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Dec 20, 2012 5:37PM

Photo Diary: Oyster x The Northern Territory Part 2

Waterfalls, gorges, fireworks and Road Kill jerky.

I got my Survivor on and went to The Northern Territory with Canon cameras to test out the new EOS 650D and PowerShot D20 (despite having little to no life/photographic skills). You can read part one of my photo diary here. Let's pick up where we left off with me trying not get killed by crocodiles:

The day got less terrifying as we drove two hours on the long and open dirt road to Gunlom. Here there were signs of civilization — Wicked Camper vans with cheesy slogans and picnic blankets sprawled over grass. We walked 40 minutes uphill to Waterfall Creek, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen: a private paradise of terraced rockpools, sheer cliffs fringed with pandanus palms, and fuck-off views over Kakadu. If I was in a movie I probably would've stood at the edge of one of the cliffs yelling "I'm aliveeeee!" while doing a cinematic 360 degree twirl in a moment of self-revelation. 

On Sunday we headed to Katherine, described as the outback meets the tropics. Our destination was the Katherine Gorge — a series of 13 sandstone gorges connected over a 12 kilometer stretch of rapids and rocks — and our activity was kayaking. Despite severely unpleasant school camp memories and a complete lack of upper body strength, I attempted to partake. We were warned not to veer near the sandbanks, which was where the freshwater crocodiles who inhabited the gorge laid their eggs (ew, nature). Freshwater crocodiles are known as the 'nicer' of the crocodiles, aka they just brutally attack humans but don't actually kill them. Cute. Impending sense of doom and panic attack aside, it was a fairly serene environment.

That night, we lit shit on fire. July 1 is Territory Day, a public holiday celebrating the Territory's anniversary of self-governance. It is also the only day of the year besides Chinese New Year when you can legally buy and set off fireworks. We spent $300 on a box that had genius names like Redneck Wonder and Top End Terror. My inner Jack-Daniels-in-a-can-drinking-bogan very much enjoyed the experience of setting the fireworks off and kind of wished every day could be Territory Day.

Our last day on the road back to Darwin we went to a homestay to watch a cattle muster. On a more sombre note, we also stopped at the Adelaide River War Cemetery, an immaculately-maintained graveyard which housed the headstones of 434 people who had died in the town during WWII.

I was glad to get back to Darwin (the Holiday Inn pillows felt like clouds) but all in all my time spent in the NT was truly amazing. Big ups to Canon for deciding to invite me (the mind boggles) because I probably never would've gone to the NT of my own volition. Which is sad, because it's an incredible place. It seems like a lot of people my age head straight overseas when they save up any sizable amount of money, but let me tell you (at the risk of sounding like a dad) our own backyard is BLOODY BEAUTIFUL, mate! And much better than a trip to Bali. A++, would go again.