It looks like the dry season, it feels like the dry seasonâ€¦
The morning air is fresh and cool once again here in Kakadu National Park. And while the days are still pretty hot things are definitely looking up.
Kakaduâ€™s skies are blue again, with puffy white cumulus clouds. While localised afternoon showers will be a possibility for a little while longer, they do not pose a thread. Humidity levels are also starting to drop and so are the water levels in the creeks â€“ finally!
If youâ€™ve been keeping a close eye on Kakadu National Parkâ€™s access and road conditions report, you would have noticed that the road up to Ubirr is still classed as â€˜impassableâ€™ (as opposed to ‘closed’). Visitors to Kakadu National Park are strongly discouraged to attempt the crossing of the Magela Creek.
While the Magela Creek itself looks harmless enough once itâ€™s dropped to around 0.6m, travellers unfamiliar with the area donâ€™t realise that 1km further on there is a second and much longer water crossing through the so-called â€˜S-bendsâ€™. Along this windy section there is water over the road on a stretch of at least 500m and at the deepest point itâ€™s usually 10-20cm deeper.
Every year travellers come to grieve here at the Magela after ignoring all warning signs, drowning their car in the middle of a crocodile-infested creek, their holidays ruined when they realise that taking their rental car through water left them uninsured.
Now, the road report also states that there are options to access Ubirr despite the road restrictions. Top End Explorer Tours offer one of these options!
Right now our ‘Kakaduâ€™s Early Dry‘ tours visit the sites of Gubara and Ubirr.
The pleasant 6km return takes us past dramatic sandstone cliffs into the midst of the monsoonal rainforest of Gubara. The creek is flowing rather nicely righth now and the gorgeous rock pools are clear and safe for swimming.
After a freshly prepared picnic lunch on the shady lawns of the Bowali Visitor Centre we head up the road and stop at the Magela Creek to inspect the water depth and talk crocodile safety.
We safely master the water crossings and continue on the Oenpelli Road into the East Alligator region. More crocodile talk when we stop at the East Alligator River to spot the crocs from the viewing platform at Cahills Crossing.
The remainder of the afternoon we spend at Ubirr which is breathtakingly beautiful in the early dry season. The vegetation is so vibrant and green, the colours are sensational!
Let us show you Ubirrâ€™s extensive rock art sites, listen to the stories the clans of this region have been passing on from generation to generation for thousands of years.
We climb up to the lookout for spectacular panoramic views of Kakaduâ€™s and Arnhemlandâ€™s stone country and the Nardab Floodplain right beneath. Itâ€™s a great time of the year to come here. Take in the differentÂ colours, watch the spinifex grass sway in the afternoon breeze, feel the country.
We will continue to offer this itinerary with our tour â€˜Kakaduâ€™s Early Dryâ€™ for as long as the Oenpelli Road into the East Alligator district is classed ‘impassable’ or ‘open to 4WD with high clearance and snorkel only’ â€“ for approximately another couple of weeks. Subscribe to our blog so you donâ€™t miss out on any updates regarding this itinerary!
While we’re heading up north into the East Alligator region, we will be available for pick-ups from Jabiru only, Cooinda is just a bit too far out of the way. The tour starts at 06:45 in the morning and we return to Jabiru from approximately 17:00 (05:00PM).
Donâ€™t hesitate to comment with any questions â€“ or give us a call on (08) 8979 3615 for more information!