The Doc recently visited Darwin, Arnhem Land and Kakadu on a four day helicopter tour, with a few days each side in Darwin.
The flight was based out of Darwin and Jabiru (the township near the Ranger Uranium Mine), with some landings to refuel from jerry cans in remote parts of Arnhem Land. So The Doc got some ground shots.
The trip was at the end of the wet season and the scenery was spectacular, extensive wetlands, rivers, gorges, waterfalls and escarpment a plenty. These photos have minimal post processing.
Arnhem Land is a up on a plateau surrounded by an escarpment. The rain that falls runs off the escarpment and feeds a multitude of rivers along the coastal wetlands, including the Adelaide River, Mary River, Wildman River, the East Alligator/West Alligator/South Alligator Rivers, Liverpool River, Goomadeer River, White Creek, Julia Creek (tributary of Magela Creek), Mann River and Katherine River. Katherine River being the only one listed that flows south into Katherine Gorge near Katherine.
Along this coastal plain, there was an abundance of water, rivers, creeks, streams and wetlands that have abundant crocodiles and water buffalo. With so much water the crocodiles were very hard to spot.
This area has more rivers and water than either Cape York or The Kimberley and The Doc has flown over both of those areas.
On the way into and out of Arnhem Land you must fly over the escarpment, which is hundreds of metres tall in places. Twin Falls and Jim Jim Falls are well-known waterfalls that flow off the escarpment in Kakadu National Park.
The Doc nicknamed one part of the escarpment the Guard Towers, these massive structures were imposing as we flew by. They look smaller in the photos (The Doc used a 24mm lens), compared to real life.
We flew across Kakadu into Arnhem Land and through and abundance of waterways and gorges. The gorges were often full of dense rainforest, unlike any other place visited by The Doc. It makes you wonder what wildlife it hides.
As we approached one river and waterfall the copter noise spooked a black wallaby. So The Doc managed to see the rare all black wallaby. An All Black Wallaby may do rugby union supporters heads in! It is the male that is black, it is normally nocturnal and only found in Arnhem Land across to Nabarlek.
The abundance of water in the Wet Season means lots of waterfalls. The Doc was most impressed by the Mann River Gorge Waterfall in a remote part of Arnhem Land, even more than Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls in Kakadu. He got both aerial and ground photos (as we refuelled), and a passing thunderstorm made it look even better.
The Doc is now frantically packing the Patrol to drive into The Northern Territory in the next few days. The last blog post for a while, enjoy.