Exploring Kakadu!

We woke up at 6 am, got breakfast at the restaurant. I made sure to avoid the vegemite! We left the accommodation at 7 pm, to drop off some people who were signed up for a scenic flight of the park.

Kakadu is a massive national park. In fact it is half the size of Switzerland and the size of Maryland. There are over 10,000 different species of insects, which was quite obvious by looking around. There are lots of wild animals as well, like wallabies, crocodiles, dingos, board, wild horses and more.

While some did the scenic flight, the rest of us headed over to the Bowali cultural center to learn more about the indigenous people. We saw their calendar on a stone. It was not by months, but by seasons, which makes more sense to me. I don’t get the point of month’s of December 21st is when winter starts. Just had an extententional crisis wondering about why we had months on our calendar.


We then headed to an area where there was an indigenous rock art walk. We loaded up on bug spray and sunblock before heading in.

There are ants with green butts running around everywhere. Our tour guide mentioned that if you ate the green butt part, you would get a shot of vitamin C. A few of us tried it and it was actually pretty great. It just tasted like citrus.


There were large rock formations, almost wall like, where we could see the paintings. Because most of the culture is held closely by elders, many of the larger meanings of the stories are not known by people outside of the culture. However, we could glean some basics from the drawings. We saw a wallaby on one, another was about fertility, another about celebration and so many more.


From there, we did a quick hike up to see the larger rock formation from a distance. Mark told us about the small rock on the edge of the cliff. Apparently, within the indigenous culture, you are not supposed to mate with a sibiling. But, a chief did and he symbolically placed a feather up there. Now, there is a rock to symbolize it and remind others not to do what he did.

Here is me at the top!


We headed over towards the yellow water, to have lunch. We had a baguette with some cold cuts. Relaxed for a while and just enjoyed the air conditioning.

We then headed down to the yellow river for our cruise. We were on the billabong river in kakdu, getting a wetlands cruise. Our guide was straightforward and funny. He knew a lot about the waters and the animals inside. Though we couldn’t see any crocodiles. There were definitely a few hundred in there!

They are able to hold their breath for up to 6 hours and slow their heart beat down to one to two beats per hour. In dry season, they layout in the sun to keep warm. But, since it was very hot out, they were mostly sitting at the bottom of the river. We were instructed to try not to fall overboard. But, if we did, we had about a minute before a croc would be after us. Comforting, huh?

There were lots of other wildlife in the river as well. We saw “Jesus birds” who look like they are walking on water, but really they are walking on Lilly pads. We saw some beautiful flowers from a specific type of Lilly pad. This one the indigenous women would harvest for their stems. Not before doing a prayer to keep the crocs from eating them. If they did get eaten, the elders would say they didn’t do the prayer right…

After a long day in 80 degree weather, we headed back to the accommodations to hangout in the pool. A girl from LA bought some yellow tail wine and red solo cups. We enjoyed some laughs over that. We hung out in the pool for a couple hours before heading to dinner.

After dinner, we just hung out around the table and talked about the differences in culture. I love hearing from the aussies on the trip because though they don’t know this part of their country, they know about most everything else. We talked about cricket, politics, differences in candies, stores, restaurants and more. It was funny to hear they even have the bachelor in australia. It is the Australian version, of course. I thought I might actually watch that one! Ha!

We headed off the bed because we once again had to wake up early.

Road to Kakadu 

Day 2 we got to sleep in until 8 am…which is major apparently. At the continental breakfast, I saw vegimite and thought I might want to try it. Because, why not? I’m in Australia and it’s their favorite treat!

So I took some advice from the local: step 1 toast the bread, step 2 spread on butter, step 3 lightly spread vegemite. Then, I tried it and it was disgusting! I wanted so bad to like it, but it reminded me of reduced soy sauce. Very salty and ew, just ew. At least I have tried it!


A few of us went to the woolworths, the Australia grocery store, to get some stuff since we would be in remote areas for the next few days. Also, we are doing a secret santa on Christmas, so I needed to get a gift.

Once I packed everything up and closed out the room, I face-timed my family to just check-in and let them know I would be unavailable for a few days.

We boarded the coach and headed off to Litchfield National park and ultimately Kakadu National Park. It was going to be a long day on the coach.

It took us about 2 hours until we got to Litchfield National park to see the Termite mounds. We saw two different types. The first was the cathedral Termite mounds, which would remind you of a grand cathedral in europe. The second was the magnetic Termite mounds which looked like grave stones. The idea is that they face north and are very skinny, so they avoid the sun and keep the temperature moderate.


Next, we headed to Florence falls to see the waterfall. With all the recent rain from the wet season, we were unable to go in. However, we could see the falls from the lookout and it was amazing!


Once we got back on the coach, Mark, out tour guide, went over a lot of rules and such. The thing that stuck out most to me was the “life coach” talk about staying positive and living in the moment. It’s not something I will have a problem with at all. The “wow moments” are why I am here!

We got into Kakadu at around 6 pm and headed to our rooms. This accommodation was in one of the remote areas, so it had “boil water” meaning you couldn’t drink the tap water without boiling it first. The bugs were out of control! There was a lot of bug spray to be used!

After a long bus ride, I went for a jog with lots of bug spray on, took a quick shower, then headed to dinner. We had burumundi, which is a local fish. We were mostly tired from the long coach ride today, so we went to bed by 10 pm, knowing we had an early rise the next morning.