Maguk, Kakadu National Park July 7 - 8 2021
  Time for a rest and a bit of planning. A bit tired from yesterday's walk we opt for a short (about 50km) drive to Maguk.

Its Northern Territory school holidays and campsites have become more full. Cooinda caravan park is full with overflow directed northwards to Malabanjbanjdju (the caravan part of where we previously camped).

We cross the enticingly named Barramundi Creek. It flows from Maguk Gorge.

  Greeted at the campground by space and a noisy flock of Friar Birds.
  With a few fly catchers.
  My contribution to camp maintenance was to re-join a bit of steel pipe railing to a vertical post. Undo the bolt, re-align, tighten the bolt.

The couple of termite mounds on the other side of the fence are massive.

Not much sign of termites, though some sign of new work, I couldn't tell if they were active.

Overnight the steel pipe railing contracted with the lower temperatures. A join further along the fence popped out of its clamp.

Hard to fix poor design ........

  Maguk Gorge was a strange place for me. Not the least because I was feeling a bit crook. A narrow, congested (its Northern Territory school holidays) end to the track we bush bashed around the end of the pool, across the exit creek, to a less congested rock. No sooner had I arrived than I felt the need for some food, and lots of barley sugars. My temperature control seems out of whack, as well as a general seedy feeling. Hopefully not a pmr flare.

Pictures of the gorge seemed low on the agenda.

We only took one vehicle for the short drive from campground to gorge car park. Then 1km walk into the gorge. I decided to walk back, leaving the others to swim.

I spotted a well travelled track headed from our rock in roughly the right direction so followed it. Avoiding the return bush bash across the gorge. I also avoided all the scrambling over rocks on the main track. Rocks upon which many slips were occurring due to the marble like sand previously carried onto them with wet footware. I had an easy walk along a well trodden bush track.

I saw the rear of these signs first:-

  • Access Prohibited. Penalties may apply.
  • End of Day Use Area - No marked tracks beyond this area. Only persons with a bush walking permit may proceed beyond this point. Penalties may apply.
  • Warning. No climbing or jumping from rocks. Penalties apply.
  • Crocodile Safety (Two signs saying the same thing differently).

Someone really wants to discourage people. I guess its hard to apply penalties to someone eaten by a croc! Perhaps I should add the permit system has a two week response time - using internet for emails where internet is scarce. End whinge ...!

I didn't see where the track provided access to the top of the falls where we had seen people.

I'm becoming aware that, as with most national parks, there is a deliberately hidden depth. So far there has been sufficient to keep us occupied, though a sense of skating over the top.

  The waterfall was much lower than others we've seen. The top of the cliffs around the waterfall had few trees and the vegetation much drier.

In general, as we travel south, we are seeing the landscape become drier, as trees, grasses, and undergrowth all change.

I explored the creekside rain forest. Standing still as long as I could in the hope of seeing Rainbow Pitas.

Alas, water and forest only today, beautiful as it is.

  Though I did see a lone shining fly catcher at long distance. Probably the wrong time of day.
  Back at camp (less than 1km from car park, if I'd had the tracker I could have walked over a low ridge to reduce it to about 400m - note to parks ..... blaze a trail and let footprints do the work).

A lone, healthy looking, dingo loped to the edge of the camp. I watched for about 10 minutes and moved to discourage its progress. Never closer than 30m. Eventually it gave up and loped off across the plain.

Kambolgie and Yurmikmik Walks, Kakadu National Park July 9 - 11 2021

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