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Northern Territory

The Lost City of Litchfield

The Lost City of Litchfield

You don’t expect to see a Lost City signposted; after all, by definition, it’s not been found yet. So when I saw the sign while visiting the Litchfield National Park during my visit to Northern Territory I was intrigued. The signed pointed down a rough track and there was a warning that it was only suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles. Even more intriguing as many of the major attractions of the park (which I will write about in a future post) can be reached by sealed roads I was driving a 4×4 so decided to go find the Lost City. It was soon evident why a four-wheel drive vehicle was needed; apart from the rough terrain there were patches of soft red sand and large tree roots to contend with. 10km of bouncing around the inside of the Subaru we…

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Darwin photographer

Darwin photographer

The Outback landscapes of the Northern Territory are sweepingly majestic. All too often though those same landscapes look less than impressive in photographs. On a recent trip to the Top End of the Northern Territory I had the opportunity to meet with Darwin landscape photographer Louise Law of Create Evoke. Louise has managed to capture the essence of the landscapes of Darwin and the Top End of Northern Territory. She has built a business selling these landscapes to the residents and corporate clients who, even though they are surrounded by the very same landscapes, are keen to have her photographs hanging on their wall. So what is Louise’s approach to photography and how does she capture such evocative subjects? The way I approach my photography is to try and avoid simply making pretty pictures, it’s more about being able to…

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Road train encounters

Road train encounters

Driving along an Outback road in the Northern Territory I approached the back of what looked like a double-decked cattle truck. It was slower than me so I waited for an appropriate stretch of road and pulled out to overtake. What I saw was quite breathtaking. The tractor unit was 50 metres down the road and was pulling four large trailers, all double-decked cattle carriers. Foot down the Subaru I was driving picked up pace. There was some distance to go before I could complete the overtake and pull in; and a corner was getting closer. The Subaru was buffeted back and forth as I gripped the steering wheel hard to prevent us being dragged under the massive wheels. It felt like I was overtaking a freight train. Actually I was; this was a train with out rails also known…

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Katherine Gorge in a canoe

Katherine Gorge in a canoe

Cold feet in 34°C temperatures The plan was to paddle a canoe up Katherine Gorge but I had spent too long in the Top End and visited too many wetlands, billabongs and rivers. I was beginning to get cold feet. Every major body of water I came across had signs warning of the danger of crocodiles, in particular the “saltie” or saltwater croc, whose reputation is fearsome. Territorians say: “When there are warning signs about croc danger, do not get in the water; when there are no warning signs, you still do not get in the water. If there are signs saying it is safe then, and only then, do you get in the water” There are swimming holes in both Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks where each dry season the crocs are relocated to make it safe for swimming….

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Darwin highlights: 6 of the best

Darwin highlights: 6 of the best

Six Darwin highlights Most guide books devote little space to Darwin preferring to recommend places like Kakadu, Litchfield and Nitmiluk National Parks. It is often relegated to “a great base for exploring the Top End…” and given a page or two. I visited Darwin for the first time for my daughter’s wedding. Of necessity, considering the occasion, I spent a good few days there and discovered that there is much more to Darwin than the guidebooks would have you believe. I can’t cover all Darwin has to offer in one post so I have picked out six of my favourites. In Darwin people love to go sunset watching and often it is combined with some other activity such as the following: Mindil Beach Markets At around 5:00pm on a Thursday and Sunday in the dry season the market opens behind the…

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Outback birdlife

Outback birdlife

In the previous post on Northern Territory birdlife I did not mention one place where there is an abundance of outback birdlife because it deserves a post of its own. Territory Wildlife Park is just 45 minutes south of Darwin and is unique in having so many distinctly different habitats in such a small area. There are freshwater lagoons, billabongs and wetlands, monsoon forests with springs and woodlands all within walking distance of each other. With such diversity of habitats comes a huge diversity of birds. As the name Territory Wildlife Park implies the birds and animals are only what would be seen in the Northern Territory. Yes, some of the birds are captive but many are not. Some birds are free to come and go like those at Goose Lagoon. Others are in large enclosures and aviaries. Walking around…

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Sunsets over Darwin

Sunsets over Darwin

Darwin sunsets In Paris it’s the Eiffel Tower that is the most photographed attraction; in Rome it’s the Colosseum; in Copenhagen it’s The Little Mermaid. However, in Darwin there is no iconic landmark that everyone photographs in such numbers. Instead there is an event that would give any of the above a close run in the “most photographed” stakes. The Darwin sunsets are an attraction in themselves and are different each day. I am no meteorologist so cannot explain why they are so stunning and so regular. All I know is that of the 20 days I was in the Northern Territory’s capital, Darwin, there were 18 fabulous sunsets including the one that was the backdrop for my daughter’s wedding (more of that in a moment). Darwin is also blessed with many parks along it’s coastline ideal for a picnic…

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Northern Territory’s birdlife

Northern Territory’s birdlife

Birds of the Top End One thing I discovered about Northern Territory’s birdlife is that you are pretty safe enjoying it. Kangaroos crossing the roads at night can be hazardous to your health; croc warnings by almost every body of water in the Top End, including the sea, indicate that swimming is dangerous there. No one swims in the sea around the Top End because of the box jellyfish whose sting is painful in the extreme and can result in death. As one Darwinian said about swimming if the crocs don’t get you the jellyfish will… Perhaps by way of compensation Northern Territory’s birdlife in the top end is very diverse. There is a huge diversity of environments from the mangrove swamps on the coast to the numerous wetlands and billabongs; from riverine forest to bare scrubland; and rainforest to…

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