How's this for an idyllic looking waterhole?....It's part of one of the watercourses in Kakadu National Park.... On a very warm Top End day, the water is inviting - but not inviting enough to outdo the information on the sign there...Estuarine Crocodiles swim here, and they don't play well with others....actually, that's not exactly what the sign says, but highly motivated as I was NOT to become a ravenous reptiles lunch, I took little persuasion to stay out of the water and away from the edge. It did, however, require some persuasion to walk along the path to the waterfall that wended it's way through this Monsoon Forest:
It was dense, watery and heavily timbered...Pandanus trees and grasses under the canopy, quite beautiful, if I could only get the croc attack scene from Crocodile Dundee out of my mind. I kept thinking to myself "You should do something every day that scares you..."
I think I had enough scare that day to see me through a couple of months...Let's just say I was pretty edgy. The fifty or so other brave souls who we encountered at various points on the path should have reassured me that if a croc was hungry, he already had plenty of dining opportunities. And the signs did only say to stay out of the water ... and that the area is checked and any unwanted visitors taken away .... Still.....
In the end, we reached the waterfall, having picked our way over rocks and through a bit of a gorge and it was indeed beautiful and worth being scared out of my skin.
Obviously...these swimmers were much braver than I.... the sign by this plunge pool warned that Freshwater Crocodiles may be present, and essentially they'd leave you alone, if you left them alone...no problems - I'm leaving them totally alone!
Later, at the Yellow Water Billabong, we got got a good close up look at the objects of my anxiousness from our big, safe, sturdy boat....
How sinister are these dudes? And why do I think they are all males?
The bird life on the Billabong is astonishing....do you suppose this girl's warning the neighbours that a rough skinned reptile is headed their way?
What an extraordinary experience... And I haven't yet mentioned the Aboriginal Rock Art.... the 360 degree views of the park from the top of Ubirr.... the heart attack we almost had getting to the top of Ubirr...or the thousands of kilometres we drove and unusual places and individuals we encountered to get there!!