Friday, the 14th of May 2010 still onboard the Yellow Water Cruise
Click on the pictures to enlarge. Left: No leaves, just branches. Beautiful dead trees along the river. Middle: Reflections of the wetlands grass in the river. Right: We had only been on the cruise for about twenty minutes, when this huge male saltwater crocodile came our way. It didn’t jump of course, not like the jumping ones on Adelaide River. There they are actually trained to jump up high, since they know they will get food. If they cancel a tour, the crocodile will still come back to the spot where the boats usually go past, even at the exact time. Thats why they say, if you camp out in the wild, never go to the same waterhole twice. The crocodile will wait for you.
Left: If you like birds, this would be the place to be. Middle: We almost didn’t see this one in the dirty water. This is how they work. They hide underneath plants or a few centimeters under the surface until their meal walks up to the river to refresh itself with water. Then they literally jump out of the river and grab whatever they can hold on to. Usually the croc wins the battle and drags the food back to his safe home. Right: Another one of those funny looking birds. From the top of the tree he has the best view over his home.
Left: Beautiful creatures they are though. Great to watch them – from a safe distance. Middle: I can definitely recommend the Yellow Water Cruise as one of the best things to do in the whole Northern Territory. Probably the best way to see Australian birds and reptiles in their wildlife. Right: The conditions in these vast plains are utterly hostile. In the dry season the waterlevels are found to be several metres lower than in the wet season. In February or March, this tree would hardly be seen, maybe a few top branches would stick out of the water. In the dry season a few billabongs run dry, blocking the saltwater crocodiles from getting into freshwater areas.
Left: Aboriginal art sites at Nourlangie rock. These drawings are approximately 10,000-20,000 years old. Middle: Palm trees around Nourlangie Rock. Right: The rock where these drawings are found constantly provided shelter for several indigenous peoples. It was used until several decades ago, which makes this rock one of the most inhabitated aboriginal sites in Australia.
Left: I have no idea what species that is, but this spider is not a small one. Middle: Me infront of Nourlangie Rock. Right: Even a short climb will do. Here you can get a great overview of the vast countryside.
Left: Brown leaves infront of another rock of the whole Nourlangie rock complex. Middle: Maryanne, Nourlangie Rock. Right: The weather was perfect. About 33 degrees Celsius and hardly any clouds. It has been like this for about two months now. The next drops of rain will be a while away. The forecast says October or November…
Well, now you know, what I did on the 14th of May 2010. The reason for our short holiday was my birthday. I didn’t feel like a big party for my 24th. So me and Maryanne had a great weekend away from Darwin, away from work and the big city. Later on we went back to the Holiday Inn and relaxed by the pool. I had a few phone calls from Germany during the day and for dinner we enjoyed the room service (The Steak was great!). At the end of the day, Andrea, a german friend who also works at Crowne Plaza Darwin, and her boyfriend arrived from Darwin as well. We had a few drinks and shared our stories about all these Dingos and Wallabies on the Arnhem Highway.
We had an early night, because the next day we had to get up quite early again. There was a surprise waiting for me – my birthday present from Maryanne. She refused to give away any details, so I was exceedingly excited. Yellow Water Cruise, crocodiles, historic rock art sites, relaxing by the pool of the Holiday Inn, drinks with friends – I had a great birthday!