth! © Kirsty Milburn 2017.

From here, it was onwards further into the heart of the National Park where we were shown some massive termite mounds. Turns out from here onwards and especially down the West Coast we could see nothing but termite mounds but these were by far the largest we saw!

Termite mounds taller than me! © Kirsty Milburn 2017.
After a quick photo opportunity and the chance to sample the taste of termites (they taste like pepper, who would of known?!), it was back on the bus ready for our next stop, which was by far my favourite spot of the whole day. Wangi Falls, from the car park, looked like any other waterfall but upon closer inspection, the waterfall was hold onto your hat powerful, enough to cool your sweating body and take away your breath all at the same time. I was in awe.

If you’re in the mood for a hike, Wangi Falls has plenty of options. You can head into the jungle and go either 160m (return) to a viewing platform, 800m (return) to a treetop deck, which looks down onto the falls or walk 1.7, which includes a moderate climb but takes you in a full loop around the falls. We opted for the full loop, which took around an hour but gave us multiple different views of Wangi Falls.

Wangi Falls, taking my breath away. ©Kirsty Milburn 2017.
After the walk, it’s safe to say the whole group was ready for a swim and the waterfall would have been the ideal spot for one, apart from the minor drawback that it was very much croc territory and none of us fancied being dinner. Luckily for us, guide Joey knew the perfect spot for a dip, high up away from the croc danger zones. And it was only 5 minutes away! We arrived at Florence Falls and immediately stripped down to our swimsuits and jumped into the lazy river. It was perfect, a small current for us to drift along in with the sun beating down on our faces, but no chance of being eaten or falling down a waterfall.

Enjoying the natural lazy river. © Kirsty Milburn 2017
Sadly this concluded our day in the Litchfield National Park and (after a brief stop off at a cafe, where we got to hold a snake (!)) we were soon back in Darwin city, getting our heads down after an exciting day.

We decided to take it easy (by our standards) for the next few days until we were due to leave Darwin, and so spent some time exploring the coast,  Darwin’s Museum and Art Gallery and the cities man made lagoon and wave machine, which was epic fun. 

 That’s all for this post but next up we hit the West Coast good and proper and boy, did we cram in some activities and sights! So many in fact that I’m probably going to have to split it into 10 different blog posts! It’ll be fun to reminisce though, so check back in soon! For now, ciao x

Wet n’ Wild at Darwin’s Wave Pool. © Kirsty Milburn.

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