Saturday, March 5, 2016

Australia Trip Day 2: Kakadu National Park

The heat was killing me.. the flies were so irriating.. the nice sceneries cannot be pictured with my face.. and the photos with my face cannot have nice sceneries. Today was so disappointing. Kakadu has nice reviews online so I cannot believe that the tour was so horrible. I checked Kakadu map to realise that Kakadu is a huge area. We had a 12-hour tour and to reach the nicer parts to get those beautiful pictures that we see online (Jim Jim Falls, Twin Falls, Gunlom), 12 hours are not sufficient. What we had was already the best that we could have in 12 hours. So yeah, going unprepared resulted in unreasonable expectations and unfair disappointment.

Kakadu National Park is really an eye opener for me and it is nothing like national parks in the tropics. I was expecting to enter a proper park and then to walk from one attraction point to the next. Kakadu National Park is damn huge that one attraction to the next is few kilometers away. Thus the tour was mostly sitting and sleeping on the bus. The scenery is nothing like I have ever seen before but it gets repetitive. The driver-cum-tour guide has plenty of interesting stories along the way but after 2 consecutive days of 4-hour sleep, I fell asleep for most of the time.

I love sceneries but Kakadu is too outback for my taste. The plants are unique and I have ner seen them in the tropics but they make bad sceneries. With wide variations of the weather, some areas may be off limits during different times as well. We visited a lot of places listed in the itinerary but they all almost looked the same. The nice photo taking opportunities are along the way in the middle of knowhere instead of at the attraction places. Of course going with a tour, those photos were just in my imagination.
The only object that is allowed to be photographed at Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre. A place worth skipping if you ask me
The one I 'enjoyed' the most was the 1.5 hour cruise on Yellow Water Billabong. It was quite an experience to see a large bodies of water whose coverage change depending on how much rain that the area had. There were plenty of nice calendar pictures but because the boat was shaded, no way I could take a nice picture with myself in. I would just look black under the shade. I regretted not taking pictures after the cruise as I thought we would be back there after lunch. The tour guide moved the tour bus nearer to our lunch spot. Lunch was buffet of cold meats (bacons, salamis), potato salad, pasta salad, and coleslaw. I was happy enough with those.
Believe it or not, all these plants are on water surface
Calendar picture
We traveled to Nourlangie Rock after lunch. It looks magnificent from afar but we went to see the Aboriginal arts on the rock surface. Thus no way to be able to take a photo with the full majesty of the rock at the background. I saw the magnificent sight on the way there so the tour should have stopped first to take a photo there :( It will be interesting to be able to climb up and enjoy the scenery but given the heat and the insects, I was glad that we only had less than 1 hour there. The sightings of wallabies somewhat improved my foul mood because my sister could not take a nice pictures of me.
Not exactly the best view to see the majesty of Nourlangie Rock
The tour bus sent us back to the hotel but before that, we went to Cullen Bay to drop the people who were staying there. It fulfilled my curiosity of the area. It is not exactly what I picture the area to be but it is the elite region. Haha.. I am glad that I did not forgo Mindil Beach yesterday to come here when we were the roundabout and lost our direction.

The day ended completely ruined for me. I was so excited to get Kebab for dinner but the sauce burst from the bottom of the wrap even before I started eating and it dripped to my trousers. Fuck.. I hate food stains and I had to wash jeans in the middle of the night.

It has been a nice once-in-a-lifetime outback experience for me but this is not something that I will recommend. If you really want to go to Kakadu, make sure that you get to go the waterfalls and Gunlom. Otherwise it is totally not worth it.

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