Just outside of town is Litchenfield National Park. The forests here look the same as what I drove by after leaving Darwin. Grassy plains with trees that with occasional termite mounds. The forests here looked like they were once just a field that someone had abandoned and some small palms and trees only recently took over, but I imagine the hot weather here keeps large dense forests from taking over the land
I’ve seen lots of gigantic termite mounds around Africa, but never anywhere else. The termite mounds in Australia rival the largest I’ve ever seen before, with many that tower around 2 meters or over 10 feet. These here are known as the magnetic termite mounds, due to the termite’s ability to align them both in north and south directions. These above are some of the larger ones that I came across, one field I saw had dozens of them and almost looked like a graveyard from a distance
This bird here I came across in the national park and is a Straw necked Ibis (Thanks Steve!). The Straw necked Ibis is found throughout Australia and Tasmania as well as parts of New Guinea and Indonesia. The neck of this species of Ibis is actually white, but because the bird is in flight it’s difficult to see in this photo. On the right is a rainbow that appeared as the sun was beginning to set, and even though it wasn’t a full arch the colors were vibrant and strong and it certainly added to the experience in Litchenfield
Since the coast is dense with crocodiles, fresh water pools of water are the best place to swim in the North Territory. Despite being far from the coast though, crocs can still make their way here, especially during the wet season. The creek and water fall above had a nice pool with crystal clear water and lots of big fish that had no fear of people.
When it was time for me to get out of the city and go a little bit south of Darwin I went to rent a car. You might assume that driving inland would keep you safe and well away from the crocodiles, but instead there are new animal dangers to be found in the northern territory. When I rented the car I was advised not to drive at night because it was too dangerous. The car rental office explained to me that at night there were hundreds of wallabies running across the road, bison, and supposedly a lion. Renting a car in Australia and hitting a lion would surely be a first, but knowing that lions of course weren’t native to Australia I asked where it came from. Lots of sightings of a lion where reported I was told, and the man simply shrugged his shoulders and said it probably ran away from a circus. I didn’t come across the lion while driving, but wallabies were spotted
Farther south of Darwin I eventually crossed this rail road which I imagine is the north-south transcontinental railway connecting Adelaide to Darwin. Construction started in the 1800s, and to my understanding the railway is still in use and also has passenger trains. No idea what the chance is or how often these trains hit wallabies or other animals on their long journeys.
This cemetery I came across is in Adelaide River and holds victims of World War II. The upper right graves are actually the victims of the Darwin Post office bombing and at first I was unsure why they were buried so far away from the city which is over 100km away. Later I found out there was a major military base here in Adelaide River, so of course the military ceremony was built on base. I forgot to mention that as I drove south from Darwin and got close to this area there were several dirt runways along the highway that were labeled as World War II air strips. Below are graves from two young men who were killed during the war, I’m unsure if they were victims of the Darwin bombings or if they were killed while fighting the Japanese in other countries
This small town of Batchleor boasts a ‘resort’, a motel or two and general store with some places to eat. The town has less than 1,000 residents and while I passed through it I kind of felt like I was in the remote western regions of America. The ‘resort’ I saw was nothing but a tiny restaurant and motel, and I didn’t even think it was anything more than that until I came across it online where it described itself. I suppose resorts in Australia are different than what most Americans and Europeans might expect. On the upper right is a large bar and restaurant, and despite it being only past lunch time there were several people drinking away at the bar