You can read about our first few days in Kakadu in Part 1 here.
We travelled a short distance on the sealed highway before making the turn onto a dirt road. Although not in too bad a condition we pulled over and let the tyres down for a more confortable ride for the next 60kms, the last 10kms of which was very slow going.
We arrived at Jim Jim Falls and jumped out of the car and immediately noticed the heat of the day. We set off on the walking trail. At first winding its way along the bank of the river before getting steadily more difficult and ending in climbing over some large boulders where Emma’s foot slipped on a sandy patch and she skidded, landing and skinning her knee.
The Jim Jim falls were all but dried up, and only a trickle made it over the edge. We sat and observed the people swimming in the pool before a tour group caught us up and we made a hasty exit and returned to the car.
We headed towards Twin Falls and stopped at the day use area under the shade of some big old trees for lunch. We watched a few cars made the water crossing and felt confident that we’d have no trouble. The crossing was a concreted causeway with the depth clearly marked and was no problem at all. We continued along the trail for another 10km to the Twin Falls parking area.
By this stage it was very hot and we were both quite tired so chose not to do the longer cliff top walk. We walked along the lower path to the boat landing. We arrived just as the boat was pulling out, for $12.50 each we had ourselves a ride up the river. Disembarking at the other end we made the short walk to the base of the twin falls waterfall and admired the view. Swimming is no longer permitted in this area so we headed back to the boat and once again caught him just as he was pulling out. The water was so fresh and clear that Em refilled her waterbottle from the cool waters.
If you’re going to visit we recommend visiting Twin Falls first so you can cool off with a swim at Jim Jim in the heat of the afternoon.
We drove back to camp and that’s when it happened. The scariest moment her life – Emma recounts the tale.
There were no showers at Malabanjbanjdju, so we’d put up the shower tent. I was looking forward to washing the sweat and sunscreen of the day off. Having forgotten to leave the solar bag outside, I’d had to heat some water on the stove but finally had enough warm water for a shower. The pump was all plugged in and primed and I zipped up the shower tent door. I’d barely turned the water on when the biggest hairiest spider I’d ever seen emerged from nowhere and was only inches away from my face. I screeched “Spider!”
My first instinct was to sprint out of the tent, but remembering that I was starkers and there were now other campers around I called out to Craig to get me a towel.
“Use your sarong.” was Craig’s irritated reply
“Where do you think the spider is!” I screeched back. Now beginning to panic as the spider started moving around the wall.
After an eternity Craig finally unzipped the door and handed me the towel which I hastily wrapped around myself. Unfortunately the vibrations of the zip opening had set the spider off and it was now running in crazy unpredictable zig zags all over the place.
I streaked out of the shower tent only half covered and ran into the tent with heart pumping. It wasn’t until I had dried off and got some clothes on that I returned to the scene.
Craig was stood there looking bemused by the whole episode. “Where is it?” he asked.
“Right there on the outside of the tent” I got as close to it as I dared to point it out. TWAT. Craig flattened it with a shoe before grinding it into the dirt.
“That was quite a big one” Craig said. “You better finish your shower before the water gets cold”
We packed up camp early and headed into nearby Jabaru to top up supplies before we headed down to the southern end of the park.
An uneventful drive down the black top we made a brief stop at the Bukbukluk lookout before continuing on to Gunlom.
We set up camp and decided to take it easy for the rest of the day. Greatful to be able to stay up past dark without being eaten alive by mosquitos.
Today we visited Gunlom falls. After a slow sweaty climb up the steep and rocky path we finally made it to our destination.
The cool water flowed over a series cascades to create a number of swimming holes. The final pool creating a natural infinity pool edge overlooking the wide landscape. We gratefully slipped into the pool to cool down.
After relaxing for a while we made the journey back down. The steep decent playing havoc with Craig’s knees. A quick diversion to view the waterfall from the bottom before returning to camp for the afternoon.