Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Kakadu - a National Park

On our way to Kakadu we called at the small, but historic town of Pine Creek. The town was founded in 1870 during the construction of the Overland Telegraph line from Adelaide to Darwin, in 1871 workers digging holes for the telegraph line found gold in the soil, triggering another Australian gold rush.

The Northern Territory Railway was built between Pine Creek and Darwin, reaching Pine Creek in 1889 but closing in 1976. The old railway station and some old rolling stock remain. The Alice Springs - Darwin railway (used by The Ghan) now passes near the town.

Pine Creek Goldfields Limited opened an open-cut gold mine in the region in 1985; however, the mine is now closed and its main pit, the Enterprise Pit, has been carefully filled with water to prevent acid build-up.
On arriving at Cooinda, our Kakadu campsite; one of our first moves was to sign up for a Yellow River cruise. This proved to be a wildlife extravaganza with Estuarine Crocs (the worst kind)...

...wild ponies (knows as Brumbies) with their jockeys. Truly Cattle Egrets, but one can't always be picky.

plus many and various types of birds. This female darter poses for the camera.
The egret enjoys his meal. The frog on the other hand has had better days.
A jabiru stork wades through the shallows.
Plus of course, many groups of Whistling Ducks.
Another trip in the Kakadu park was a walking tour with a Park Ranger. An excellent couple of hours, spent visiting a billabong,

spotting minute frogs - barely the size of your little fingernail.

We had been puzzled by these leaf balls. We thought at first that they were a pod containing a cotton like substance - a bit like Kapok Trees. But our Ranger pointed out the ants who are the creators of this form of nest.

Sighting a Dingo in the wild. At last a real, wild, Dingo!

Exercising the zoom lens on a couple of Sea Eagles.
Notices warning of the presence of Estuarine Crocodiles are frequently observed andvery prominent. The danger is real, these creatures can outswim and outrun a human being. They are huge and voracious. The moral; dont go down by the river banks.

No comments: