Favorite thing: Who would have a National Public Toilet Map? Of course it would be the Australian Government's Department of Health and Ageing [sic]. Done as a project of the National Continence Management Strategy. Hey, it works for me.
Smith Point is the furtherest north part of Northern Territory and of the western half of Australia. This makes it very remote and a bit of a mission to get to. We drove from Darwin in 4X4 Toyota vehicles. A certain amount of preparation is needed as Permits are required for certain areas or you cannot enter them.
The beaches are pure white sand and the see a lovely green blue. This is crocodile territory so swimming is not a good idea.
Smith Point has history related to the early european adventurers and settlers who tried to make an establishment nearby. Right at the tip of the point is a restored beacon that was used for early shipping.
Another interesting feature is the amazing rock formations. Both their shape and reddish colour I found very intriguing. We were here for sunset, for fishing and that was a really wonderful experience.
Fondest memory: It's special. Just being here is a privilege and something one won't forget. Not so many people in the world get to this location.
We did a self-drive vacation with a campervan through Kakadu and Litchfield in mid-July, taking four days for the trip. I thought that was the perfect way to go, and this was actually my favorite part of our whole Australia trip. We rented the campervan from Britz. It was not a 4WD, but we did not have any problems with the roads.
The national park maps and brochures are excellent, and you can download them in advance. This is very helpful for choosing which areas to see--the parks are very large and it takes quite a while to drive to various spots, so you need to have some sort of a plan in place.
The only part of this trip that was even mildly tricky was making sure we had campsites where we wanted to stay. Neither park allows for pre-booking of campsites, and it is first come first served, so we made sure to drive to the campsites first thing each day, set up, and then do our sightseeing. There was only one instance where we didn't get a site in the camping area we wanted, but it wasn't a big deal.
Its a good way to pass the day, loadsa huge crocs cruising about a lakeland reserve, you can see "Burt", the crocodile used in Crocodile Dundee, and meet some of the captured "man - eaters", huge beasts caught following killing sprees across NT, class!! There is also a chance to see the sheer force of there jaws at feeding time and they have a breeding area were thousands of baby crocs reside - Unfortuntael most of these wee boys are bred for their skin - SAVE THE DARWIN CROCS!
Fondest memory: The nature, the peace, the beauty.
The best season to visit up north is from May to October during the dry season. During this time it is possible to visit all the major tourist attractions with temperatures around 27- 32C, with all roads open including un-sealed roads.
Fondest memory: During the wet Nov-May heavy downpours result in flooding of roads and cause the closure of un-sealed roads. High temperatures 30C+ and very humid conditions can prove testy at times, but spectacular lightening displays are something to remember. Most tours operate all year round with a few closed due to seasonal flooding.
I think that a trip to the Northern Territory must involve some up close investigation of the Outback and no better way then a camping trip and some swimming in local billabongs. Sure, you get great perspective on a flight over Ayers Rock and other prominent features, but can that top the feeling of standing on top of Ayers Rock at dawn, the sun just jutting over the horizon on it’s way to scorch the already ravaged landscape for another day. I think not. And there is always something to be said for sleeping out under the stars; little in the way of creature comforts can compensate for being restricted to a room with four walls, and a ceiling. Kakadu, Ayers Rock, Katherine Gorge are all great areas to explore, but if time is short, I’d say the area closest to Alice Springs is the easiest to reach and fully see in the shortest amount of time.
Fondest memory: It was still dark, and cold. I was snug in my swag (great Aussie version of a sleeping bag come bivy sack), not wanting to leave, comfy aside from the cotton in my mouth from the previous night’s raucous display of drinking, dancing and singing that was seemingly out of harmony in this land of great meaning to the Aboriginals. But at the time, it was more a pagan ritual to psych up the tribe for what we envisioned the biggest climb of our time together. And of course, it was fueled by beer, outlandish talk and the clear starry night. Someone had brought a portable tape player and was playing the song, Unbelievable by EMF, and this just caught my fancy to the point that I played it repeatedly, mimicking the singer and it’s repetitious riff. Kristin and half our group had gone to bed hours ago but some of us just couldn’t give up on the night much to the other half’s dismay. It wasn’t that it was that late, maybe a little after midnight, but that was late enough with a 4:00 am wake up call to climb the Rock. We’d gotten to Ayer’s Rock (Uluru to the Aboriginals) the day before just in time to enjoy the sunset, and this was the next planned part of the trip, to climb the monolith before dawn and watch the sun come up from the top. Colin, our great Sahara tour guide explained we’d have to get up at four to get over there in time. The other bonus aside from the drama was we’d beat the intense heat and the crowds of people that do the climb when light. Sounded great at the time, but now, it seemed crazy, my head throbbing, and downing whatever liquids I could get my hands on. Unbelievable indeed! I could now still hear the song echoing in my head (the things, BA BA, you say, BA BA, you’re unbelievable) a much-deserved punishment for keeping the others awake with my loud and boisterous laugh and rebel rousing. After a quick breakfast for some energy, we were off to the Rock in total darkness. But the sky was so clear that the moon provided enough light to see it looming in the distance. After a brief pep talk from Colin, we were off. We lost one group member in the parking lot, who sprained her ankle, tripping in the dark. There was some talk of the group not going but we’d have none of that, we’d anticipated it for too long. Off we went and another member fell into a small crevice, badly scuffing both her knees, but unwilling to abort her ascent. And so we trudged on. It was a steep incline with a very slippery surface so the authorities have put in a make-shift railing of a steel bars and chains to hold onto, more for the way down or resting. So, with this incline, many were getting out of breath and soon I found myself separated from my group and up with a couple of guys that had started before us. Then there were just two of us. And as human nature generally does, it got the better of us and it became a race of sorts; each afraid to stop for a breath in fear of losing ground to the other. Maybe this ruined the walk for many, and I did leave Kristin behind, but I just couldn’t stop, and soon it was just the two of us, racing blindly to what we knew not. Finally, out of breath, we reached the top, me a tad behind, only to find a girl in a sleeping bag, her tripod and camera already set up for the ensuing sunrise. We couldn’t believe it and finally our eyes met and we couldn’t help but laugh at our foolishness. But there we were, two people that didn’t even know each other sharing this incredible sunrise together, our comrades somewhere on the way up. Clicked a quick photo and went back to the edge to wait for Kristin and the rest of our group. She was initially pissed, but soon was overcome with the usual sense of combined relief and accomplishment that accompanies even a small climb like this (it had only taken me 45 minutes!). Laughing and smiling, we basked in the initial rays of sun falling on Uluru, and on us.
Favorite thing: Ja, buiten slapen in een swag, in de buurt van de Kings Canyon. Astrid, Jacqueline,Ron en Celine. Best wel koud 's nachts, maarja, je moet er dus wat voor over hebben. De volgende morgen dus ook nog om 6 am op!
Favorite thing: Arnhem Land is untouched Australia, a short distance south west of Darwin, where you can see water buffaloes, dingoes, wild pigs and goannas and of course, many giant ant hills.
Favorite thing: ja, deze beklimming hebben we dus gemaakt. Maar als je daar boven bent, ben je pas op 1/3 van de klim.
De 6 dutchy's (van voor naar achter;
links: jacqueline, ron, jeroen,
rechts: celine, astrid en angelique), na de trip van Ayers Rock in het hostel
I would just like to clarify that you did not hand your keys to a staff member. You actually...more
We actually camped on our stay near Ayers Rock. However, as a public service, let me share a bit of...more
Well I stayed two nights in this "resort" and from the minute I arrived, I wanted to leave. A young...more