Yellow Water

Kakadu, north Australia
Location Map   We flew to Darwin in August 2002 and followed the route in green.  In Kakadu is Yellow Water, renowned for the cruise on the billabong, especially at sunrise.
1: Location Map
Yellow Water   We booked well ahead to get the first cruise of the morning.
2: Yellow Water
Early Rise   Forgetting breakfast, we drove the short trip to the jetty for the first light of day.  There were quite a few boats filling with keen tourists from all parts of the world.
3: Early Rise
Reflections   The first signs of the sun were impressive but failed to convey the magnificant views to come.
4: Reflections
On our way   We were the first boat away which meant we had double the viewing pleasure  with reflections from the still waters around us.
5: On our way
Magic Mist   A magical atmosphere surrounded as we moved into the mists.
6: Magic Mist
Horses In The Mist   We were surprised to see horses (and cattle) in Kakadu, a World Heritage area.  They are owned by the local aborigines, and don't appear to have affected wildlife.
7: Horses In The Mist
First Sun   I knew now this was to be a great day - thank goodness I went digital!
8: First Sun
Red & Blue   [Words fail me!]
9: Red & Blue
Dawn Tones   It was still too dark to see much wildlife, but with this dawn I was occupied enough!
10: Dawn Tones
Golden Mist 1   The mist with the sun behind it was stunning -  birds could now be seen quite clearly against this backdrop.
11: Golden Mist 1
Double Vision   And suddenly we were noticing wildlife all around us.
12: Double Vision
Golden Geese   Magpie Geese are common in Kakadu but in the sunlight look anything but common.
13: Golden Geese
Golden Mist 2   The sun was now higher casting its golden glow even further across the landscape.
14: Golden Mist 2
Golden Tree   Even a run-of-the-mill tree is seen in a different light in Kakadu.
15: Golden Tree
Sun Up   As the sun completes its rise, the blue of the sky becomes apparent.
16: Sun Up
Drifting   With engines off (we didn't notice that there had been noise until then)  we drifted on the billabong enveloped by a  chorus of pure surround sound. Wonderful!
17: Drifting
Mirror Image   Even dead trees become interesting in this light.  It's sole inhabitant is noticeable more by its reflection than by its real self.
18: Mirror Image
Lone Lily   The blueness of the sky accentuates the lillies surrounding us.  Still drifting, we are entranced by the new sights and sounds every second.
19: Lone Lily
Look Closely 1   Can you see it? The Jacana is commonly called the 'Jesus' bird because can walk  across the water (lilies) due to its large, wide-spread feet (relative to its body size).
20: Look Closely 1
Reality Check   Great excitement! Our first croc - it just surfaced silently beside us.  Not a big one (as far as we could tell) but no-one was keen to check it out further.
21: Reality Check
Darter 1   A Darter drying itself - a common sight on our cruise.
22: Darter 1
Darter 2   Another Darter - also in drying mode.
23: Darter 2
Rainbow Bee Eater   I wasn't sure where this bird was at the time - so I just snapped!  Great picture for a jig-saw puzzle? Thanks to Betty Kennedy for the ID.
24: Rainbow Bee Eater
Peak Hour   Someone spotted a HUGE croc (they thought) so all boats descended upon it.  We never did see that one. In reality they can appear and disappear very quickly.
25: Peak Hour
Serenity   Mid-cruise and all was quiet and very bright now that the sun was higher.  We then headed off to find some larger crocs.
26: Serenity
Trees   As we moved on we had time to notice the superb tree specimens around us. It had been a little difficult to see detail in the early morning light.
27: Trees
Abundant Birds   This and the following photos give an idea of the abundant bird life found in Kakadu.
28: Abundant Birds
Crane   One of many white cranes we spotted on the billabong.
29: Crane
Spoonbill   A Royal Spoonbill alone near some rocks - or so we thought so until the 'rocks' moved.  Heads popped up to reveal magpie geese - but can you count how many?
30: Spoonbill
Sea Eagle   The white-bellied sea eagle is a year-round resident of Yellow Water.   A number were seen in the trees during the cruise.
31: Sea Eagle
Kingfisher   This was difficult to spot even though the colour of the Kingfisher is so striking.
32: Kingfisher
Night Heron   My favourite bird of the morning - thanks again to Betty Kennedy for the ID.
33: Night Heron
Lily Flower   A superb specimen! And yet another favourite shot.
34: Lily Flower
Lily Leaf?   A superb specimen again - the leaf that is.  The other specimen was 'gone' within seconds of this shot.
35: Lily Leaf?
Very Keen   You would have to be keen to fish these waters!  Public access is allowed with Barramundi being the prized catch.
36: Very Keen
Big Croc   A big one in the sun - we were lucky to see so many out and about.  Sometimes they're just hiding and waiting...
37: Big Croc
Jaws   Ouch!
38: Jaws
Best Left Alone   From this angle they look even more dangerous.  We kept going - had to get back...
39: Best Left Alone
Cruise Map   A map our of route for the morning - we were away for about 3 hours.  It certainly was one of the most memorable tourist activities in Oz. An amazing place!
40: Cruise Map