Monday, 7 April 2014

Wet Season Waterfalls

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So a few weeks back when I was up in Darwin for a quick visit we decided to check out Litchfield National Park and the Daly River Region to see what the wet season had done and is still doing to our favorite places.

Lee & Jenny had told us that the worst of the flooding was over next to the Daly and the river had retreated enough that maybe, just maybe the Barra would be on the bite .... so that was it.

Straight down to BCF we went and stocked up on lures and rods and advice from the professionals. This included lures that were near impossible to snag, rods for quick easy cast and lifelike cheribin lures which look good enough to cook up and eat myself.  And the word on the street ... keep to the deep.

Into the back of tGDM with it all, some provisions, music, smiles and we were off.

First stop was to check out Litchfield National Park.

Driving along the Stuart Highway the lush green grass tells the story of a good wet season.  So far we have had 1600 mm since Nov 1st 2013 which has had the usual effect of closing roads, washing away things that are transient such as bridges and pathways and turning the tap up on the waterfalls.

Humidity still in the 90's, air con on and life is good.  On approach to Wangi Falls we can see the usually controlled flow has gotten a bit excited.  Gushing over the top of the 84 m cliff are twins of white foaming joy which by the looks of it had caused quite the fuss in the area.

Checking out the vegetation on the fence lines, the scar levels on the trees  (where bark has been ripped off) and the consistent lean of most of the trees in the area and the indications are there that things got a bit wild recently.  

With the water level being still a bit high and the current pushing strongly through the vegetation Wangi has been fenced off to the public.  Too many people have drowned here over the years to take chances.  Of course there is also the possibility that a saltie has moved into the spot during the high water levels.  Time to move on.

Tolmer Falls ... the highest waterfall in the park (102 m) and home to a couple of endangered bat species (orange leaf nosed bat, ghost bats)  this area is best viewed from the lookout provided by national parks. From there we are greeted with more evidence of nature in action as the high flow cascades over the rocky lip to the deep forest fringed pool below.

From here we cruise past the tabletop wetland ... access closed (of course) and then to Buley and Florence.
Buley has changed.  The high flows have ripped out the tall shade tree at the top of the rockpools and cleared the path of the creek.  This has resulted in more water going down the left hand stream creating little rapids along the length of the rockpools.  Some appear to be a bit quick for a relaxing wallow whilst others are just right.  Something for everyone still.  Looking at the right hand stream feeding into the top pool and the the smaller one below and it is possible that as the season dries up it's recharge may also dry up.

Having braved the rapids and refreshed ourselves we head to Daly River (next post).

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