Mount Borradaile is unique in that it is a small tourist venture on land that is leased from the Amarak people whose land lies just east of the East Alligator River. They no longer live in the area, but are involved with the camp – the traditional owners visit periodically and have input into the sites that are shown and the stories that are told. We’ll look at the indigenous side of things later on, but first I’d like to show you how things like in Sandstone Country after the Wet.
During the Dry, things are dusty, sandy, and frequently burnt.
However, after the Wet, things are rather green.
So green, in fact that there is a green tinge everywhere from herbs and various other ground covers.
And all the ground cover plants are blooming – the flowers are lovely and delicate.
Here are some native violets.
A kind of poppy.
And a type of heath flower.
All very beautiful to see. All unique to the Top End after the Wet season.
Soon we were away from all civilisation and flying over the wetlands of the Top End, crossing little rivers…
And much bigger ones further east that form part of Kakadu National Park.
It’s the end of a very good Wet season (the best in five years) so the rivers and creeks were still discharging water. This meant great conditions for barramundi fishing, and we saw quite a few boats from above.
I was also fascinated by the clouds and the patterns they formed down below.
After a bit over an hour, we descended into Arnhemland, and down to Mount Borradaile – a little bit of civilisation in the wilds.
Eight years ago I visited a place in the Northern Territory called Mount Borradaile. It’s a tourist camp (not a resort) within West Arnhemland that was full of all sorts of Top End wonders, both natural and indigenous. Even though I only stayed two nights, it made a deep impression, and I’ve been wanting to go back ever since.
I finally got the chance this year, this time with my mum, who is an avid amateur naturalist as well. It might be a strange time to go, in the Wet of late March, but having been up north in the Dry, we both wanted to see what the Wet brought.
The adventure started with an early morning flight in a six-seater plane from Darwin.
Luckily, the weather was calm in the morning, and we were soon flying amongst the clouds and looking down on the estuaries and wetlands that surround Darwin.
It’s definitely greener than in the Dry, isn’t it? Just compare it with a scene from my flight eight years ago, when I was flying through a smoky haze.
I completed two projects over the summer. The first is a present for avid golfer and dog-lover, my sister-in-law, L. It’s a cover for her driver – and my first animal knit.
The second is a stripey and lacy top for myself using leftover bits of Bold Bamboo. A useful top to have during autumn and spring for layering.