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Home / Essays / 2014 / November / Australia 2014 - Day 20 - From Jabiru to Yellow Water (Cooinda)

Australia 2014 - Day 20 - From Jabiru to Yellow Water (Cooinda)

After a good sleep in my comfortable king size bed I woke up around 8.00 o'clock am. I was waken up from a loud screaming outside my room.

Whilst I was going to the amenity to do my morning toilet, I saw what was happened outside in the beginning morning.

I think a few dozen cockatoos sat in the trees and on the ground of my veranda and were looking for feed. Their feed were the seeds of the trees which are standing around my cottage. And it was interesting to observe how they were managing it together to get their breakfast.

Cockatoo picking feed from the seed from the branchA cockatoo is any of the 21 species belonging to the bird family Cacatuidae, the only family in the superfamily Cacatuoidea.

A few of them were sitting in the trees and picking up the seeds from the branches.

But the coockatoos didn't eat all of the seeds which they have picke up. But they dropped some of the seed to the ground, so that the other birds could take their part of the meal.

Cockatoo feeding seeds from the groundCockatoos are recognisable by the showy crests and curved bills.

After their vegetarian breakfast they were resting for a while in the trees

Relaxing Cockatoos after the their feedingTheir plumage is generally less colourful than that of other parrots, being mainly white, grey or black and often with coloured features in the crest, cheeks or tail.

and then leaving the place with loudly noises.

Flying off CockatooThe name cockatoo originated from the Indonesian (Malay) name for these birds, kaka(k)tua (either from kaka "parrot" + tuwah or "older sibling" from kakak "older sibling" + tua "old").

After this spectacle in this lovely morning mood I finished my toilet, prepared my self made breakfast, which tastes always delicious in the nature whether it was very simple, and packed my luggage, stowed it in my car to go to the next station on my trip through the Kakadu National Park. And the day should bring a lot of stunning experiences.

My 4WD ready to goThe essential things for a trip through the Kakadu National Park, especially water ;-)

The next stop wasn't so far away from Jabiru. Its was the Gadudju Lodge in Cooinda which was only 60 km far away from Jabiru and which i reached after a on hour.

Entry to the Cooinda LodgeThe indigenous owned Cooinda Lodge offers easy access to Yellow Water cruises, Warradjan Cultural Centre, Jim Jim Falls, Twin Falls, Nourlangie, bushwalks and boat entry and exit points for an exciting day of fishing.

It was a really nice lodge with a shop, a bistro, cottages, a campground, a beautiful swimming pool, which was really necessary by the high temperatures of 37 degrees in these days and all facilities you need for a comfortable stay. I have booked 2 nights here to have time to explore the Yellow Water region, which was close by to the lodge.

So I went to the reception after my arrival, got my key for my cottage, which was well equipped and comfortable too, and I book a Yellow Water Sunrise Cruise in the evening, which should be the best.

Cooinda Lodge, KakaduMy home for two nights, was equipped with toile, shower and a small kitchen

After a chat with the receptionist about what I should or can do in the Jabiru region, I went to my lodge, dropped off my luggage there and observed then the close surroundings of the lodge with my car. So I went to Yellow Water at noon, to hope to see a little bit of the wildlife there, from which I have read on the internet site and in my travel guides. But I was little bit disappointed when i have reached the landing stage of the cruising boats. Because the only bird which i have seen, was one heron standing in the water.

So I could only wait for the evening and I am thankful that it was changing then.

The afternoon with the peak of the temperature of 38 degrees I was using to relax in the beautiful swimming pool of the lodge, where some other tourists an travelers were seeking for the same. a shady place and a refreshment in the pool.

The Yellow Water Sunrise Safari started at 4.30 o'clock pm. We were picked up from a shuttle from the main car park of the lodge which brought us to the landing stage, where i have been at noon already. The group was mixed crowd from tourists and travelers from different countries.

The suns stood still high above the horizon, but the light started to get warm touch already.

After all passengers has found their seats on the flat cruising boat, the captain gave some security instruction about the usage of the life jacket and of course the important advice to the behavior on board relating to the crocodiles, which should swim in these waters obviously. But in my mind I thought that the explanation for the usage of the life jackets could be useless in an emergency case when the the Yellow Water is fill of crocodiles. And that meant, that every passengers shouldn't avoid to lean their hands over the railing. After a few minutes I understood why ;-).

Then after a few minutes of the start of our cruise we could see the first crocodile which were swimming in the water not far away.

Saltwater crocodile in the Yellow WaterThe saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), also known as saltie, estuarine or Indo-Pacific crocodile, is the largest of all living reptiles, as well as the largest terrestrial and riparian predator in the world.

The tour guide steered due the crocodile directly to get a closer view to this massive about 3,5 meter large saltwater crocodile. He was explaining a lot about the gender, how you can figure out it, about their behavior, what they eat and so on. Whilst he was telling us so much about these creatures, which are livid in this earth over million of years we were approaching to it to only one meters distance, so that it was swimming close to our boat. And now I understood the importance of his warning before not to hold the arms aver the railing.

