Buley Rockhole: Sit Still, Look Pretty

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The Buley Rockhole is a set of small waterfalls and rockholes, located in Litchfield National Park in Darwin, Australia. Compared to Wangi and Florence Falls, it is a much more laid-back dip-our-toes-into-the-water kind of experience.

Towards the bottom of the river of water there is a big basin to swim in, similar to Florence Falls. During our trip there with Litchfield Escapes, my family and I headed towards the top of the water formation, where there were rock formations aplenty to perch ourselves on.

Some of the holes were more than two meters deep so you could sit with your body submerged under the sweet coolness of the water. I positioned myself right in front of where the water tumbled down formidable rocks, whose edges and cracks split the stream and created a force as strong as jacuzzi jets kneading my back.

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The hour we were there passed by quickly, and soon we were back onto the bus. We stopped by termite mounds on our way to the city and posed for some pictures, and dropped by a small family cafe and butterfly farm for some mango and banana smoothies. The cafe is owned by an Australian-Filipina couple, and on the menu they served kaldereta (Filipino goat meat stew) and adobo (chicken in soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic), among other Southeast Asian dishes. It was nice to see my home country being represented.

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We got back to our hotel in the late afternoon, and had a dinner reservation at Hanuman, a southeast Asian fusion restaurant. It’s been consistently named one of the best restaurants in Darwin by publications and blogs, and quite up-scale as well. We ordered a range of dishes, including the Hanuman Oysters, topped with lemongrass, sweet basil, ginger and chilli; Trumpet Mushroom, topped with a fine mince of pork, prawn, and spices warmed with coconut cream sauce; and Masala Lamb Cutlets, marinated with tumeric, chilli, and tandoori garam masala.

For our main courses, we ordered the Red Curry of Duck, Green Curry of Chicken, and Lamb Korma to share. Dessert was a tasting platter with Black Rice Brulee, cooked with coconut and topped with caramelized custard (to die for); Chocolate and Water Chestnut Cake, with ganache icing served with raspberry jelly florets and caramelized lotus seeds; and Ginger Jelly, with watermelon granita and fresh lime.

It was our most expensive meal yet, but it was worth it. Our server was a nice lady also from the Philippines, who had studied in the same school and graduated the same year my mom did. Filipinos are everywhere.

We returned home tired from our exhaustive tour, not in the mood to pack for our flight to Launceston, Tasmania the next day but without much of a choice. I was glad we got to go to Litchfield National Park and swim in the natural beauty of the pools with the backdrop of the waterfalls behind us.

Even though I live in the Philippines where there are many natural attractions just as magnificent scattered around the country’s 7,107 islands, I’ve never really gotten the chance to explore the beauty in my backyard. Its made me wonder what I’ve been missing by traveling outside of my home country and has sparked a greater desire to find out.

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