Friday, July 9, 2010

Katherine and the Gorge

We arrived at Katherine to find a busy bustling township.There is even a Woolworths here, and the petrol price is good, so we feel like we have reached civilisation! Randall found an office which fitted him perfectly:

One of our friends reccommended a park to us, but, as usual, Randall doesn't like to book ahead, so we couldn't get into our preferred park. We settled on one just a short walk away from the Katherine hot springs - similar to the ones at Mataranka and just as popular. We enjoyed several dips while we were there.
The caravan park was quite nice, and, as you can see, we are the smallest van on the block!

We did the obligatory drive around, and found another nice caravan park next to an historic homestead, called Springvale.

We went for a walk along the river behind the old homestead, Randall scanning for crocodiles, to no avail! We found a spring bubbling up out of the ground which was rather pretty. Rather than going back the way we came, Randall did the short cut thing - ended up on the road and no ambience at all!!!
After 2 nights in Katherine, we headed off to the gorge, only 30 ks out of the town. It had a huge caravan park and the best swimming pool we've come across.
We had arrived early, so we checked out was was around. We did a walk to the lookout, which only gave a taste of the gorge, and did a circuit back to our campsite.

We thought we might do a boat tour of the gorge, and I'm really glad we did. We got on, and even though Randall was trying to beat his mate at Scrabble on the iphone, I was really excited about seeing the gorge. Actuall he really did enjoy the tour as well :)

The tour guide pointed out the one and only salt water croc trap, and both Randall and I felt that that really wasn't enough to make you feel comfortable about swimming in the water.(What if they weren't attracted to that bait in the trap??)

As our tour did two gorges, we had to get off one boat, go for a bit of a walk and get on another boat. We walked past some aboriginal rock art:

Everywhere we went was so picturesque. The gorge really is beautiful.

We came back and had a refreshing swim in the pool and sat outside and enjoyed the warmth and the wildlife.

Each evening we were entertained by a couple singing by the poolside. Lots of people sat around listening and eating from the bistro - not Randall's cup of tea - he'd call it slop!!! We ate well anyway from our own kitchen.
We packed up the next morning to head to Darwin, stopping at Katherine on the way to collect our mail we arranged to have sent from home. We also washed the caravan as it was looking a bit dusty, so we headed off on the final leg to get to the top of Australia.

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