Monday, December 13, 2010

Southern Kakadu Water Falls

We were headed to the more visited northern part of Kakadu, we decided to stop and stroll among the southern hills and ridges of the less visited part of the park one last time.
There were a few cars at the Yurmikmik carpark, but the occupants had already hit the trail. Originally we had hoped to hike the Motor Car circuit walk, but since parts of the walk followed the South Alligator River, where crocs were a plenty, we decided to just do the linear walk to a couple of different falls.
After crossing a swing bridge across the Plum Tree Creek we soon found ourselves in a monsoon forest. Giant Fan Palms lined the trail which followed a dry creek bed. When we began to scramble over large conglomerate and sandstone boulders we knew we were on the wrong path since we were supposed to be following a historical vehicle track--so we back tracked several hundred meters to where we had made the wrong turn.
The correct trail, which was first driven in 1946 by Paul Allmich in his Chevrolet truck, was easy to follow and it wasn't long before we were at the turn off to Motor Creek Falls. At this point there was a large group on the trail in front of us. We took advantage of them pausing for a break and quickly passed them. This was fortunate since the trail became much more technical and I would not have wanted to be stuck behind a large pack of people.  When we arrived at the towering canyon wall we were a bit taken back. Nothing had prepared us for the emerald green water that lay in front of us. We sat on the edge of the pool admiring its beauty and understanding why so many people are drawn to the Northern Territory. It wasn't long before the serenity was broken with voices and we knew it was time for us to carry on to Kurrundie Falls.
We retraced our steps to the vehicle track and continued on our way. The noon time temperatures were starting to soar. The open woodlands that we were traversing provided shade from the sun, but there was no escaping the oppressive heat. In the distance we could catch glimpses of white water cascading down the front of the brown rocky ridge--our destination. 
Once again we were required to leave the well defined track. It was obvious that this part of the trail didn't get much traffic and the single track was hard to follow in many areas. Fortunately, from our vantage point high on a plateau we were able to use the very full Kurrundie Creek as a guide. Unfortunately, the trail soon dropped us down to the riverside. Of course we could still use the river as a guide, but I was more concerned that the thick vegetation would be a perfect place for a croc waiting for lunch to come by. Since there wasn't much of a trail we ended up walking higher up along the side of the hill where we could see any dangers that lurked in the water.  
Unlike the previous perfect water hole we had visited, the Kurrundie pool was nestled high on the cliff side. There was no protection from the sun. It was impossible to reach the water to take a dip. It wasn't the perfect spot for a lunch break, but our stomachs were grumbling. So we found a rock where we could comfortably eat our lunch. It wasn't long before we had company, but this time instead a large group of loud tourist we were joined by a circling Peregrine Falcon--the perfect guest for our picnic.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Maya, sounds like a wonderful adventure and hike. The falls and pools are very beautiful. I didn't realize that the crocs could lurk on these trails. I think I would be weary of them too. What a perfect place for a picnic lunch. I'm glad you had better company at this spot.

    Thanks so much for sharing your photos and experiences. I enjoyed the great read this morning.