I’ve recently just relocated from Darwin, Northern Territory back to Adelaide, South Australia.
Darwin is a pretty special place. It is Australia’s most northern city, with most South East Asian cities closer than Australia’s other major cities. Just goes to show you how truly vast our country is! This is definitely evident when travelling in a plane from Adelaide to Darwin, you can literally see the landscape and environment change in front of your eyes from a temperate climate to a desert, grasslands, tropical savannah and equatorial climate. The city of Darwin has a tropical savannah climate with distinct wet and dry seasons and the average maximum temperature is similar all year round.
I wouldn’t call Darwin a city as such, more of a large country town, as places like Ballarat and Bendigo are bigger in population. What Darwin lacks for in its low population it certainly makes up for it with its diverse culture, extreme and beautiful weather, colourful and interesting people and it’s amazing and ever changing landscape and environment.
I really enjoyed travelling to Litchfield National Park which is located 100km southwest from Darwin. The landscape and surrounding environment on the trip to Litchfield was so different to what I have grown up with in South Australia. Here there were grass blades the size of my fingers, rows and rows of mango tree plantations (one of my favourite fruits), Pandanus palm trees in water courses (my new favourite tree), Cycas armstrongii growing in abundance under Eucalypt canopies, the ‘reddest’ soil I’ve ever seen, a sea of massive magnetic termite mounds, Crocodiles, Goanna’s, Wild Boars, Buffalos, and those pesky Cane Toads!
Litchfield National Park is basically vast escarpment lands with sheer craters that often enough have the most spectacular waterfalls and natural swimming holes in Australia. With the consistent hot weather swimming in the Litchfield springs is a must after a long bush walk, the sliver you feel across your legs is probably 99% of the time a large fresh water Barramundi, however for 1% of the time and particularly in the ‘wet season’ it could be a Crocodile.
I also was amazed at the transition from ‘Dry Season’ to ‘Wet Season’. You could really see the landscape changing in front of your eyes from a dry and red environment to a wet and green environment. This is evident on the way to Kakadu where the inland estuaries and water courses flood and all the native wildlife come to life. I was really impressed by the size and pretty colours of the Jabiru!
Thousands of lightning strikes filling the night sky are a common occurrence during the Wet Season in the top end. Which makes for some incredible photos around dusk when you get the sheer contrast of the blue sky, dark storm clouds building, the uniquely Territorian red sunset, with the lightning hitting the ground somewhere in the distance. Ahhh Magical!