18th June, 2012
we got up a bit before 6am as we made a boat trip on the Yellow
Water. Shortly after the start the welcomed the sun and could see how
the nature was slowly getting awake. We saw countless birds and could
watch their morning activities. Our guide told us that we may not see
crocodiles. The cool temperature makes them stay in the water and so
they are difficult to see. But we were lucky and saw five crocodiles.
A big male was laying already at the shore and warmed himself up. Our
guide could even point out three tree snakes which were very
difficult to see. It was a very beautiful morning tour and we enjoyed
a big breakfast at the lodge we drove to the Warradjan Aborginal
Culture Center. Here we could read a lot over the Aborginals and
learn how their life is looking like.
we drove to the Old Jim Jim Road, a 100 km long gravel road. We were
driving towards Darwin as we encountered a big puddle. Due to the
dirty water we could not see how deep it was. I did not feel well
about it, then I did not like to get stuck here and to wait until
maybe another car passes. We could not walk into it to check the
depth (crocodiles?). So we turned and made a detour of 100 km on the
highway to Bark Hut. There we stayed overnight. Twice we drove
through thick smoke, also here the underwood got burnt down. At one
fire there were many birds on the road. This morning we learned that
they follow the fire to hunt escaping animals.
Bark Hut we got the hint to make a short walk to see a nice sunset.
So we enjoyed our last sunset at the Top End.
17th June, 2012
the night we experienced different noises. First our fire alarm
started to beep and only calmed down after we removed the batteries.
We guess it was the cold smoke from the fireplaces. Then there was
the howling of the dingos and at the end the birds whistling their
just started to drive when a few wallabies jumped over the road. A
bit further a dingo crossed the road. At Yurmilkmik we started to
hike to a viewpoint. We just start as Konrad spotted moving rocks. At
a second look they were wild pigs. Some of their ancestors must have
we crossed a suspension bridge and hiked through dry grass to the
view point. Here again we had a wonderful view over the National
I got induced to walk another few kilometers to the Motor Car Falls.
A wide path led nearly to the falls, only the last few meters we had
to climb over rocks. The effort was worth it as we got to a waterfall
with a relaxing ambiance.
at the camper we continued driving to Bukbukluk and a short walk
allowed for another view over the park.
we drove to the Gagudju Lodge in Cooinda. On the way we saw at times
the flames blazing in the grass to clean the country.
a break we drove to Nourlangie. A walkabout passed different places
with rock art. Then we walked up the nearby Nawurlnadja and enjoyed
the view to Nourlangie. As the sun was about to set we drove slowly
back to the camping site. On the way we saw a wallaby crossing the
road. In the restaurant of the lodge we enjoyed a nice dinner. Our
stock of food is going low and as we are soon flying back we did not
11th June, 2012
the morning we drove to the Mamukala Wetland. Here we made a short
hike through the bush. We saw a big waterhole with some birds
enjoying themselves. The area around the path was mostly burned down.
It is normal here that the shrubs are burned down. This is done at
the beginning of the dry season, also now. Next morning the fire will
be put out by the thaw. Like this the Aboriginals clean every few
years a part of the forest. This reduces the changes of big bushfires
at the end of the dry season which destroy everything.
Kakadu National Park is owned by the Aboriginals. They leased the
country to the government to run a National Park. There are more than
5000 places with rock art in the National Park, but only two of them
are allowed to be visited by tourists. One of them is in Ubirr. We
mazed at the many rock paintings and hiked up and up. Already in the
middle of the hill and the more on the top we had a wonderful view
over the country.
we drove to the Bardedjilidji Walk. At the start we were informed
that we should not go to close to the water as crocodiles have been
seen lately at the river shore. We hiked through bush to the river.
It was a nice hike and we did not meet a crocodile.
we drove back to Ubirr and listened to a ranger who told us about the
plain and its history and significance. As the presentation was over
the sun slowly set and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.
26th February, 2012
Sunday excursion led to Bruny Island which the locals like to call
little New Zealand. As in New Zealand there are two islands, but here
they are connected with a foodbridge. Also the vegetation is not the
same. On Bruny Island there are white wallabies as one day albino
wallabies escaped. As they could not be caught again, they mated with
normal wallabies and now there are white ones which are not albinos.
At pleasant 25° C I went to the meeting point. The air was weirdly
misty. The guide told many things about the region when we went by
bus to the island. The said that yesterday someone made a camping
fire. This was not allowed due to danger of bush fire. Promptly the
fire got out of control and led to a rapidly growing bush fire north
of Hobart. I saw the smoke cloud already yesterday when I was on
Mount Wellington. It looked like when I am looking at the nuclear
power plant in Gösgen out of the window at home in Olten. I already
thought then this looks like a bush fire. Now they hope that the rain
predicted for tomorrow will eliminate the fire. Now back to the tour.
With a ferry we went to the islands. First we saw a fish farm in the
sea. Here young salmons are raised in containers. From time to time
fresh water is added. This should resemble the natural cycle of the
salmons. On the island a small part of the fishes get smoked, the
rest will be sold. Many inhabitants live from sheep. They export
merino wool. Another income are cherries. There is a huge plantation
of big cherries. They mostly get exported to the USA. Another
interesting detail I learned. In Tasmania there are three wind power
stations and many hydropower plants. If Tasmania produces much
energy, it is transported to Victoria (the state where Melbourne is).
To do this there is a cable on sea bottom connecting the island with
the mainland. If Tasmania is lacking water and cannot produce enough
electricity, it gets it from the mainland. Now my tour continues on
the south island. First we enjoyed tea and muffins, then we went
slowly to the boat landing stage. When everyone was in the boat
ginger pills were given out against motion sickness. As I get fast
motion sick, I took my own pills before. They were small rubber boats
and so we could get very close to the cliffs. We saw many cliffs and
caves. To make sure that we did not get bored, the boat got quite
rapid in between. Our destination was a seal colony. It was funny to
watch these animals while sunbathing or playing in the water. On the
way back we also observed birds flying and then diving into the
water. Back on the land we enjoyed a salad for lunch. After a short
stop at the seaside it was time to go back. At the ferry I had
already to wait for more half an hour as also other people wanted to
leave. Here I enjoyed the sight to the sea and watched the sky which
got more and more misty. I went directly back to Hobart after the
ferry brought us back to the mainland. It was good to make that tour
today as it was still 35° C when I was back. To finish off: this was
not my day. First the toilet door in the Pub fell out of the hinge
and in the evening in my room the window was falling down. Good luck
as nothing happened to me, I just had to change the room.