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.
After we got some food for our minds near the termite moulds, it was time to relax and cool down somewhere near the water. We decided to stop at the Buley Rockhole - a series of miniature cascading falls which have created many little water holes which are ideal for cooling off in the hot weather. It’s actually a series of rock pools fed by the same stream that tumbles over the cliffs at Florence Falls. It’s a pretty spot but if the carpark looks full it’s probably a good time to head for the Falls. When we were there (3.30pm Monday afternoon) we found the only one free spot, so be prepared!
We arrived in Darwin at 2am in the morning. We were very exhausted after the 5h flight from Melbourne, so we picked up the car, went to the nearest quiet suburb and spent a night there sleeping in the car.
The morning was beautiful: full of tropical smells and birds songs. And it was very quiet everywhere - it was early Sunday morning, so there was no anyone on the suburbs streets - no kids, no adults, no cars. We googled a place with good coffee and breakfast (thanks, Tripadvisor!) and discussed our plans for the first half of the day. The plans were quite simple: to buy some food, water, gas for the trip and to get some maps and road status update the Visitor Centre.
We spent first half of the day driving from the shopping centre to Visitor Centre, then from the Visitor Centre to Bunnings (as it was the only working store where we could bought gas on Sunday) and then, finally, we headed to our first destination - Litchfield National Park!
Before I continue with description of our Top End journey, I'd like to say couple of words about campsites where we stayed. We hadn't booked anything, except one site in the middle of our trip, hoping that we will always find a unpowered site for us.
Read more to know if it was that a good decision.
Our trip to Northern Territory was absolutely spontaneous. We bought air tickets on a Jetstart sale more than half a year ago. All that I knew about NT was that there are we could find aboriginal pictures, it is hot there even in winter and, of course, crocodiles live there :) I was wrong - there is so much more in Northern Territory than crocs :)
We spent 6 days exploring the Australia's Top End: Darwin, Litchfield National Park, Nitmiluk National Park and Kakadu National Park.
Mushroom picking is an usual autumn activity for those who was born in East Europe / Russia. It is absolutely unusual way to spend a weekend if you were born in Australia, as most of the mushrooms / fungi here are potentially fatal. However there are two types of wild edible forest mushrooms: Saffron Milk Cap (Lactarius deliciosus, sometimes referred to as pine mushrooms) and Slippery Jack (Boletus portentosus), which grow in some pine forests (Macedon Rangers and Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Mt Oberon in NSW). When the Europeans transplanted the pines, around 100+ years ago, the fungi spores were captured in the transferred root/soil clumps – fortunately for us.
There are many great walks and parks around Melbourne! Last year we were very busy working hard and missed autumn colours and beauty. This time we were ready to meet it: I created a list of the best parks and gardens to visit in autumn, saved their coordinates and ... woohoo, one day we went for a day trip to Dandenong! We took a quiet, peaceful stroll along the many walking tracks and roads of the R J Hamer Arboretum and enjoyed the tranquil beauty and stunning scenery across the Yarra Valley out to the Warburton Ranges and beyond.
Autumn is the most spectacular time of year in cool climate areas bringing mass displays of colour from the deciduous trees and is a perfect time to get out of the house and enjoy mother nature.
This autumn we spent couple of weekends visiting different gardens and parks around Melbourne looking for beautifully coloured trees.
Today I am going to tell you about one of the hidden gems in Dandenong Rangers - Alfred Nicolas Gardens (former the Burnham Beeches Estate), known for their picturesque waterfalls, water features and its iconic ornamental lake and boathouse.