Kakadu, Pussy Cat Flats and Pine Creek (Northern Territory)

3/09/15  Day four in Kakadu was a rest day, soaking it up at the lagoon pool, reading and snoozing in the air-conditioning; doing a whole heap of not much at all, to make up for the previous two days’ bushwalking.

The following morning, we moved on from Kakadu to Pussy Cat Flats, on the outskirts of the small town of Pine Creek where the Kakadu Highway meets the Stuart Highway. Pussy Cat Flats is the site of a turf club that hasn’t had a horse race in 5 years since the facilities were deemed non-compliant with Territory racing OH&S regulations. Something to do with non-collapsible track rails if jockeys fall on them. Thought the idea was they shouldn’t fall off. Now the little country race track is used for caravans and camping instead. It still has a most excellent bar and restaurant, though.

I’d previously mentioned the heat up here. This item was on the web: “2015 will be the hottest year in the planet’s recorded history, a landmark that comes with the requisite fire and flood. July was the hottest month ever measured on earth.” (The Guardian, 1 September 2015). I knew it! We’re definitely heading south.

Today, we backtracked a little way into Kakadu to Gunlom Falls, about an hour inside the southern entrance to the park. For devotees of the “Crocodile Dundee” movie, the scene where Mick Dundee spears a fish and cooks bush tucker that he reckons “You can live on it but it tastes like s**t” was filmed there. We climbed the precipitous walking track (although “track” is an imaginative stretch for the Pyrenees mountain goat path we climbed) from the big swimming pool at the base of the falls to the top, climbing over boulders in some parts to reach the peak of the escarpment, and then descending a little way to the series of rock pools at the very top of the falls. We considered the climb well worth the effort as we floated in the cool waters with fantastic “infinity pool” views out over southern Kakadu. We weren’t looking forward to the climb back down to the carpark at the base of the falls, though. Di managed very well on both the ascent and descent, thanks to my Sherpa guidance and the hiking pole that I’d thoughtfully given her last Christmas. It proved to be very helpful, and she didn’t think she would have managed the climb without it. I am such a good husband.


It was an eventful day for Di’s Animals in the Wild list. On the drive to the falls, we spotted a big male Water Buffalo in the bush just off the Kakadu Highway, and she leapt to the moment with her camera. Tick off “Water Buffalo”(Ninth Tick). A little further on near Gunlom, a small mob of Brumbies were grazing just a little way from the road, beautiful looking wild horses in excellent condition. Tick off “Brumby” (Tenth Tick) on her list as well.

That afternoon, we looked around Pine Creek, at the Railway Museum, the Miners Park, and the Enterprise Mine pit that is now filled with water.

“Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.” – Susan Sontag

Categories: Animals In The Wild List (AITW), Travel News, Travel News - Northern Territory | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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