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quite as shiny as the new ones?
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Graveside Family Walk Photo Gallery
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This walk was organised for three generations of a family group from Melbourne in September 2006. There were four children, ages 9, 9, 10 and 12, their two mothers and their grandmother. We began with the drive to Kakadu, a night at Cooinda and the Yellow Waters Cruise. If you'd like to get a better idea what the cruise is like, please have a look at our Yellow Waters Photo Gallery.
The next morning we hopped into the 4WD and set off on the track to Graveside Gorge. Along the way, we passed some huge termite mounds. One of the girls climbed up on top of the car to show just how big the mound was. Her mother took the photo at right.
The track is only 44 km, but it is fairly rough and takes nearly two hours. We got to the end of the track, put on packs and began the walk. It didn't take us long to get to our first campsite which was only about 3 km from the car. the two photos below show the kids at the pool and one of the mums dishing out dinner.
The next morning, we began with the toughest climb of the trip. The photo right shows the campsite in the foreground. We contoured to the left of the cliffs and up through a slot.
The photo at far right above shows the 9 year old boy on the steepest section in the slot. This really steep section is only about a three to metre climb; the rest is a lot easier.
Once at the top, we stopped to enjoy the views back out over the plains, shown at right. The hard part was over.
Twenty minutes after reaching the top, we were in the pool shown left below. Half an hour after that, we were having lunch and a swim at a pool on a different creek, shown right below.
Another 30-40 minutes brought us to our campsite, next to yet another pool. Time for dinner and a rest.
It took us only an hour the next morning to reach Cascades Creek and another 15 minutes to get down to the pool below the top falls. While the adults enjoyed the Aboriginal art, the children enjoyed the water.
Cascades Creek is magic, pool after glorious pool, art site after art site. The children weren't particularly interested in the art, but they were more than happy to spend a bit more time swimming while the adults spent a bit less time swimming and a bit more time looking at the paintings. Park policy does not permit us to show the paintings here — if you want to see them, you'll have to come on a trip.
Cascades Creek may be magic, but it is not dead easy. There are occasional rock scrambles such as the two shown at left. The first can be dodged (some wanted the challenge while grandma and the guide went around) but the choice at the second is do it or swim.
Climbs over, we reached our campsite at a waterfall midway along the creek with plenty of time to relax and swim.
The lower half of Cascades Creek is a bit easier than the top half, but it is still slow with a lot of rock hopping. The pools and swims more than made up for the effort.
Then at last we were there, the Cascades. The photos at left show the top falls and crossing the creek a bit lower down. This was followed by the best part of all, the best natural waterslide in Kakadu.
Singles, doubles, triples, quadruples. As far as the kids were concerned, this was the best part of the trip. Down they'd go and back they'd climb.
We made our camp on a sandy area below the cascades. The following morning we began the walk down the valley toward the cars. The terrain here was quite different -- and a lot easier -- than what we were used to. Our final camp was on a sand beach only 1.5 km from the car. The photos below show the camp at sunset and the kids hard at work while their mothers enjoyed a morning cuppa. Less than an hour after breaking camp we were in the car and heading for Darwin. The adventure was over.
Want more info? Click here to download a PDF file of our Graveside Family Walk trip notes.