Kakadu’s Gorges and Waterfalls

It’s that time of the year again: Banggerreng, the tail-end of the wet season, is amazing us with its gorgeous colours and sounds! The Brown-and-gold dragonflies are zipping around in their thousands and Yamitj, the little green katydid entertains us after dark calling out from the woodlands, where the spear grass is standing tall.

Over recent days we have been experiencing early dry season conditions with lots of sunshine and little white fluffy clouds.

But I’m pretty hopeful that the low pressure system (the weakening remains of ex-tropical cyclone Ului, in fact) currently moving in from the east will bring a few more days of showers and afternoon storms, a few more tropical downpours to keep the creeks running and the waterfalls along the Arnhemland escarpment flowing. Bring on the ‘Knock’ em down’ storms, the last violent storms of this wet season, ripping the seeds off the ripening spear grass, pushing over the tall stalks!

Rain or shine, our season starts on 01 April 2010 with our ‘Kakadu’s Early Dry’ tours!

While a number of Kakadu’s better known attractions are only accessible after the massive wet season run-off from the Arnhemland escarpment into the lowlands has eased, there are some beautiful gorges and waterfalls we can visit right now – and they deliver on all counts!

Motor Car Falls

Motor Car Falls -- a 'Kakadu's Early Dry' destination

We will start off our regular day tours on the Easter weekend with visits to Motor Car Falls and Boulder Creek in the Yurmikmik area (in Kakadu’s southernmost Mary River district).

Although the walk to Motor Car Falls is the longest we attempt on any of our regular day tours (approximately 7km return), it’s also the easiest. Following an old vehicle track we walk along the rocky slopes of Kakadu’s Hills and ridges habitat, highly interesting not only for geologists.

The Salmon gums (Eucalyptus alba) have already started shedding their paled old bark, the Scarlet gums (E. phoenicea) will start flowering soon and in spectacular fashion. The birdlife is prolific: Honeyeaters, Friarbirds, Butcherbirds, Lorikeets, and Cockatoos. And we’re always keeping an eye out for the highly endangered Gouldian finches that we sometimes encounter in the area.

Once we reach Motor Car Creek it’s only a short distance to the waterfall and its spectacular plunge pool, shaded by monsoonal rainforest. While the water can be pretty turbulent during the monsoon season we don’t have to fear any treacherous currents now.

Yurmikmik Adventure

Yurmikmik Adventure

After crossing a swaying foot bridge that takes us across Plum Tree Creek we hike through the woodlands only for a few moments before entering another dense patch of monsoonal rainforest.

Here, where the crystal-clear Boulder Creek cascades down the escarpment into a picturesque small gorge, a creek bed clogged by large sandstone boulders, loads of Black-and-white butterflies, the Common Australian Crows, flit around in the shade of tall trees and climbing vines.

Boulder Creek is one of my favourite places in Kakadu National Park. It is a delightful little spot, certainly not as grand as Jim Jim Falls — but when did size ever matter?

Bobo!
Anja

Boulder Creek

Picturesque Boulder Creek


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