Brisbane Airport BNE Issue 4 - page 21

BNE August/September 2014
|
21
Wildlife and waterholes
We head out of town on the Stuart Highway,
turn left onto Arnhem Highway and about
60km east of Darwin we hit BYO morning tea
stop
Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve
(Fogg
Dam Road, Arnhem Highway). The wetlands
are a remnant of early attempts to produce rice
on the Adelaide River flood plains – a space
that teems with birdlife.
A trip to the Top End isn’t complete without
a close encounter with a croc and all along the
Fogg Dam Road signs appear for ‘jumping
crocodile’ cruises. Crocs up to six-metres long
literally leap from the river to snatch at meat
dangled to tempt them.
Adelaide River Cruises
(Adelaide River
Bridge, Arnhem Highway) is hosted by
brothers Harry and Morgan Bowman who
share their extensive knowledge, gleaned
over 20 years in the territory, with a sense of
humour. These quirky, intimate crocodile
tours (
right
) set out from a small rustic hut just
beyond Fogg Dam.
On the way back to the city we have time to
stop at
Litchfield National Park
(Litchfield
Park Road, Litchfield Park) where waterholes
can be reached easily by car. Florence Falls
(
above left
) is a popular swimming hole, just
160 stairs down from the viewing platform.
Wangi Falls is also popular while Curtain Falls
is a more private swimming spot.
Spoilt for choice, we keep going to
Berry
Springs Nature Park
(Cox Peninsula Road,
Berry Springs), about 50km from town.
This trio of natural springs is Darwin’s
version of a beach. The top pool features a
mini waterfall, while the larger two pools
allow us to stretch, float and daydream in
waters fringed with mangroves.
Fly direct from Brisbane to Darwin with
Qantas, Virgin Australia, Tigerair and Jetstar
Sunset spectators
There’s a saying among locals, I tell my sister: “If
you don’t like sunsets, you won’t like Darwin.”
But who doesn’t go weak at the knees at the sight
of a sky radiant with every shade of pink as the
sun goes down beyond the horizon?
At Doctors Gully,
Bicentennial Park
(the
Esplanade, CBD) the land meets the sea, right
in the CBD, and it’s one of the best places to
view the natural artscapes that form as the sun
goes down. But for even more stunning sunset
spectacles, the WWII historical site at
East Point
Reserve
(Alec Fong Lim Drive, East Point) is a
good spot to take a twilight picnic or it’s possible
to end the day as it began and grab a snack from
the Nightcliff Markets in the city’s northern
suburbs then head to the
Nightcliff Pier
(Casuarina Drive, Nightcliff), or
Mindil Sunset
Markets
(Maria Liveris Drive, The Gardens)
rarely disappoint with a natural light show over
the water at the end of the day.
But our day out isn’t over yet … an easy amble
up the road leads to Rapid Creek’s open-air
watering hole, the
Beachfront Hotel
(342
Casuarina Drive, Rapid Creek), or there are
harbour-edge sports clubs closer to the city for
traditional heat relief NT-style. We find our final
resting place at
Darwin Ski Club
(20 Conacher
Street, Fannie Bay) where we grab a couple of
chairs under giant milkwood trees and let reggae
beats and frosty beers cool the tail end of our
Top End day.
Sunset at Fannie Bay
Images: Tourism NT
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