Saturday, January 29, 2011

Litchfield National Park - Florence Falls

We were then back on the road, the next stop being Florence Falls, the second of the two swimming areas that were open to the public and that were safe to swim in.

Florence Falls from the viewing platform.

And then it was swim time!

And then it was lunchtime!


Litchfield National Park - Buley Rockhole

Next stop in Litchfield National Park was Buley Rockhole, where we could swim. My of the waterholes in the area were closed due to wet season (and crocodile risk) but Buley Rockhole is one of only two in the area where swimming in risk free - but that said, the current was pretty strong!!!

Me sliding down the waterfall. I fell down all four levels of the waterfall on my backside and ended up with a nasty bruise on my bottom.

Me at the bottom, after hurting my bottom!

We enjoyed the swim in the amazingly fresh water. I'm on the right, trying to stay upright because the current was so strong.

I'm second on the right, in the rockpool which was about 4 metres deep.

The spectacular waterfalls from the bottom.

Another spectacular shot of the gushing water.


Litchfield National Park - The Termite Mounds

First stop for the Adventure Tours Bus was Litchfield National Park, which lies adjacent to Kakadu National Park.

The Cathedral Termite Mounds - massive!

This gives you an idea of how high these termite mounds can grow!

These can be up to two metres wide, three to four metres high.
Scientists can determine the age of them by looking at the size and shape of them.

Here I am, standing beside these gigantic termite mounds.

A little local friend.

These are called "Magnetic Termite Mounds", which are different from Cathedral Mounds, because they have thin edges and they point north to south to minimise their exposure to the sun and keep the termites cool.

Here are literally hundreds of them in a field.


Next Stop - World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park

Stay Tuned....


The Journey - Alice Springs to Darwin on the Famous Ghan

After learning about its past, it was time to jump on board the "Legendary Ghan".

I wonder why a train has such legendary status? It was a good train journey, I admit, but I do question why its looked on in such "legendary" status. I have a feeling it is because its a train journey which has played a huge part in linking Australia's North to Australia's South.

Here I am, standing beside the Famous Ghan.

Here I am at Katherine, (my namesake, but different spelling). Tourists had the option to go off and spend 3 hours touring around Katherine, but I spent the time sleeping.

The Ghan, stationed at Katherine.

The lounge area inside the Ghan, one of the newer carriages.

The beautiful landscape across the Australian outback.


A Visit to the Ghan Museum

On the day of actually getting on the Ghan, I thought that it would be a great idea to visit the Old Ghan Museum and Heritage Railway so that I could learn about the history of the journey I was about to take.

So it was off to the Ghan Museum - I skipped the National Road Transport Museum due to time constraints (and the fact that it didnt interest me).

The Museum showing a little bit of Christmas spirit.

Records from the Ghan Preservation Society.

I loved these old Ghan advertisement signs.

I loved the old artifacts kept after many years.

My ticket was purchased online - certainly not the way they used to do it!

The fine china of First Class, used many years ago.

The Australian Coat of Arms

The old Telephone System

Part of the old Telephone System.

The old Cash and Ticket Machine

A collection of all of the old train stations at which the Ghan would stop.

Another old ticketing machine.

An old typwriter used to send telegrams.

An old Singer sewing machine for the crew's uniforms.

An old Ghan ticket.

Rusty old train parts lying around.

The old Ghan, which retired back in the 1980's and replaced with the new carriages.

Inside the retired carriage.

Carriages were not air conditioned back in the 1950's.

Stained glass windows, this one is of the Sturt Desert Pea, a native Australian flower.

There she is. The Old Ghan.

And the one prior to that.

The Ghan was used not only to carry people, but also goods, cars and stock.

Inside the toilet - with a Fosters Advertisement that the fellas wouldnt miss!

Fosters Beer signs everywhere.

Another beautiful piece of stained glass in the dining cabin.

And then it was the end, and time to jump on the real thing!