Day 20: To Litchfield National Park
Today is the day that we will get another car, this would be pickup number 3. After a Toyota Camry, and a (couple of ) Toyota FJ Cruiser, what will it be this time? Oh yes, another Toyota. This time a white Toyota Land Cruiser Prado D-4D. It is big. One could even say it is massive. And it is brand new! With 11km on the clock, it is ours to explore the city of Darwin and the National Parks surrounding it.
Today, we will travel to Litchfield National Park which is a mere 90 minutes drive from the city. We will spend the night in a town just outside of the NP called Batchelor. The day will be spent exploring the park itself. And it is nice! With temperatures rising to about 33 degrees and the sun blazing, it is great weather to be outside. The park has quite a few highlights, all handily reachable alongside the main road in the park. A lot of Falls, and a site where a specific type of termite builds giant mounds, all perfectly aligned with the magnetic poles of the earth. These are called Magnetic Termites, and their mounds are really cool.
Other notable places to visit in the park are: Florence Falls, Wangi Falls and Tabletop Swamp. We have spotted a lot of birds along the way, and even a small Kangaroo. As the National Park was being under maintenance with controlled burns, the air was thick with smoke in some places. This is really weird to us, these people are deliberately setting fire to their forest!
The upside is, that the Black Kite know that burning grass means insects trying to escape, and they are lining up for the bugs to come out so they can eat them. At one point, we saw at least 50 birds attacking the insects who were trying to flee from the fire across the road! The birds were constantly swooping down through thick smoke to the road, what a majestic view. Those were not the only birds we’ve seen today, as the Galahs and Rainbow Lorikeets have also made their presence clear to us by being really vocal in the trees near to the hotel room. We were even lucky enough to see some black Cockatoo flying! Finally, a pair of Blue Faced Honey Eaters sat down in our eyesight, and posed beautifully for our cameras. Great day!