Dam the Fogg! Dam it!
T – We have been trying our hardest to get out to a nearby conservation park called Fogg Dam. But we have been thwarted at each attempt by weather. Finally we got out there.
From Darwin to Fogg Dam is about a 45 min drive. We cruised down Australia’s main street, the A1, and turned onto the Arnhem Highway. As we left the hustle of the A1 behind we found ourselves cruising past massive mango plantations and then into the wide open grassy sections of the areas flood plains.
There has been some, but not a lot, of rain lately. Enough to make the grass a vivid green and as a slight breeze blew across these plains it made the whole place come to life. The grass swayed back and forth like the world’s largest Mexican Wave. Nearby, water buffalo on a farm lay in shallow mudholes and stared at us. It really felt like we were in another country!
We wanted to check out one of the nearby rivers on our way to Fogg Dam, the Adelaide River.
We have been itching to see a real life crocodile baking on the muddy banks of a river, from a very safe distance of course.
Making our way to the boat ramp, we tried to spy some sneaky eyes, but we really couldn’t see too far. The tide was in and the trees were thick and marched right down to the water’s edge. So we sent the drone up to have a spy. Unfortunately there was not a single chomping, sneaking, death on legs crocodile to be seen.
C – The Adelaide River is about 7km past the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve turn off and it is beautiful. Its muddy waters do scream ‘crocodiles hiding here’ and I definitely made sure not to get too close to the waters edge!
There are a number of tour operators on the Adelaide River operating ‘jumping crocodile’ tours. Essentially, they take you to known crocodile areas, dangle big chunks of meat over the edge of the boat and wait for the crocodiles to hoist their enormous bodies out of the water to snatch the food. We have heard many great reviews from people who have done these tours, but it is not an industry we are keen to support for a number of reasons.
Nearby, we spied a place called Window on the Wetlands.
T – So we ducked in and had a quick peek. Not only was it free to have a poke around, but the displays were cool and the short film they showed about the “Big Wet” was really neat. We have arrived in Darwin just in time for the wet season and may see a “Big Wet” of our own!
C – I was quite impressed with the display at Window on the Wetlands and the video was informative (even if it was made a number of decades ago!!). The young girl working there was knowledgeable and friendly. This place is provided by the Northern Territory Government and definitely worth a look!
From there it was out to Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve.
T – It was pretty damn hot so we parked up in the shade and wandered down a walking track which promised views over lilies. It was quite a nice relief to walk in the shade and escape the sun. I find the sun here really affects me. Already I have had major sunburn on my major sunburn. Double ouch.
Fogg Dam was created in 1956 as a means of watering rice paddies. Yep Australia had its own rice paddies. Ultimately, the project was a total failure. Now the dam is all that remains. The whole area is abundant with native animals and plants.
This place is gorgeous. I loved the paperbark trees mixed in with tropical looking palms and vines. We heard animals scurrying and scratching around in the undergrowth and the constant birdsong all around was just mesmerising!
We wandered out on a boardwalk over the mud and scared the bejeezus out of a hairy, fat black pig that had his snout buried in the mud. Wader birds raced away from us seemingly across the top of the water. Their big wide feet throwing up weed and water as they went.
C – The two walks were stunning. The damp, cool air hung all around us whilst the flora and fauna just did their thing, mostly ignoring our presence. Apparently there are over 200 different bird species living in this conservation reserve.
The Woodlands to Waterlily Walk takes you across boardwalks, meandering through the woodlands and taking a few detours out of the floodplains where you can check out the wader birds, water lilies and fish. Its only 2.2km return, so it is a super easy stroll.
The second walk is a little shorter at 2km return and takes you through the monsoon rain forest area of the reserve.
T – What a glorious place. I was really taken with it.
After we finished our walk in the heat we decided to have a short drive over the dam wall. Which consists of a dirt embankment covered in a layer of bitumen roading. Big signs warned us to not walk along here thanks to some large saltwater crocodiles that liked to haunt the place. No worries there. I wasn’t getting out of the frigging car!
C – Still desperate to see a croc in the wild, we got a little excited to see the sign saying the crocs that have been sighted here are about 4.5 metres in length!
T – We crawled along, hoping to spot one of these crocs. And we saw nothing. Everytime a bird landed in the water a small part of me hoped to see a huge jaw open up beneath them and chomp down. But only a small part.
Thanks to the heat, we decided we needed to rehydrate. And the best place to do that?
Well the local pub of course!
So we settled in at the Humpty Doo Tavern and ordered a couple of schooners and a nice pile of potato wedges. Not a bad way to live life!
Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve was spectacular and well worth the time and energy to get out there. It shows a small glimpse into the wetlands of the Northern Territory and we will definitely have to return once there has been some serious rain.
To see our video of this adventure click HERE!
Do this adventure yourself! Check out our suggested itinerary!
Like this post? Share and Pint It.
Would you like to connect with us about this article? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org