Every Friday on GutterPup Adventures we publish a “guest post” from the best travel websites on the web. These talented writers will take you on a journey to the most beautiful and exciting places on earth! Today, Dave from “Aussie Discovery” takes us to the Land Down Under – Australia, for a scenic and historic adventure at the Gregory National Park.
BOATING, CANOEING, BUSH WALKING, FISHING, 4W DRIVING… PREPARE FOR AN AMAZING ADVENTURE!
You need a good pair of walking boots in your bag and a brave spirit in your heart! The local Indigenous people called it Judbarra; we know it as Gregory National Park! We are talking about the second largest park in the Australia’s Northern Territory. The Northern Territory, an Australian federal territory, is located in the center and central northern regions of the country and sparsely populated by “Territorians” or more informally “Top Enders.”
Located in the transition zone between tropical and semi -arid regions of NT, Gregory National
Park covers an area of around 13,000 km square in the Katherine Region.
HISTORY AND HERITAGE
This land is inhabited and treasured by many Aboriginal tribes and is the birthplace of their
cultural traditions of deep spirituality and creativeness. There are several archaeological
sites which bear testimony to this fascinating ancient Aboriginal history.
Of the archaeological sites located in the east of the park, one is Gregory’s Tree, a very large Boab tree marked with carvings from the explorer Augustus Gregory. History tells us Gregory sailed from Moreton Bay, near Brisbane, following the Queensland and Northern Territory coasts before venturing up the Victoria River and eventually making camp in the shadow of the giant Boab. It was there, in the place today referred to as Gregory’s tree, where the unlucky August Gregory wrecked his boat. Unfounded speculation or folklore attributes the wreckage to the ferocious activities of giant territorial crocodiles which this hapless explorer had never experienced up close. After cutting timber and making hurried repairs to his vessel Gregory and his disenchanted crew departed. Before leaving they clearly carved in the enormous Boab the date’ 2 July 1856’. Gregory’s tree still remains an Aboriginal sacred site which begs the question, notwithstanding the crocodiles, how did they ever escape alive.
It will seem your eyes are deceiving you whilst wandering through the lusciously verdant and flourishing tropical rainforest! You’re senses will be immersed in the aroma of towering Eucalyptus while the long yellow Spinifex, gently swaying in the breeze, appear to smile at you in tranquil calm. Majestic Boabs scatter the landscape welcoming you to this captivating ancient limestone land with Western Australia far into the distance.
Walk. Walk. Walk. For an unforgettable experience it is a must to investigate this unique, almost prehistoric, landscape on foot. To fully comprehend the enormity and diversity of this exceptional park anything other than walking would not give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in its beauty and solitude. The relatively easy Escarpment Walk not only provides you with interesting signs and explanations of the Nutgall and Ward man Aboriginal tribes but spectacular views over the Victoria River. For the more spirited and energetic there is the Nawulbinbin (Joe Creek) Loop Walk which winds up a steep rocky slope to the base of the escarpment wall. Along the way are stunning examples of Aboriginal rock art.
Beware of Crocs! The rivers, creeks and billabongs are inhabited by both Saltwater and Freshwater Crocodiles. Do not swim or allow children to play near the water’s edge. Apart from these scaly dinosaurs there are hundreds of species of birds, mammals and insects to investigate. And fish… the mighty Barramundi will keep you busy whilst reeling him in.
Succulent when cooked on fire coals under a canopy of glittering stars with a side dish of delicious solitude.
Throughout the park there are a number of camping areas, with toilets, picnic tables and barbecues. A nominal camping fee applies. Commercial accommodation is available at Top Springs, Timber Creek and Kalkaridngi but these are not located within the park. All the services you’ll need are at Timber Creek. Fuel, provisions, public telephones, police, banking facilities, vehicle repairs, boat hire and medical care and drinking water.
There are also several tour operators in the park that will help you to enjoy your stay! Due to the rough terrain within the park it is not recommended for caravans. Sunscreen, insect repellent and a shady hat are essentials! Wear suitable clothing and footwear. It is not wise do strenuous activity during the heat of the day. A first aid kit and a satellite phone are recommended.
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