Water, water everywhere.
When it rains in Darwin in the wet season, it really rains. It buckets down. Within a few minutes the ground can be flooded. Water runs through the drains, creeks come up very quickly.
For the first week I was here it rained. Every day. Thick, bucketing rain that sometimes you couldn’t see through. There was so much rain that it never had time to soak through the ground. On New Year’s Eve the grass at the Diesel concert had puddles ankle deep in places even though it hadn’t rained all afternoon. That was ok though, I wasn’t that impressed with the concert anyway.
One night we had a big thunderstorm. We sat on the verandah and watched the rain and the lightning. Big flashes of lightning, followed by rolling thunder. And big, heavy raindrops pounding on the roof, so noisy that conversation was kept to a minimum. The storm went on for most of the night, and loud claps of thunder woke us up twice.
So everything is green. Very green, and very lush.
Just walking around Darwin at this time of year is an experience. Gardens are beautiful, full of colourful flowers, amazing grasses and trees in all shades of green, and the lush smell of the tropics in the wet.
Frangipani trees grow everywhere in white, yellow and pinks from so pale it’s barely there to very, very deep. And big. I have never seen frangipani trees so big.
Unlike the desert, tropical flowers can be very showy. Big flowers in rich reds, oranges, yellows, and purples, although some are still so small you really have to look to see them.
Lagoons are full, and waterfalls in huge. Knuckey Lagoon is normally four separate waterholes, but has now joined up to make one big lagoon and surrounding wetland. And it’s still used by the local Aboriginal community to gather traditional foods and medicines.
While it rains most days, it doesn’t rain all day. You usually get a big downpour for about 20 minutes, then it all stops again. Sometimes you get light showers where you barely get wet as you wander through them, and for the last 3 days we’ve had no rain at all.
I haven’t been out there yet this trip, but last time I was here in the wet I visited Kakadu and did a flight over the park. The contrast of the amount of water flowing over in the wet as compared to the dry is stark. We sat at Ubirr and looked out over the floodplains at sunset, and then got caught in the rain as we raced back to the car.
My sister and I are booked to go to Nitmiluk later this week. I can’t wait to see the amount of water rushing through the gorges.