Alligator Creek picnic and camping area is a deservedly popular spot within Bowling Green Bay National Park.
In spite of the park’s name, the camping ground is well inland, on the upper reaches of the creek among the rugged hills of the Mount Elliot range. We have visited it a number of times over the years (this link will take you to a 2012 post about it) but hadn’t ventured far beyond the immediate vicinity until exploring the track to Cockatoo Creek yesterday.
The track parallels the southern bank of the creek up into the hills. The first stop is the Lookout, above the upper end of the main swimming hole. From that point onwards, the track stays well above the level of the creek, providing easy walking through bush which at this time of year is quite dry. The long grass is mostly dead and many trees are either losing leaves or letting them droop and curl to conserve water, so there’s quite a contrast between the hillside with its scattered bright yellow kapok flowers and the rocky creek bed with its green bottlebrushes and their vivid red blossoms.
After two kilometres the track descends towards Alligator Creek just before its junction with Cockatoo Creek, a much smaller stream which was nevertheless still running well (unlike any of the numerous small gullies the track crosses on the way). It is possible to continue further along the same track to reach Alligator Falls, but that’s a five or six hour return walk which entails either a very early start or camping overnight at the Falls.
My landscape photos here are in sequence from the picnic area to the junction of Alligator Creek and Cockatoo Creek. There was an abundance of wildlife, especially birds and insects, so those photos will follow in a separate post.