So, my plan was to fly from Darwin to Adelaide, spend six hours there and then fly overnight from there to Doha and onwards to Oslo. That went well, until my flight was cancelled and I was stuck in Adelaide.
As soon as I had landed in Adelaide I had gone outside and jumped on the first bus to the city center. The place really felt like itut had been carefully planned and created from scratch just like Washington DC, Pretoria, Brasilia and so on. The city center was all inside a square park, just half an hour from the airport and had some beautiful old buildings like the train station and the theater.
I asked a beggar on the street where in the city it was nice to walk around and shook his hand while slipping a coin, much like the bribe handshake they do in movies. Money well spent I thought half an hour later after I had arrived Glenelg and sat with a paper bagged beer and watched the sunset from the beach.
Glenelg is a suburb of Adelaide, about a 40 minute tram ride from the city center. It was a place with lots of restaurants, street musicians and people having picnics on the beach. It was time much better spent than just hanging out on the airport I thought to myself as I was sitting in the bus on my way back.
I got to the gate just before it closed, sat down in the airplane watching a movie for over an hour before the captain told us that the flight had to be cancelled due to technical problems with the aircraft. A few minutes later I was on my way back into the city to catch some sleep and wait for the airline to call me once they had booked me on abother flight.
The following day I spent just waiting at the airport. A crappy place to be for so long I thought to myself until I got on a new plane 24 hours after my original flight schedule. I started looking forward to coming home to my tent in Trondheim aa I fell asleep on the 14,5 hour plane ride to Doha.
Kakadoo is a place I had heard about and wanted to go to for many years. Australia has a lot of bird and animals that live exclusively in Australia and I was hoping for a proper wildlife experience where I would sleep in a swag under the stars among the wild animals. Because we were at the end of the wet season, the trip turned out quite different.
We started the day early and had a few hour drive to …. aboriginal center, which we went through in just a few minutes. Then we cooked some lunch and played some frisbee at the parking lot before driving another couple of hours to …. cultural center. There they had ponds with the fish and turtles and fish native to the area and lots of information about the wildlife which was interesting enough. The visit concluded our sightseeing for the day and we spent the evening chilling out at the pool, drinking wine and playing cards.
The next morning we also left early only to drive the whole day back to Darwin. The only stop we made on the way was for half an hour hike to a lookout point, where forests were all around us as far as the eye could see. I had hoped to see a lot of wildlife, but all we saw during our time in Kakadu national park was some birds and wallabees along the way.
As Darwin did not have too much to see, I was really excited when we set off into the nature in Lichtfield National Park.
Lichtfield has a very tropical, rainforest climate and is famous for having some of Australias best waterfalls, some big termite mounds and rivers and billabongs full of crocodiles.
Some three hours drive from Darwin we got to the Florence Waterfalls where we went for a swim. The falls were not too big and worked excellent for climbing and as a shower. Our second stop was the Buley Rock Pools where we had a more relaxed swim and a picnic lunch.
Not far away we stopped at some termite mounds that must have been fiver meters tall and was estimated to be 250 years old. There were also some info posters explaining how important these were to the eco system as they manage to break down materials that other animals cannot.
Our last stop for the day was at the Corroboree Park Tavern where we had a beer before we were picked up for some crocodile spotting cruise. It took us nearly two hours to spot the first crocodile, but in the meantime we saw lots of birds, wallabees, tasted green tree ants and water lillys. The biggest crocodile we saw was about three meters swimming right next to our boat as the sun was setting in the horizon.
Darwin is small, having a population of just over 100 000 people. There is one main road for bars and restaurants called Mitchells and one paralell street for shopping called Smith Street and thats about it.
The city played an important role in WWII and was the only one attacked by the Japanese in the war. Therefore they decided to build huge underground tunnels (picture above) where they would store the oil and this is one of Darwins main attractions.
Other popular activities include swimming with crocodiles at the Crocosaurus Cove, feeding fish at Aquascene, walking along the Esplanade and watching movies outdoor at Deckchair Cinema.
My last four days in Cairns have been spent relaxing at the Esplanade, which is a public pool in the middle of the city and going out at night. Cairns is also a place that offer all kinds of activities like rain forrest trips, bungee jumping, skydiving and dive trips to the Great Barrier Reef so it is a good place to have a few extra days at the beginning or end of your east coast trip.
Although Australia has been a blast I am also glad that it is over. Traveling up the East Coast has been almost a bit like traveling on a trail, where people stop at the same places, mosttly doing the same things. Usually the main activieties of the costal towns will be beach life and nightlife, two things that I do not have to travel halfway across the globe to experience. I am now ready to move out og my comfort zone to get more genuine experiences in places where less tourists travel.
Having snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef at the Whitsundays, but had really bad visibility and seen very little I was ready to get a better experience when doing a day trip from Cairns that would take me to the outer reef for a few dives.
After about a ninety minute boat ride we were at Norman Reef, with the first divesite being Plate Top. Here we got in and swam around for about half an hour without seeing much more than coral and small fish before we finally spotted something worth seeing. It was a sleeping black tip reef shark, with its front facing away from us allowing us to get really close. After that we had another fifteen minutes of swimming around without seeing anything impressing.
Our second divesite, still at Norman Reef was at Turtle Bay where it was almost a repitition of our first dive. We managed to spot a reef shark and a turtle at a distance and then a giant maori fish swimming above us at the surface, but other than that it was probably the most boring diving I have ever done in my life.
The Great Barrier Reef is the Worlds biggest reef which also has the reputation of being one of the Worlds best places to dive. For me it did not live up to its expectarions at all, but then I might also have been very unlucky with the visibility and colors of the reef due to rain and choppy wqves on the surface.