I know it must seem like an endless parade of posts about friends coming to visit me in the Top End, so despite me having enough material from another such visit over my birthday to span 3 or 4 entire posts, I have decided to condense it all into one big post – the last one about the Top End, at least for now.
Some more beautiful friends from my home town of Adelaide came up to Darwin (or ‘D-Town’ as it is affectionately called by all of my Adelaide living friends) in May of this year to help me celebrate my 23rd birthday in style!
Alycia and Laura have been friends of mine for years – and in the several days they visited we were able to do a lot of exploring in Darwin and surrounds.
The lovely Alycia really wanted to do one of the crocodile cruises on the Adelaide River – so that was one of our first stops. I had previously done such a cruise with the Adelaide River Queens company, but it is always good to mix things up so instead we went out on a smaller boat with Adelaide River Cruises.
This true blue Aussie fella in the next picture is Morgan Bowman, the owner of the company who has been doing these cruises for so long that he can tell which croc is which when they are barely even visible!
Adelaide River is undoubtedly pretty but the water is very murky – who knows just how many salties lurk beneath!
One of the first crocs we spotted was hanging out on the muddy riverbank – so chill, just soaking up some sun. This female croc is about 2.5 metres long – which is pretty small for salties in the NT.
Instead of taking lots of high quality pictures with my lovely Olympus – I did quite a lot of snapchatting (another reason why you should follow me on Snapchat – @wwellend) – but luckily, I saved a fair few of the best snaps and as a result I can still share them here.
This next picture was one of my favourites from the day.
I have seen crocs do a lot of jumping since I moved up North, but it never fails to amaze me! The power and strength these prehistoric creatures posses is unparalleled.
I love this next stream of photos. I did not alter the zoom on my lens at all in the next four shots – mister croc just got very close! So close in fact that I let out a little yelp and had to jump back! Serves me right for having my camera outside the rails despite having been told not to do so – whoops!
Here is a couple of videos I took on the day – it is cool to see the jumping in motion, and in the second video you can here the most amazing sound – when the croc snaps his jaw shut!
If you ever make it to the Northern Territory – a cruise along the Adelaide River is certainly a must do.
On the way back to Darwin from our cruise we had a lovely hitchhiker come along with us.
Lizzy the lizard!
It really doesn’t get more typically Aussie than that – a lizard catching a ride on a car window!
Lizzy was safe while we were driving slowly on the unsealed roads, but when the speed limits went back up, I noticed the little grippy pads on her hands and feet were slipping a bit and I was worried she would be unable to hang on. So we pulled over, carefully got her to climb onto my friend Laura’s arm, snapped a quick picture and set her safely down by the bushes.
Back in D-Town, we spent the days floating around in my leaf-filled pool, whistfully looking at the beautiful beaches that we aren’t able to swim in (true masochism) and enjoying some beautiful Territory evenings.
One of the best places in Darwin to have dinner is on the wharf. There are take-away joints, cheap asian eats, a fancy seafood restaurant and even a place that sells crocodile burgers! Not only that, the sunsets are bloody gorgeous.
Another way to spend a beautiful day in the NT? More swimming holes! I have featured quite a few of them over the last few weeks – but there are just so many awesome spots!
Berry Springs is much closer to Darwin than the swimming holes at Litchfield National Park, but it remains one of the less popular ones. If you have been reading these Top End posts you may be able to guess why.
In the wet season these springs are a complete no go zone, crocs are spotted here far more often than I would like. Locals still do swim here – during the dry season traps are set and it is generally considered safe, but I was more nervous swimming here than I have been anywhere else. The last croc attack here was minor and occurred around 5 years ago, but still, the mind wanders!
Despite the slight scariness, the place is pretty damn lovely.
It is not hard to see why locals are willing to risk the swim – it really is wonderful. This is also an awesome spot to bring a snorkel – little turtles live in here!
There are several different sections to the springs, with the lower pools being my favourite.
After we had been at Berry for a while, we decided to head back to Litchfield as Alycia and Laura had not been there on this trip. We made a beeline for the sunny upper pools at Buley before heading to the incredibly crowded Florence Falls in the arvo.
If this series of posts has not convinced you that a visit to the Top End should be high up on your bucket list – I honestly don’t know what else will! If you have been to the Northern Territory or are planning to visit in the future – let me know in the comments, I would love to hear all about it.
T H E L O W D O W N
Getting to Darwin: International flights arrive from Bali, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur
Getting to Berry Springs: Click here for directions
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with M.Zuiko 12-40mm pro lens and iPhone 6
Adelaide River Cruises: Tours run from May to November and cost $45, click here for more info
Remember: Bathers and thongs (flip-flops for my ‘Murican readers) are a necessity
Don’t forget to add me on Snapchat and Instagram – @wwellend – for more foolishness and travel adventures!