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Yellow Waters Gallery
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The Yellow Waters cruise is the best way to see and get a feel for the Kakadu wetlands. Some boats are full, some less so. Just how full depends on the time of day and the season. The photo at left below shows a boat setting off. The one at right shows a wet season scene.
Unlike the areas where we walk, the Yellow Waters billabong is home to numerous saltwater (estaurine) crocodiles. The Yellow Waters crocs are so used to the tour boats that the ones resting on the shores seldom move. It's only when you see them in the water that you get a good feel for what they can do. During the Wet and early dry seaon, the boats can travel through a paperbark swamp. The photo at right shows a distant view of the paperbarks with a storm approaching. The photos below contrast the water levels in February and June. Two weeks after the photo below right was taken, the boats could no longer get through. The early morning and late afternoon cruises are the best ones for seeing birds. They are also the most comfortable in terms of temperature. The two photos below show a black necked stork (jabiru).
The two photos at right show an egret and a darter.
The two below show a rufous night heron and a white-bellied sea eagle.
The two below that show a rajah shellduck and someone taking a photo from the boat.
The vegetation at Yellow Waters is just as interesting as the wildlife. What looks like a grassy plain in the photo at left below is actually a floating mass which rises and falls with the seasons. The photo at right shows some lotus lilies. These were (and are) used as food by the local Aboriginal people. They were almost wiped out by feral buffalo but have come back now that the buffalo are gone. The crocodiles are back. Sadly, they don't always pose in the best light. Every season has it's attractions. The photo below left shows the boat heading in after a late afternoon dry season cruise. The one at right shows an approaching storm in February. (The boats are covered to keep the rain off. The dawn and dusk cruises not only allow you to see more birds than you would see in the middle of the day, they can produce some sunning scenery. Sunrise at left below. Sunset at right. The photos above should give you a good idea of what you can expect on a Yellow Waters cruise but nothing can compare with the actual experience.
Trips which have the code "Y" next to them in our Kakadu trip list include a Yellow Waters cruise.