Interestingly enough, when I looked at travelling along the Savannah Way, I thought it would be riddled with hills and mountains and spectacular scenery all the way. Yet, when I talk to people about an African Savannah, I expect it to be a wide and flat land, with few trees. I cannot explain why my mind had not made the connection that the Savannah Way from Mataranka to Borroloola and on to Cairns would also be a wide flat land. But make no mistake! There is some spectacular scenery along the way.
Our first day we travelled from Mataranka towards Roper Bar and then south to Butterfly Springs. We arrived about 2:30om and enjoyed a late lunch around a low picnic table. Then we set up camp at a leisurely pace and dressed for a swim in the nearby spring. We were treated to one of the most amazing places we have experienced in the Northern Territory thus far. The water was crystal clear with a small but beautiful waterfall trickling into one end. The water had a layer on top that was warmed by the sun all day, but under the surface lurked a cool dark secret. Once your body went numb and was no longer able to sense the water temperature, the swimming became more pleasant.
Off to the side of the brook, there was a set of large black rocks. At least we though they were black rocks. Upon closer inspection, they proved to be almost completely covered in butterflies. There were thousands of them! When we approached the cliff face, they alight by the thousand, creating a surreal effect.
We took some video footage that you can watch here.
The following morning, we wandered down to the waterhole again and there were NO butterflies in sight. If we had not made it to see the butterflies the previous day, we would have been left wondering what all the fuss was about. It leaves me wondering when the butterflies actually arrive during the day, and why they leave in the morning?
We headed south on the Savannah Way again, and stopped after only a short time to check out the Southern Lost City. When we were in Litchfield National Park, we did a tour of The Lost City and were very impressed. The visit to her Southern counterpart was nothing short of breathtaking. Rock formations have eroded in such a way as to create the illusion of wandering through the ruins of an ancient city. The rocks here are about 3 times as big as the rocks at Litchfield and create majestic structures that reach for the sky. The feeling is magical as you follow the 2.5km meandering path.
After spending 3 months touring the Northern Territory, it was fantastic to drive across the border, and back into Queensland for the first time since December 2009. The kids jumped from one state to another.
Connor closely inspected the cattle grid at the border, and found a 2m long King Brown snake skin. It is rare to find a snake skin of this size, but to find it in one piece is incredible. Thank goodness we did not see the snake that shed it…….