Northern Territory Road Trip (Part IX – Kakadu – Alice Springs)

Ubirr

Ubirr

From Darwin we headed back towards the Red Centre.  And since Kakadu was on the way we couldn’t resist the temptation of spending another night there. Driving around the park at night we came across a couple of species of python: a Carpet Python crossing the road and a Children’s Python coiled up on the side of the road. For something different to do in Kakadu we decided to explore Ubirr Rock the following morning. This site is best known for its 40,000 years old rock art, but I was more interested in spotting some Short-eared Rock Wallabies that live on the rock outcrops there.

Children's python

Children’s python

Children's-python

Children’s-python

Carpet python

Carpet python

The drive to Ubirr was not an experience for the faint-hearted – the road at Magela Creek crossing was flooded by 0.6 meters of water.  It wouldn’t be too bad if it was just water, but in Kakadu water means crocodiles and stalling at the bottom of the creek surrounded by crocs seemed like a rather grim proposition.  But after some deliberation we decided to brave the crossing and luckily emerged victorious at the other end.

View from Ubirr Rock

View from Ubirr Rock

Ubirr is quite a different environment to most of Kakadu that we have seen so far. It is considerably higher than the wetlands of the Yellow Water Billabong and it offers incredible panoramic views of the floodplains and escarpments below. The wallabies were not particularly easy to find, but we managed to spot a couple perfectly camouflaged against the dark blotchy rocks.

On the way back from Ubirr we drove past a patch burn and spotted a smoke-dazed Mallee Dragon that ran out in to the open escaping the fire. A very unfortunate side effect of prescribed burns is the disturbance they create for the wildlife that they displace.

From Kakadu we continued on our way south and stayed overnight in a rather oppressive town of Tennant Creek. As soon as we were up the following morning we left the town and drove all the way to Alice Springs.

Mallee dragon

Mallee dragon

Green tree snake

Green tree snake

Giant frog

Giant frog outside of Tennant Creek

 

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