Today is the fifths day of our Top End journey and we are going back to Darwin. Yesterday we watched beautiful sunset at Nadab Lookout, Ubirr, and had a fight with myriads of mosquitoes at Merl campground.
We are only 300kms from Darwin (close enough!), so we have plenty of time to visit most of places that we are interested in. Today we are going to see Mamukala Wetlands in Kakadu National Park, Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre and Fogg Dam near Darwin.
Initially we had a plan to spend a night in Jabiru - a small city in the middle of Kakadu National Park, but after we checked the road status at Bowali Visitor Centre we found that the road to Ubirr is open (it was closed when we were in Darwin). We decided to go to Ubirr to watch the sunset and listen to a ranger talk.
The sunset at Nadab Lookout, Ubirr, was one of the most remarkable sunsets I’ve ever seen.
Well and truly satisfied with views from Yellow Water Billabong in the Kakadu National Park, we went further to learn more about aboriginal culture. We made a stop at Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre, which is not far away from Cooinda. The centre’s large display, developed by Bininj/Mungguy, provides detailed information about Aboriginal culture in Kakadu. It is well set up, and cost nothing to browse through (and it is cool inside!). Next stop was at Nourlangie region, where we planned to look at Nanguluwur Rock Art Site and Anbangbang Gallery.
The locals talk about “Litchfield-do” and “Kaka-don’t”, which means: “Kakadu National Park is not worth going. Overrated. Go to Litchfield. That's much better”. Is it? That's the wrong question to ask. The Kakadu and Litchfield national parks are very different, but the difference is not in the quality, it's in the size. Neither is "better". Kakadu is simply a lot bigger. Keeping that in mind, we decided to spent at least 3 nights in Kakadu National Park to look at aboriginal paintings, walk some trails and, of course, watch the sunrise at Yellow Water Billabong.
The other part of Nitmiluk National Park we wanted to explore was Leliyn (Edith Falls). Edith Falls is a series of falls that crash down the surrounding cliff sides and into the one large pool. The falls are located about a one hour drive north from Katherine and should definitely be included in any trip to visit the Katherine region.
We spent two fantastic days in Litchfield National Park and, frankly speaking, we wish we could spend some more time there. Anyway, it was time to move further to our next destination - Nitmiluk National Park. The park is located about a 4 hour drive south of Darwin (3.5h south of Litchfield NP). It is mostly famous by the gorgeous Katherine Gorge (sorry, but it is what it is), the place named Leliyn (Edith Falls) and the Jatbula Trail - seasonal 60km walk from Katherine Gorge to Leliyn.
On the second day of our Top End trip, after we walked Wangi Falls walk, we were ready to walk some more. We went further by the Litchfield Park Rd and stopped at Cascades.
There are two walks in there: Lower Cascades Walk and Upper Cascades Walk. Initially we thought that we might do both of them, as they, actually, looped, but as it became very hot (+35, again!), we chose the shortest one.
After we visited termite mounds and Buley Rockhole, we went to the Wangi Falls - Litchfield’s most popular and easily accessible attraction with a cafe, an art centre, a campground with all amenities including toilet, shower, and barbecue facilities. We stayed for a night and walked Wangi Falls walk next day.