I read your entry on Kakadu. I used to live in Jabiru for 3 years during 1990. Was only 10 at the time.
At the time, you could swim at a lot more places. Croc hunting had only been banned about a decade earlier, and they were still quite rare. Since then they've bred up and infested everywhere.
I havn't heard of about half the places you visited, but the ones I do know (the most popular, like yellow waters) are generally infested with tourists. Kakadu is spotted with tiny little camping spots. Most are medeocre at best, but a few are really spectacular. You really have to be a local to know which ones though.
I think Kakadu is great for hardcore hikers, who go and get permits to go on 3 day hikes off the beaten track, and it's great for the yuppie tourists, but not for peaple who want to get away from the tourists without being stupid about it.
Subject: Alice Springs
Posted: 24 Sep 2004 4:03 am
Just read your article on Alice Springs, and decided to post a response to that too. For the most part, your dead on. Though I find the Henly On Todd regatta to be tacky as well.
Alice also has a (poorly advertised) hiking trail called the Larapinta trail, which offers really good views. Though you'd be mad to do it in summer. It's got 12 sections, and each section is something like 30 km long.
It also has a lot of picnic spots along the Mackdonald Ranges, where they've been worn down by rivers going through. (called Gaps by the locals). All very pretty, and worth going to on day trips, but a lot of tourists visit them.
My mums one of the peaple who manage the national parks in the area, which explains my interest.
I sometimes wish I'd been a bit more of a walker when I visited Kakadu, because you're right, it would be great to get off the beaten track and do some serious exploration away from the tourists. I can't remember what the restrictions were, though: presumably the rangers wouldn't have been that keen on someone disappearing into the bush during the burning-off season!
I remember reading about the Larapinta Trail in Alice, but I wasn't firing on all cylinders while I was there, so I gave it a miss. Luckily I thought it was a stunning place, however you choose to explore it. Happy memories, indeed.