Day 12 – Katherine – Darwin via Kakadu

Slept in this morning as not an onerous day and mostly sightseeing.

We left Katherine at 0700 and drove to Kakadu National Park, stopping for a two star breakfast at Mary River Roadhouse. Our indicator of whether breakfast will be good is how many Road Trains are parked up, there were two, so we were safe.

After brekkie we headed into Kakadu. It is the dry season so not much water around and some of the places were closed to tourists. There were numerous bush fires smouldering and once I read up the little book found that they are mostly intentional.

Our first stop in Kakadu was Nourlangie Rock where there are Aboriginal Drawings and a shelter system as well as a lookout that affords stunning views across Kakadu. The rock drawings were amazing and the walk even a pensioner could do it, as many of them did. Watching American tourists slapping on insect repellent and stepping very carefully in case they wake the crocs is great laugh. There were no insects to speak of except of course for the ubiquitous flies and crocs are in the water which has signs up all around it suggesting swimming is not an optimal decision. Still some fools like to get close to the water, me I stay inside a 2 tonne motor vehicle whenever anyone mentions crocs.

The termite hills were the biggest seen so far so compulsory stop. the other compulsory stop was the bushfire roaring within 20 metres of the highway. This was way impressive, and scary as well.

The roads here are not the best we have had and a bit windy in place meaning we actually got to see the sights.

We got to Darwin at 1500.

Stats for today;

  • Fuel: 68.6l
  • Average Consumption: 11.3l/100
  • Time: 5:52
  • Distance: 602.5 km
  • Average Speed: 103.0 km/h
  • Total Distance so far: 9562.9

Skippy is "flabbergasted" at the changes in Darwin since the last time he was here 45 years ago. We drove through a place called Humpty Doo that wasn't even a tin shed then and is now a fully fledged suburb of Darwin. On the way into Darwin we stopped off at the Aviation Museum to see the B-52 and the Huey Cobra. they give Skippy fond memories of their firepower which he witnessed first hand in Vietnam. I always knew B-52's were big but I didn't know exactly how big. let me tell you, they are fucking huge. I was in the bomb bay and it was bigger than some motel rooms I've stayed in!!!


After that we went to the East Point Military Museum which the last time Skippy was in Darwin was actually a base. The museum includes artillery,videos, armored vehicles and photographs. This military museum displays war memorabilia, gun aiming equipment, firearms and aviation, navy and army exhibits. There is also a video showing dramatic live footage of the Japanese bombing of Darwin.

Long drive tomorrow to Tennant Creek. Need to find dinner. We check the trusty Navman and check the Points of Interest to see if there is a Steakhouse listed. There is and only 2.5km's from the Motel. We are going to try that for Dinner.