After leaving the “Red Centre” we visited the Darwin area and the vast Kakadu National Park. It’s a huge area of varying terrain and habitat. Our base was another small holding, relatively close to both Darwin and Kakadu in a rambling place called Humpty Doo. The small holding was owned by a family that were heavily into animals, and again like the one we stayed near Alice Springs the local animal knowledge was invaluable.
We needed to visit Darwin, as a friend has (now had) a reptile exhibit at Crocosaurus Cove. The city is quite small scale, generally with low level buildings and lots of public Parks. There are lots of opportunities even within the city to see wild native reptiles and amphibians. Crocosaurus Park, whilst worth a short one hour visit was very much a disappointment for me, and I wouldn’t place it highly on a must see of Australia. I managed to see various species of reptiles and amphibians within the parks of Darwin, the best being the Botanical gardens. Here I found the infamous alien, the Cane toad, a relative newcomer to this region as it spreads relentlessly across Australia from Queensland.
Kakadu National Park was made famous from the 1980’s family Crocodile Dundee. It covers vast terrain, much of it quite accessible with tarmacked roads and easily managed tracks. We were only in the Park for two or three days, and another visit will be needed to explore further and to tick of more sightings of the reptiles and amphibians that occur there. I did see a wide array of reptiles and amphibians, including the animal that the park is famous for; the Saltwater crocodile or “Saltie”.
If you plan to visit be aware the drives can be quite lengthy, on one return journey we drove back late at night, quite an eye opening experience with such large nocturnal creatures such as huge wild boar ready to leap into the road on a suicide mission (that undoubtedly would not have ended up well for us or our 4×4). A must do, even if its for the chance to see aboriginal paintings, but of course for a nature lover the animals and birds have it.