Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Darwin and Litchfield National Park

This is the last time that we are taking the Ghan and we head towards Darwin. From Katherine, Darwin is only  a few hours away, so we will be there in the evening. The city of Darwin is located in the North of Australia and holds about 130,000 inhabitants.





Our arrival in Darwin



We arrive at the Darwin train station around 7pm. As soon as we leave the train, we can feel that here the weather is very different. Even though it is the winter right now, the air is really humid and it feels like we've left the desert for good and entered the tropics.
The train station is about 10km away from time. We've got to take a shuttle to reach Darwin CBD. Darwin is famous for its parties and the backpackers are highly attracted by the destination. Sadly Darwin hasn't got sufficient accommodation for everyone and others like us can't find a place to stay for the night and will have to sleep on the streets.

I'm saying on the streets because here in Darwin, it is forbidden by law to camp, or sleep in a campervan anywhere in the city. Police and Rangers are patrolling the town all night long to fine infringers on the spot.
After several hours of research we decide to head towards the beach in the hope of finding a safe spot for the night. It's only  at 3am that somebody shows up out of nowhere and gives us a hint for a better spot on the beach.
(Sorry, but no pictures of Darwin...)


The Next day... Litchfield National Park



After a terrible night, an unpleasant visit at the tourist office and being refused access to the parliament house (because our bags are too big to be stored, seriously!) we decide to leave town and head to the Lichtfield National Park. We hop on a bus to Batchelor (a town nearby) and decide to hitch-hike our way to and around the national park for the coming four days.




This time, the luck is with us. Right at the bus station, a local lady gives us a ride to the CBD of Batchelor and there within a few minutes, we find a group of three Germans that accept to take us on board for the next two days and drive us around with them to each of the spots in the park, Really great!


Waterfalls and cascades



In the park there are lots of rivers, cascades and waterfalls. Some of them are small, but most of them are quite impressive and deserve to be checked out. While driving around each of the spots, we could enjoy some refreshing breaks in the water that was at the perfect temperature: 18C.




Camping



Along the way in the park there are several camp sites. Since this is an extended weekend (birthday of the queen),  lots of Australians have planned to drive down to the park and spend two nights there. It is hard to find a spot, but after some research, we find one that is huge and only hosts one little tent ... and no car.
This is weird, but the spot is large enough all of us as well as two other Australians that are just passing by and are also looking for a spot. After a little while a French guys shows up. It's his tent and he came also here hitchhiking, which explains the "no-car" factor.

He agrees and we all setup camp and start a fire.

We spent a great time there. The two Australian guys left on Monday as well as our German drivers. We decided to stay a few more days to enjoy the waterholes near the camp and relax before heading back to Darwin just in time to grab our plane to our next destination ...


More pictures