Not something I’d originally considered doing (a cruise), but our guide (Lonely Planet circa 2003) rated it as being many visitors (especially bird loving visitors) favourite part of Kakadu, so we booked two seats on the 9AM two-hour long cruise ($90 each).

20130715_RCH_863620130715_RCH_8567 20130715_RCH_859820130715_RCH_8555The cruise meandered down billabongs and waterways, with descriptions of each of the creatures as we encountered them – and we encountered quite a few! We saw sea eagles, kites, saltwater crocodiles, whistling ducks, a buffalo (which may or may not have been dead), egrets, Australian darter (which I named the Kanye bird because of its colour and posing attitude when it dries its wings) and numerous other (though equally impressive) birds.

20130715_RCH_8597 20130715_RCH_8632 20130715_RCH_8573The flood plains were immense, and quite beautiful – amazing to see trees growing in a place like this (though, there were plenty of dead trees among them, so I’m guessing life can be tough).

20130715_RCH_8534 20130715_RCH_8545 20130715_RCH_8556 20130715_RCH_8587 20130715_RCH_8609We must have seen five or six crocodiles – two were 5m males, the rest were 3m females (plus a little baby croc, which I named coin purse).

20130715_RCH_8549 20130715_RCH_8572 20130715_RCH_8553Seriously, it was a bird spotter’s paradise!

From here we made the trek to Jim Jim Falls. The lady at Cooinda Tourist Information told me that they’d recently graded the 50 unsealed kilometres to the Garnamarr capsite ($10/person). If they really did just grade it, I’d love to know how long it takes for a road to deteriorate. It wasn’t that it was bad, it’s just that it wasn’t particularly great either. We had plans to take in Twin Falls and Jim Jim Falls this afternoon, but it was already 3PM by the time we had arrived at the campground. The ranger put a spanner in the works by telling me that she didn’t think our car would be able to cross the Jim Jim river to get to Twin Falls… she suggested that we hitchhike! I told her that Deli-chan can do anything (and that I’d have an inspection before I tried to cross it…)

20130715_RCH_8651 20130715_RCH_8659 20130715_RCH_868420130715_RCH_8653The trail to Jim Jim falls was a proper 4WD trail – like being back on the Old Telegraph Track at Cape York. It was ten fun kilometres to the car park. I had an old man telling me to wear proper shoes for this hike (I was wearing thongs, and Risa crocs). He was insistent, so I did. I’m not admitting that he was right, but the trail was more like a scramble along boulders than a bush walk – the trail was definitely open to interpretation. 800m from the car park to the beach, and a further 100m scramble to the falls. We’d just missed the sun, so most of the beach, and all of the water was now in shadows of the canyons that surrounded the river. The temperatures were quickly becoming comfortable, and if it hadn’t been for the parkour course making us sweaty wrecks I doubt I’d have gone for a swim. One great benefit of being so late was that we basically had the place to ourselves – the car park was full when we arrived, and near empty when we left.

20130715_RCH_8679 20130715_RCH_868620130715_RCH_8691The falls were amazing. Two-hundred-and-fifteen metres of sheer vertical drop, though due to the time of year, it was but a trickle. But, the canyon that it has slowly created, and the plunge pool beneath it were blissful. (I was grumbling about the shadows/sunlight making it too hard to get a decent exposure…).

The water was seriously frigid – certainly sub 20˚C, which was amazing for such a hot day. It was like the cold plunge baths that they have at the hot springs in Japan – I could feel the cold air coming out of my lungs after holding a breath in for a while. I could also feel my muscles start to slow and get heavy, so I’m glad that we didn’t even consider trying to swim out.

The beach would be an amazing place to relax for a day, but since the day was nearly over, and it we were hungry, we just observed and acknowledged the beauty, then clambered over the boulders all the way back to the car park.

The ranger suggested we have a look at the Jim Jim River crossing, which was about 1.5km from the start of the Twin Falls deviation. We saw a standard Nissan Navaro cross and it looked like a smooth crossing, and the water was below the top of the tyre (so, about 500mm). I’m pretty confident that Deli-chan can cope with that. If not, I’ll make sure we get stuck in the middle of the road so someone has to help tow us out so they can get past!

The setting sun cast the sandstone escarpments in a fantastic shade of red/orange/pink, but I couldn’t find a clear view of them to make a photo worthwhile – you’ll have to imagine it was beautiful.

63日目 7月15日 (月)カカドゥー国立公園 2日目 鳥ぴぃーパラダイス& ついに彼らと対面!!!!

ここカカドゥでは、バードウォッチング天国。 オーストラリアに生息するなんと1/3の鳥が住んでいるそう。

9時出発のYellow Waterというカカドゥ最大の湿地帯でのボートツアーに参加しました。 2時間で一人$90のツアー  これが最高だった〜!


開始そうそう5分程で、なんとクロコダイルと遭遇!!  メスの小型な方だそうですが、それでも1mは余裕である! やはり野生で見るとかなり感動〜。 動物園にいるピクリとも動かないやつらとは違い、


オスのクロコダイルも発見。 こちらは体長なんと5mほど!! でかい!!  お腹あたりがでっぷりしていて迫力がある〜! びっくりしたのが、ボートはかなり側まで近づいていったこと! 私たちは、ラッキーなことに最前席だったのでちょっと恐かった笑

オスのクロコダイルは、とても縄張り意識が強いので、最低でも1km以内には他のオスは、いないそうです。 その代わりなんと1匹のオスにつき50匹ほどのガールフレンドがいるらしい。 ハーレム〜



水面ギリギリを水鳥が飛び交い、木には、様々な鳥たちが羽を休めている姿を見る事ができます。 その中でAustralia Darterという鳥は、水面から側の木の枝に、羽を広げてGLAYのテルみたいなポーズをとっている鳥が1番インパクトが強かった笑 ボートがかなり近づいても全然逃げず、むしろ
“オレを見てくれよ!かっこいいだろ!!” ナルシスト的でおもしろいやつでした。


しかも2時間で、見れたクロコダイルの数は、だいたい7匹! こんなに見れるとは、思ってなかった〜
ちっさいガキンチョくろちゃんも見れたよ。 ちっさいくせに、いっちょまえに口を開けて鋭い歯を光らせて、なかなかクロコダイルらしかったぜ。 やつは、将来大物になるな。

その後は、Jim Jim Waterfallという大きな滝があるエリアを目指しました。 メインの舗装道路から外れ、ガタボコ道を50kmほど進むとキャンプ場があり、滝はさらにそこから10kmの車1台がやっと通れる4WD車のみ走行可能の獣道のような場所をさらに運転します。  いくつかの小さな小川を越えたり、砂のでこぼこ道を進み45分ほどで駐車場に到着。 ここからはさらに45分程歩いて滝へと向かいます。


滝壺は、かなり大きいプールになっていたけど、大きな陰がかかっているので、水がかなり冷たい! しかも壁が高すぎて圧倒されるし、かなり深そうだし、私たちしかいなかったのでちょっと恐かったので、滝の真下までは、行きませんでした。  写真では、この壮大なスケールが実感できないのが非常に残念ですが、ほんとうに超巨大な建造物のようで、やっぱり自然ってすごいなぁと再度感銘を受けました。



キャサリン5日間で蓄えた脂肪を燃焼させるぞー! 笑