The Arnhem Land plateau and its escarpment cut dramatically south-east across Kakadu. During the tropical monsoon, waterfalls plunge over the escarpment, channelling vast volumes of water into the river systems, the most prominent of which is the South Alligator. Water fans out across huge floodplains, submerging the trees on its way to Van Diemen Gulf. This wet season lasts from around November to March, attracting an amazing 2.5 million birds. During the dry season, from April to October, the water retreats to permanent wetlands such as Yellow Water and Mamukala. Lotus, snowflake and blue waterlilies also bloom, and plenty of birds still congregate to start each morning with a cacophony of sound.
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