A Holiday Poem?

On the two days of Christmas,
My genial guests,
Your hosts drove along New Zealand’s
Upper northwest.

As Henry first noted
And I quickly agreed
This part of New Zealand
Is lovely indeed.

What the guidebooks and travelogues
Appeared to ignore.
We both felt that our holiday
Was much better for.

The coastline can rival
Both GOR and California
And the native bird Weka
Is interesting fauna

We camped out on a river
Free, you should know
You might couldn’t find better
Where ever you go

On Christmas we found
The Maruia Falls
A magnificent epic
Of water down walls.

Now, those who well know us
Can probably tell you
We’re not Christmas people
It just not our milieu

But no matter your stance
On this holiday season
We wish you the best
We have every reason

We know our great fortune
To go to this place
And be here together
In love face to face

We hope you too spend it
With family and friends
And can reminisce
When this season ends

No matter your creed
Your race, or your sex
We wish you good cheer
This year and the next

Litchfield Termites & Cool Water

A day trip to Litchfield National Park in the Top End is a must do, especially in the hot season. But in hindsight there is very little added to this on tour, as everything you can do there is open to public and well marked, with detailed information and maps.

The park is a smallish portion of escarpment to the south of Darwin and is home to the famed Magnetic Termite Mounds as well as countless waterfalls and relatively crocodile free plunge pools beneath said falls.

The termite mounds are interesting, gigantic, plentiful, and not really magnetic at all. They got the name because they appear to align on a north to south axis. Actually the termites align their mounds on an east west facing in order to best capture the solar energy of both the rising and setting sun. It is more or less given that there is no planning on this, just a bit of rapid evolution. The mounds that fail to align in this way are too cold at night and so those colonies fail long before the mounds are big enough to be easily noticed.

The plunge pools and waterfalls are a beautiful and refreshing way to while the hot day. Moving from one to the next in a succession of scenery and cool water. I was lucky enough to be swimming in a small lower pool when a large-ish water monitor lizard came down to the pool for a drink.

Lunch was nice; the tour lunches around Darwin seem to consist of salad and cold meats, which is very fine by me. Also the little bush café we dined at was selling homemade apple slices…I am a fan of fruit in pastry, no matter what you call it. This was delicious.

At an afternoon pool I was able to enjoy a very isolated hike by myself. From the pool we were at there was the short return or a 2-kilometer bush track. No one but me chose the bush track, and I was rewarded with the peaceful sounds of the tropical north. Though I admit it was a hot walk, being 39 Centigrade and 75% Humidity.