NORTHERN TERRITORY –  a place like no other…

It has a human history of over 40,000 years and a geological one of hundreds of millions.  The oldest river on the planet Kakadu Saltie Swimmingand breathtaking escarpments so ancient, you question your own significance.  There is no doubting that the Northern Territory is spectacular.  It does not compare with anywhere else in the world, nor can it be confused with anywhere else in Australia.

The well known images of famous rocks, red earth, man eating crocs and world heritage wilderness, still stir the imagination and arouse curiosity.  The rocks are worthy of such awe.  The most famous, the huge monolith of Uluru,ULURU REFLECTIONonly a third of it visible above the earth but still an imposing sight, attracts thousands of visitors who want to see it at least once in their lifetime.  It is best to walk around it early in the morning when most of the camera-toting tourists have been rewarded with the colours of sunrise and have retreated for breakfast.   In the quiet stillness of morning, you feel this Kata Juta - The Olgasrock, its magic, its pre-history, and its magnitude. It has water holes, fluted walls, huge gouges scarring its sides, forbidden places and ghostly gums.  You can touch it or just breathe it.   In the distance, sits Kata Juta, often tinged with hues of blue and pink, round and feminine, perhaps another reason why these jumbled domes are also called The Olgas.  Often underrated, sacred Kata Juta is as impressive as its more famous neighbour, its valleys dwarf the determined walker and in spring, a mass of yellow flowers, carpet its crowns.  Many kilometres north, in the middle of nowhere, huge balls of rock balance one upon the other, a game the devil played perhaps, or still further, in  Lichfield National Park, a ‘Lost City’ of immense stones.  In Kakadu, the huge rock art galleries of Ubir and Nourlangi tell a different story.  A history depicting centuries of art, some of the oldest on the continent, left by a people we have yet to understand.  It’s a part of their explanation of an unbroken bond to this land wNourlangi Rock Art hich was their very essence and which continues through ancestral lines.

The earth, red and burnished, is vast and seemingly empty butLOTUS FLOWER KAKADU NP  COOINDA WATERS in its deserts there is a haunting beauty and a myriad of strange creatures.  Many only emerge in the coolness and safety of the night but motorists are warned by signs along the roadside, that Territorians prefer theirlizards frilled and not grilled and to take care.    By day, flocks of wild, vivid green budgerigars streak in freedom across a sapphire sky and wedge-tail eagles soar on air currents eyeing below, trees laden white, with a hundred corellas.  Giant termite mounds, built by armies of tiny insects with great motivation, precision and team-work, are a humbling and inspiring vision.

TheTermite Mound LitchfieldNPn there is the special light and its many changes of mood. Sunrise turns the spinifex and tussock bushes golden, warms the old wooden boards of outback houses or dazzles the honey grevilleas or the yellow kapok flowers, stark and leafless, against a cloudless sky.  HarsKAKADU SUNSETh during the summer day, but at sun set, a stark landscape is transformed into a glowing masterpiece.   At night, you can clearly see the Milky Way, as a clear, white scarf across the night, the twinkling Southern Cross or perhaps the less familiar constellation of the Great Emu.  You can gaze upon a sky so full of stars, you will question if we can possibly be alone in the universe.

4033 Saltie CooindaAt Kakadu you will be entranced with
ts ancient history, its massive escarpments, its waterways and waterfalls.  Fearsome, people-eating crocodiles lurk among stunning pink lotus flowers and pale blue water lilies.  It is home to thousands of birds, some for only a few months, and an abundance of wild, beautiful creatures.

The NT is not only natural beauty and wildlife, it also has towns and cities, uniquely  Territorian – but that’s for another time!