Getting Acquainted With The Oldest Living Culture On Earth

Getting Acquainted With The Oldest Living Culture On Earth

We went on an outdoor expedition in Northern Territory – Australia recently. It is a huge state, roughly the size of combined France, Spain & Italy ! The state is divided into half with the top half commonly known as the Top End and the bottom, the Red Centre where the famous Ayers Rock is located.
The main city gateway to the Top End or Northern Territory is via Darwin, the capital city of the state. From Singapore, this city is currently served by Silkair and Jetstar Asia.
Our highlight of the trip was the 3 days 2 nights Kakadu & Litchfield National Park 4WD expedition. As we read the itinerary, we became worried after seeing there are quite a lot of waterfall swimming options in the programme. Honestly, we are not good water animals. Nevertheless, we went head on and never looked back.

We were picked up by our Expedition Guide cum Driver cum Cook in the early morning. Our first stop was Kakadu National Park which is a 3-hour drive away from Darwin.

Kakadu National Park is the largest national park in Australia spanning close to 2,000 square kilometres, almost half the size of Switzerland ! Kakadu is home to the aboriginal people for more than 65,000 years. It is the oldest living culture on earth and earned dual UNESCO listed for its nature and cultural values.

We made stop at Mamukala Wetlands to have a better understanding of the biodiversity and how the people and animals here adapt to seasonal floods or without rain for months.

The journey continued off the main road and approached an off trail which we were bouncing up and down in the 4WD for a couple of minutes. We got off the vehicle and followed our Guide on an 8-KM hike deep into the nature reserve. We had some good climb on the gigantic rocks getting up to a magnificent lookout of Kakadu National Park.  We also had the opportunity to get so close see some ancient aboriginal rock arts which taking pictures of them is strictly forbidden.

Tonight is our camping night and embarrassingly, we underestimated Aussie camping and over prepared for the experience. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we looked inside our “tent”. I would term this as “glamping” instead of camping. You can’t camp anywhere you like in National Park and only in designated campsite which is well equipped with modern “luxury” such as communal bathroom, flushing toilets, coin operated washing machines, communal kitchens and dining area, etc. It was a lovely experience and such kind of camping in tropical weather is surely welcome.

The next day, we had shorter hiking, more walking though. The hike up to Nawurlandja Lookout and Gunwarrdehwarrdeh Lookout gave a different perspective of Kakadu. There are also more aboriginal arts on this side of the national park. Our Guide explained to us in details on the significance on the rock arts that left us in awe. The later afternoon was spent in a secluded water hole, hidden from most public hikers and we had a fantastic soak/swim. The natural pool dip was refreshing after a hot day in the outdoors.

A wetland cruise was planned in the afternoon. Along with an experience wetland park ranger, we cruise down the Yellow Water Billabong taking in many bird sightseeing at close distance and looking out for crocodiles that seems to be take shade from the sun.

The first waterfall dip/swim today at a secluded location. 

We bade farewell to Kakadu National Park and took a 2-hour drive in our 4WD to Litchfield National Park. Enroute, a stop was made to see the famous gigantic termite mounds as we entered into Litchfield National Park. We learnt these termite mounds are not the same as those termites we are familiar with. Some are around 100 years old and standing at 2 metres tall.

It was a very relaxing day as we continued to visit Wangi Falls and took a walk to Wangi Loop Walk. There were crocodile sightings recently so Wangi Falls was out of bounds for swimming. Instead we dipped/swam at Florence Falls – a cascading twin falls that looks amazing from the top.

Our hiking expedition ended with a visit to Buley Rockhole which we concluded it was a fabulous way to end the trip. It’s plenty of natural jacuzzi water holes were such an excellent body recharge after 3 days.

The Top End’s tropical climate allows for a year-round outdoor lifestyle, which locals and visitors are renowned for making the most of it. The best time to visit is during the dry season which fall during May to October with warm, dry sunny days and cool nights. During this time of the year, temperatures generally range from 21°C to 32°C, and humidity levels are also much lower. It is the perfect time to explore the more remote areas of the region that can be off-limits during the wet season. And if you are missing Singapore’s weather, head over to visit during the wet season (November to April). Of course you will be rewarded with plenty of waterfall tumbles.

Posted on 26 Apr 2019 0 427
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