Close up of a 4 meter long Saltwater Crocodile swimming in the Yellow WaterSaltwater crocodiles are strictly carnivorous. Fish, birds, and mammals that venture near the water's edge are all eaten. The adult crocodiles will eat almost anything that comes too close.

It was really an impressionable view to see this creature swimming so close to the boat.

The tour went further on the very calm river which was touched in the warm light of the sun. Then on one riverside between a row of trees a sea-eagle was sitting and feeding its booty.

Observating White-bellied sea eagleThe white-bellied sea eagle has a white head, rump and underparts, and dark or slate-grey back and wings.

The river was meandering itself further through a beautiful pastureland.

Pasture land on the Yellow WaterYellow Water Billabong, Kakadu's most famous wetland, is located at the end of Jim Jim Creek, a tributary of the South Alligator River. The river system, which is the largest in Kakadu, contains extensive wetlands that include river channels, floodplains and backwater swamps.

A lot of different birds were standing on the riversides of the river like the Juvenile Nankeen Night-heron.

A Nankeen Night-heron standing on the riversideThe Nankeen Night-heron is a compact heron with large head and stooped posture. The crown and back of neck is black.

Or the the Com-crested jacana, which were adapted to run over the leaves of the water lilies.

Com-crested jacana standind on water lilly leavesLike other jacana species, it is adapted to the floating vegetation of tropical freshwater wetlands.

It was really funny to watch them, because when they were running to slow

Sinking Com-crested jacana on a water lily leaveLike other jacana species, it is adapted to the floating vegetation of tropical freshwater wetlands.

they were sunken in the water because of their weight.

Sunken Com-crested jacana on a water lily leaveLike other jacana species, it is adapted to the floating vegetation of tropical freshwater wetlands.

And you could see a lot of crocodiles during the tour. Either they were sunning themselves in the sun.

Sunning salt-water crocodile in the Yellow WaterThe males of this species can reach sizes of up to 6.7 m (22 ft)[ and weigh as much as 2,000 kg (4,400 lb).

Or they were laying on the riverside with an open mouth to cool down the temperature of their brains.

Moaning salt-water crocodile

It was a stunning experience to me to see all these crocodiles and birds in the wilderness. I was feeling like in a ZOO with the difference that we weren't watching the animals but they were watching us.

Saltwater crocodile in the Yellow WaterThe saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), also known as saltie, estuarine or Indo-Pacific crocodile, is the largest of all living reptiles, as well as the largest terrestrial and riparian predator in the world.

And I was surprised about the rich variety of birds like the Australian pied cormorant, which was sitting in the trees,

Australian pied cormorantThe Australian pied cormorant, Phalacrocorax varius, also known as the pied cormorant or pied shag, is a medium-sized member of the cormorant family. It is found around the coasts of Australasia.

or the different kind of ducks like the Magpie gooses, which were fishing for booties in the muddy water and

Magpie gooses looking for feedThe magpie goose (Anseranas semipalmata) is a waterbird species found in coastal northern Australia and savannah in southern New Guinea.

the Buff Breasted (Paradise) Kingfisher sitting in a tree and

Buff Breasted (Paradise) Kingfisher sitting in a treeThe buff-breasted paradise kingfisher (Tanysiptera sylvia) is a tree kingfisher. This type of kingfisher has a white tail and nests only in termite mounds.[

the White-necked Heron, which was still standing in the late afternoon sun and

White-necked HeronThe White-necked Heron is a large heron with a white head and a long white neck with a double line of black spots running down the front. The White-necked Heron is distributed throughout mainland Australia, inhabiting mainly fresh water wetlands.

the Australian Darter, wich was drying his wings in the sun and wind.

Australian Darter drying his wingsThe Australasian darter or Australian darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae) is a species of bird in the darter family, Anhingidae. It is found in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea. Typical habitat is freshwater or brackish wetlands more than 0.5 m deep with fallen trees or logs and vegetated banks; less commonly, darters are found in sheltered saltwater or estuarine environments.

This experience remembered me on my youth, when i was playing on the riversides of a smaller river close to the village in where I was growing up and playing in some hot summer and where i was fishing lurches and frogs and watching birds. But this world here was another. The combination of the three different senses of viewing of the landscapee with these birds, buffalos and crocodiles in this late afternoon light, the smelling of the smack of the murky water and listening of the various noises of the different birds made the Yellow Water Cruise to an mazing experience to me.

After around 1 1/2 hour our the boat turned around and went back through a beautiful lighted pastureland.

Yellow Water in evening mood.Yellow Water is part of the South Alligator River floodplain. During early dry season, a boardwalk provides good views of Yellow Water's wildlife. When waters recede, a 1km return walk takes you across the floodplains to a viewing platform on Home Billabong.

Where at the end a beautiful sunlight were expecting us.

Atmosperic Sunset on the South Alligator RiverThe South Alligator River is also about 160 km long. It rises north of Mount Stow, on the Arnhem Land Plateau.