Maribel & Sebastian's Australia and Asia Tour 2007 travel blog

Jetty under water

Katherine Gorge

Katherine Gorge

Katherine Gorge

Katherine Gorge

Katherine Gorge

Katherine Gorge

Katherine Gorge

Katherine Gorge


What a shower...

We had another early start to join a boat tour through Katherine Gorge and relaxed the reminder of the day at the refreshing swimming pool at our campsite in Katherine.

Katherine Gorge is a system consisting of 13 linked gorges. During the dry season you can book a one day safari that takes you up to the sixth gorge. The surrounding Nitmiluk National Park encourages bushwalkers to visit the remaining gorges via overnight hikes. During the wet season access is normally limited to the first two gorges. During last night the river had risen by one metre, hence blocking access even to the second gorge. Normally you take a boat to the end of one gorge, do some rock hopping and enter another boat at the next gorge. Alternatively water level can be high enough to take a boat over the rocks you normally walk on. In our case water level was to high to walk and to low to pass over with a boat. Instead we got the opportunity to visit aboriginal rock art and a secluded water fall. This water fall was beautiful. You can reach it by walking through a small creek. Not only was the scenery beautiful, but also you were also allowed to hop in for a refreshing swim and shower under the fall: truly enjoyable. What a pitty that the waterfall is dry throughout most of the year. It started flowing one week before ago. Luckily Katherine River is only home to the appearantly harmless fresh water crocodiles. Making swimming safe but scary. Just in case the rangers had setup saltie traps along the gorge to catch any saltie that may have been lost and relocate to a non touristic place.

Australia distinguishes between freshies and salties. Fresh water crocodiles are smaller (only up to 3 m) and generally harmless. They only attack when you disturb them and even then the risk is in infections rather than anyhting else. Saltwater crocodiles instead can grow up to 6m in lenght and are known as the most aggressive crocodile of the 22 world's species.

The visitor centre at Katherine Gorge is worth a stop as it (finally!!) explains from Aboriginal and scientific perspective the creation of the gorge system. We gathrered the best view on the Gorge and Nitmiluk National Park on a high lookout, certainly worth the short but steep climb. The views on the lookout unveil the green and waterful environment. What a change after spending one week in the Outback!

During lunch we made another experience of Australian food portions. Our campervan was too "steemed up" to prepare any food in it and hence we decided to eat in the visitor centre. Wow, that burger was higher than Holland and physically uneatable.

We relaxed the entire afternoon around the swimming pool of our camground in Katherine to get some distance from moskito and fly populated showers in the national park. Instead we enjoyed being surrounded by palm trees, white Kakadoos and other birds. Still, the scheduled evening shower needed to be cancelled due to a big native frog ceremonial dinner hold in front of the ameneties house. We called these frogs "chicken frogs" as their size was comparable. Just before going to bed we could witness a big lightening show. Storms and heavy rain showers are common to the wet season and they bring the lightning shows with them. After a very very very very hot day with virtually no wind our campervan had heated up to sauna temperature and we enjoyed another short but sweaty sleep...



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