Entering into the Northern Territory came with many mixed emotions. We knew it was going to be a big transition in our travels. Plus we were on quite the high from being in the Kimberley. Our main focus was on making it to Uluru. Though our time in the Top End came with a lot of driving & having to move quicker then we’d prefer, we loved our adventures & look forward to going back again one day.
Katherine to Darwin
We made our way to Darwin first thing because of our plans to sell our vehicle. We visited the hot springs in Katherine & enjoyed a coffee at a local cafe along the way. We spent a few days in Palmerston City (right outside of Darwin) while our vehicle was serviced & Landon was able to catch up with another friend from YWAM. While they had dinner I had the best, first solo movie experience watching ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’. One of the best movies I’ve seen! I had no interest in watching the first two movies until Landon suggested we watch them during the time I was down from my Achilles tendon surgery. No regrets! 🙂
After our first hostel experience in Sydney it’s usually my last option in searching for accommodation. With caravan parks being quite pricey & hoping to find a place to unpack the vehicle, we were so thrilled when the YWAM Darwin base opened their doors to us & allowed us to stay. We were so blessed by them & the relationships we formed during our stay. My birthday happened to be during the first week in Darwin so Landon took me out for dinner & ice cream. It was fun to splurge on good food & enjoy a date night. Yes we spend 24/7 together on the road but we don’t usually clean up for a night out on the town 🙂
Litchfield National Park
Before officially selling our vehicle we wanted to visit a few spots close to Darwin. This allowed us the ability to access 4×4 tracks if we needed. Litchfield was beautiful. Plus, the waterfalls & plunge pools were quite refreshing in the rising temperatures. It was hot! The park is very accessible with because of the paved roads. There is one entrance into the park that is a 4×4 track with a few stops along the way. It was on the top of our list to explore to get away from the crowds of people. That ended up being our favorite spot since we had one of the waterfalls to ourselves for an entire afternoon.
Kakadu National Park
What a pleasant surprise. I’ll admit, I wasn’t looking forward to Kakadu. I thought the entry fee wasn’t worth what I was finding while I researched. But, once I made my way to the Ubirr lookout my perception changed. From the lookout you can see most of what makes up Kakadu – floodplains, wetlands, monsoon rainforest. The landscape speaks for itself.
Kakadu is 20,000 square kilometers full of life. Between thousands of plant species & 280 species of birds, there is much to discover everywhere you turn. For Landon, it is a photographers paradise. And you can’t forget about the crocodiles. Approximately 10,000 crocodiles live in Kakadu…I don’t suggest taking a swim. Even after climbing to the top of a cliff to the Gunlom Plunge Pool for a swim we still found ourselves a bit hesitant to enter the water (there are a few designated swim spots).
While in Kakadu we took the opportunity to take a cruise with the Yellow Water Cruises. We learned so much about the plant & animal life as well as the Aboriginal people’s history & connection to the land. Throughout the park you can find rock art sites created by the Aboriginals & learn of the stories depicted in their art.
We also attended a cultural festival that took place at the local town within Kakadu as well as watch crocodiles feed at the infamous Cahill Crossing.
Top End to Bottom End
After returning to Darwin from Litchfield & Kakadu, we sold our vehicle within 3 days & had our rental ready for pickup. The transition couldn’t have gone better & soon after we were headed to the Red Centre. 4 days of driving wasn’t much fun but luckily we had a few stops along the way to break up the hours on the road.
Uluru – Kata Tjuta
Since day one we were dead set on visiting Uluru. Mission accomplished & expectations exceeded! The sandstone monolith is a must see at sunrise & sunset to truly experience the changing of colors it takes on throughout the day. We can check this off our bucket list.
Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas, are also a must see when visiting Uluru. We hiked, took photos & enjoyed the endless views.
One of our favorite hikes of our entire trip. The 6k rim walk here is a must & the landscape is breathtaking. Though the steep climb was rough at the start we didn’t want the hike to end. Not knowing much about the canyon, it was a pleasant surprise & a contender for one of our favorite spots throughout our travels.
Looking back at what little time we had in Northern Territory I’m grateful for the many wonderful things we had the opportunity to see. Even as I write, I find it challenging to share our time there because we were so rushed & moving from one thing to the next. Maybe that’s why there are fewer words & more pictures. Thankful we did it all because I think we would have looked back & been disappointed if we would have skipped over any of it.
Next up – We had a few more days full of driving to get to Sydney for our 2 week house sit. Even though we didn’t do much traveling, I can’t wait to share with you our second stay in the Blue Mountains. Home soon 🙂