Camping With Casper
Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
144Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Batchelor Resort- Caravillage
Our first stop was Litchfield National Park and it was here that we started to introduce ourselves to the wetlands and outback wilderness: 400 types of ants (including the fire ant colony we camped on top of the first night!!), 90 different species of bats, 2,900 species of spider, and plenty of snakes (140 different types of land snakes and 32 different types of water snakes)- Australia has more venomous snakes than any other country in the world- it also has the unenviable distinction of being home to no fewer than 9 of the top 10 most venomous snakes in the world
And our first encounter with the dangerous outback wildlife?? It turned out to be a fluttering flock of Rainbow Lorikeet, Galah Cockatoo’s, and Yellow Mina’s. The campsite owners have developed a fondness for the local bird wildlife and have taken to feeding them a healthy breakfast and dinner while the rest of us stand around admiring the chattering swarms of wild birds that show up for a free meal (looked like a Las Vegas buffet at times with food flying everywhere). DH used to have a bird identification book at the ready as she fed the birds of Tottenham, and I think she sees herself as a bit of a bird whisperer, so she was positively giddy to have flapping wings all around her.
Litchfield National Park is 'Waterfall Central' with numerous walks and treks through monsoon rainforests out to see these dancing waters which cascade from a sandstone plateau called the Tabletop Range. My favourite stop was at something called the Magnetic Termite Mounds and the Cathedral Termite Mounds. These intriguing and massive magnetic termite mounds covered an open grass plain and gave the appearance of being a large graveyard with equally large mud/dirt tombstones. In a previous life I had worked with guys who seemed to have brains about the size of a termites but there’s just no way they could have built these architectural marvels complete with arches, tunnels, chimneys, insulation and nursery chambers. The mounds are even aligned north to south to minimize the exposure to the sun and results in the ‘magnetic’ designation.
Birds and termites- not exactly death defying….and still no Crocodile Dundee. Off to Kakadu!!