Some of the interesting places that the Top End and Indigofera Ecotours have to offer, a little taste of what's to come.
Established in 1869 Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory, and while it is by far the largest city in the Northern Territory with a population of 124,800 it is the smallest capital in Australia. Darwin is the traditional home of the Larrakia people.
It was named after Charles Darwin by his former shipmate John Wickham, the Commander of HMS Beagle which visited the area in 1839. While to some it is considered a pioneer outpost, to others it is the gateway to Asia.
Darwin is a fairly modern city due to the fact that it has been rebuilt twice, after almost two years of attract from the Japanese in WWII and more recently after Cyclone Tracy visited in 1974.
Darwin city is situated on a low bluff, surrounded mostly by water. The suburbs extend to the north and east around the air force base and airport. Further to the east is the satellite city of Palmerston.
Here are some brief descriptions to some of the parks and reserves around Darwin and visited by Indigofera Ecotours.
Litchfield National Park
Litchfield National Park was established in 1986 and is visited by over a quarter of a million each year. It was named after Frederick Henry Litchfield who was a member of the Finniss Expedition (1864) from South Australia in an attempt to set up a settlement at the mouth of the Adelaide River.
Containing great examples, and a variety of Top End habitats Litchfield National Park is located 60km from Darwin (116km by road) Litchfield is one of the most popular parks in the Northern Territory. Litchfield covers 1500 square kilometres of savanna woodlands, paperbark swamps, grass floodplains, monsoonal rainforests and rocky ridges.
Evidence of the lands history remains in the form of the old Bamboo Creek tin mine and Blyth Homestead, and the local Koongurrukun, Marranunggu, Werat and Warray people have creations stories for the local natural features. Wildlife is abundant and the spotting of lizards, birds fish and wallabies is common. The termite mounds of Litchfield are particularly astounding, as are the geological formations.
Draining from the plateau of the Tabletop Range, cascading secretly amongst the escarpments are permanent freshwater streams and waterfalls making Litchfield very attractive for swimming. There is easy access to the main waterfalls and destinations via the all season Litchfield Park Road, and for those who like more challenging terrain can engage 4WD to visit some rock formations and more secluded waterfalls in the south of the park.
Berry Springs Nature Park
Berry Springs Nature Park is a small swimming and picnic area beside the Territory Wildlife Park, located 56 km from Darwin. Berry Creek runs through three swimming pools which are kept full by a low weir down stream. It was used for R&R by troops fighting in Northern Australia in World War 2, it was then when the main infrastructure was built around the pools. The top pool is shallow and has a small waterfall cascading over another weir while the other two pools are deeper.. The shady trees and grass areas with barbeques and tables makes it a popular picnic spot for visitors and the resident ibis. Wallabies and lizards are abundant in this small park, and a walking track along the fringe habitat may introduce you to some spectacular bird life, and the pools contain a variety of easily seen fish.
Robin Falls Nature Park
Near Litchfield National Park along the Dorat Road lies the tiny Robin Falls Nature Park, 128km from Darwin. Robin Falls is a lovely picnic/camping area beside a small permanent creek. A half hour walk will take you up the rocky track to the falls, beware of wet slippery rocks, but the best spot for a cool dip is beside the car park. Elusive monitor lizards and kingfishers can be seen near the watercourse. There are no facilities at Robin Falls just a crystal clear creek running through idyllic bush surrounds.
Charles Darwin National Park
At only 5.5km from Darwin city centre Charles Darwin National Park was established to protect 48 sq/km of a nationally significant mangrove wetland ecosystem, in which 36 of the Northern Territory's 51 mangrove species occur. Located on Frances Bay, it incorporates Blessers Reichardt and Sadgroves tidal creek systems. Historically the area has evidence of aboriginal occupation through shell middens (large collections of shellfish shells discarded after eating), and the Larrakia people have stories for the area. More recently, in 1944, bunkers were built to store ammunition for defence of Australia's north coast. Barbeques, toilets, picnic tables and stunning views of Darwin city are all available for visitors.
Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve
Part of the Adelaide River catchments, and only 67km from Darwin, Fogg Dam is a haven for bird watchers, and non-bird watchers. Everyone is amazed at the show put on by the 230 visiting bird species to the area. You can drive along the dam wall, so you don't even need to get out of the car to see what Fogg Dam has to offer, if you do there is a lookout at the far end of the dam. The dam was built in 1956 in a failed attempt at rice farming. The biggest issue the farmers faced was lack of funding, bad management and transportation issues. Fogg Dam's rich source of flora and fauna were an important food source for the local Limilngan and Wulna Aboriginal People. Know also for the stunning masses of Lotus flowers Fogg Dam's quite walking trails lead you through some beautiful Paperbark swamp and monsoon rainforests. At night it is common to see Water and Olive Pythons as they chase the Dusky Water Rats through the wetlands. Both Johnson's and Estuarine Crocodiles are sighted here frequently so stay away from the water's edge and please observe crocodile warning signs. Facilities include toilets, walking trails and viewing platforms.
Please note that not all destinations are visited on any one tour and destination vary depending on seasonal conditions, accessibility or cultural reasons.