Sunday, 21 July 2013

Gorges, waterfalls, four wheel driving and a lesson to be learned

Next time we go on an outback trek please remind me I need to be fit. Today was a lesson well learned. For a few weeks before we left at the end of June... I had said we must exercise and up our fitness level by  walking but the weather and time precluded that from happening.
So today we were up bright and early to a heavily overcast day which we thought may keep the temperature down.
Forty five kilometers down the Kakadu Highway to the Jim Jim turnoff and then fifty-five kilometres of red dust and corrugations and we passed only a couple of cars  before we turned onto the Jim Jim Waterfall road.  Another nine kilometers to go, but this time was some serious four wheel driving.
More spectacular sandstone escarpment on the drive in.

Some small water crossings and then finally we were the second car in the car park and befriended Marg and Merv from  Gladstone who we then spent most of the day with.
Love their plans. They left home in January and told their family they would be home by Christmas!
We travelled together in two four wheel drives for security  (no snorkel on their 4WD) and were happy to spend the day together.
The sign to Jim Jim said there was a 900 meters walk and we had been pre-warned about the boulders. For the first seven hundred meters I thought they had exaggerated, but  the last two hundred meters of mountain goat rock climbing over boulders the size of small trucks was challenging, particularly to my thigh muscles which were still screaming from the Ubirr walk.
This was the very easy beginning of the track
But look what we saw as we were heading to the falls...

Jim Jim Creek

Path to the falls...the easy part

Almost there

Looking for crocs...
We reached the falls and there were only another couple of families there before us.
Check out the beach! Remember this is in the middle of the territory .. sixty kilometers off the highway!
Look at the height of the sitting on rock on right

And on left

I can't believe there is a sandy beach! All the weathered sandstone.

Two hours later, we climbed back over the small trucks
Past the the croc trap...
and hopped in the ute for the nine kilometer drive to Twin Falls. Our first real test of the black ute for 4WDing. Our first serious water crossing  where the snorkel kicked in and we made it through safely.
Jim Jim creek

The route to Twin Falls by boat

Crystal clear water but spotted no crocs

The water is spring fed and pure enough to drink

A rock not a croc!

We then fought for road space with selfish cowboy tour truck drivers who luckily were leaving Twin Falls.
A 200 metre walk to a small boat which kindly ferried us to the next rock climb! Just what I needed.
Richard, the aboriginal guide was fabulous and full of stories including the ones about broken ankles on the rock climb. Thank you!
Then a much less challenging climb and a short walk on a floating pontoon to get to Twin Falls.
A magnificent vista which words cannot describe. Crystal clear watercourses (with numerous crocodile warning signs) plentiful fish, beautiful bird life and no crowds.
One of the falls at Twin Falls

No swimming... crocodiles!

Then a very long drive back to Jabiru... which seemed twice as long as the drive in. Lunch at 4pm followed by a swim and another day in paradise is over.
Oh and a bit of goss today... at Wangi Falls (picture below) a four and a half metre croc was shot and removed the day after we walked there with Alan and Jenny!
Hmm.. I wonder if all the people swimming there that day have heard that story!

Tomorrow.. a sunset cruise on Yellow Water billabong coming up.

1 comment:

  1. Paradise Oz style. Shame about the crocs. Terrific photos, Annie. Can imagine some of these as covers for your next Affair!