It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, the rivers gone all brown, the Storm Bird is calling out loud, and BOM is doing us proud as the creeks and waterfalls begin to flow.
Hackneyed and soulful carol singing aside the wet season landscape is springing to new life thanks to some fantastic storms in the last few weeks.
A glaring sunburnt grassland, brown and beige broken by tufts of olive grey, has been flipped into a kaleidoscope of green. The heat’s still on but new leaves on every tree are as exciting as any Christmas bauble.
With the rains come river rises and there’s a few things to remember.
It’s hot, really hot. The towering sandstone of the Nitmiluk escarpment has been soaking up the heat like the proverbial sponge.
The air doesn’t cool down much and hiking in this weather can be problematic. If you are thinking of heading out to your favourite photo point far above the river, or if you’d like a chance to catch the first of the wet season wildflowers, make sure you set the alarm for well before dawn.
An early start and a well-stocked backpack may mean the difference between a sweaty but satisfying adventure and a journey with no end. Take plenty of water, at least three litres, wear the biggest hat you can find and team it with a long sleeved shirt. Always make sure that someone knows where you are going and when you will be back.
Swimming and canoeing has closed in the gorge as the risk of saltwater crocodile intrusion increases with the water levels. This doesn’t mean that all the best bits of our big backyard are gone until next year. The waterfall at Southern Rockhole has started to run again. Only a wee bit but it’s been enough to flush the water clean and clear.
If your weekend plans include a trip out to the rock hole make sure you stop by the Parks webpage at www.nt.gov.au/leisure/parks-reserves/find-a-park-to-visit/nitmiluk-national-park before you leave
Check out the ‘what to see and do’ section and take a photo of the Southern Walks map with your phone. Follow the blue and green triangles out along the Windolf Trail to Pat’s Lookout. The turnoff to Southern Rockhole is just before one of the most spectacular views in the region.