It was late and hot when we arrived at the Darwin airport. Already tired after the long flight from Melbourne, we now had to patiently wait for the shuttle bus to take us to the car hire, and then find our way to the hotel. A quick stop at a petrol station for some food, the only place open that late at night, and we finally arrive at the hotel. Even late at night the air is still hot and humid, and our room has conveniently trapped all of it, greeting us with a rather unpleasant environment when we open the door. The hot air puts up a fight with the air con, but the room eventually cools and we settle down, anticipating the excitement in the days to come.
The new day greets us with some hot weather again, and a prediction to climb to 40C that day. But we are in holiday mode now, so we take the weather in stride, and head into Darwin. The day calls for some attractions around the city, before heading south to Litchfield National Park. A few short hops in and out of the local shops, and we eventually come across Crocosaurus Cove, a crocodile park in the city. Nestled right in the CBD, the park offers a nice escape from the traffic outside. After entering, you find yourself immersed in the world of the crocodile, great foreshadowing for the week to come. We get eye level with the animals, view some feeding, and even get to hold some babies. Eventually we make our way out and move on to our next destination.
Driving away from Darwin and towards Litchfield National Park, the houses and cars on the road become less and less dense, and we witness nature overtaking civilization. Our destination for the night is Batchelor Butterfly Farm and Tropical Retreat, in Batchelor NT. It is a tropical resort by all means. Lush plant life surrounds every building, and the grounds have plenty of ponds filled with fish, flowers, and frogs. And as the name implies, it features a walk through butterfly house in the middle of the property.
The town of Batchelor is small, with a population around 500 people, but it offers all the essentials. It's located just outside of Litchfield National Park, and provides easy access for us to explore over the next couple of days. The park is filled with plenty of creeks, waterfalls, and swimming holes. We happily indulge in the swimming holes, the cool water helping to relieve the heat we built up walking the vast array of trails. After a couple days in the park our bodies finally start to adjust to the heat of the Northern Territory, and we prepare for the next part of our journey; trekking deep into Kakadu National Park.