Our second visit to Florence Falls was much more worthwhile. Everyone else is back at work and we took advantage. We even found a parking spot under the shade of a tree and that’s very unusual.
We had a bit of a moan about the lack of wildlife spotted recently, so it was delightful to see some on the early morning drive. Two wallabies crossed the road in front of us but even better, we passed a kite flying at a very low level next to the road, with his breakfast in his claws. Very exciting!
We walked to the viewing platform and then down the 135 steps to the plunge pool. 135? I made it 168 and even then, I think I missed some when we greeted passers-by.
The pool itself was inviting but I was keeping my powder, and my body, dry for later on.
Before we’d left, a group of young people came down, started swimming, a-whoopin’ and a-hollerin’, enjoying the echoes.
Similarly, Buley Rockhole was relatively deserted. We were surprised but very pleased that there was so little litter in either place. There are no bins, you’re supposed to take all your rubbish away, and it seems that the vast majority did so. Either that, or the rangers had done a good job very early.
We considered holding a spontaneous jumble sale when we came across several items of forgotten clothing.
One Dad was having fun with his little girl, encouraging her to jump in from the rock. But, at the last moment, he couldn’t bear to look.
Yes, I was tempted to join in here but we had other plans.
Along the road we stopped by Tolmer Falls Lookout. This was a half-hour walk, along a boardwalk well above the trees. Another spectacular view reminding us again just how immense and impressive this country is.
The waterfall itself looked relatively small and insignificant in the distance: I felt sorry for it.
As we walked back along the walkway, we saw a couple of ladies looking at photos on their phones. So we just ploughed on right up to them. Thereby scaring away the goanna they’d actually been photographing. We apologised of course before taking our own pictures.
What a great day for animals, in the end.
I still needed to pay a couple of bills, so we returned to Wangi Falls to use their wifi. All that and one of the credit card bills was for just 79p.
We had coffee and a sandwich and then, at last, I ripped my clothes off and jumped into the water, shouting and yee-haaing. Well, I went in quietly, one slow step at a time. It was cool and refreshing. Liesel walked to the lookout deck and saw this.
I swam over to her and I couldn’t believe the size of the golden orb spider underneath where she was standing. For the first time ever, I realised how useful a selfie stick might be: you could safely take the spider’s picture from up above.
We encountered one other unexpected sight today. We’ve seen smoke from the road a few times, but today we saw big plumes of smoke and big flames. Yes, a couple of big fires. We wondered where the supervisors were, being sure it was a controlled blaze.
Other than that, the drive back to Batchelor and then along the highway back to Darwin was uneventful.
We’re in a motel for the night. We chose the slighty more expensive cabin at the back, away from the noise of the traffic on the main road. What they didn’t tell us was that we’re under the training flight path of the local RAAF base. We can hear them, oh yes, those jets are loud, but we can also feel them through the floor.
Sadly, this is our final night in the Northern Territory and I’m already feeling a bit homesick for the place. I really hope we come back sometime.