Published: December 19th 2011December 7th 2011
We arrived in Darwin on the 11th
November to stay at Nat’s Auntie Debs for a few weeks. First thing we noticed was the humidity. It was only about 5 in the morning but pretty stifling!
We looked for work over the next few days, I was lucky enough to be able to go to work for Deb’s close friend doing painting and decorating, Nat applied online to many places but didn’t hear back unfortunately. I worked for a week and a half, and we used that money I earned to go to Katherine Gorge, known as Nitmiluk (which you can read more on further down this blog entry).
For the rest of the stay in Darwin we wandered around and drove into the city, we didn’t find that much to do that interested us unfortunately, and if you’re looking to go there sightseeing then you needn’t any more than 4-5 days. There are some tours you can take, and there are also some National Parks in the Northern Territory, but they are a good 2 hours drive away. The “city” isn’t huge by any stretch (no larger than Staines really) so it doesn’t take too long to get around
After a couple of weeks we were followed into Darwin by none other than Barrack Obama, who was visiting to lay a wreath at the war memorial. We took a walk down the Esplanade and saw the sunset, which is always different.
We spent some time in the Northern Territory Library grabbing some free Wi-Fi, but it has a usage limit of 100mb, which isn’t a lot and is used up quickly if you’re uploading photos. There was a swimming pool near Deb’s in Nightcliff which was nice too, it costs about $3.70 to get in if you’re swimming, free to sunbathe. Nat enjoyed heading to the pool (naturally..).
We also went to the cinema in the city to see “In Time” (it’s good, go and see it!), but it’s a lot more expensive than in England (and that’s expensive enough!), unless you go on a Wednesday when there is some money off promotions.
Shopping wise we went into Casaurina and Palmerston where there some good shopping centres to get around, and they’re all within easy reach. Again, Nat enjoyed hitting the shops...
On one of our last nights, Sunday 4th December, we went
to a popular event called Carols by Candlelight. A few thousand people strong, each with a candle (electronic and/or real); we watched a choir and band, as well as individuals, sing Christmas carols throughout the night, raising money for a couple of charities. It was very entertaining and had a great atmosphere...there is a good photo on this blog showing everyone holding up their candles plus one of the stage. At the end, there was a great firework display that went on for about 10-15 minutes - again a picture can be found on this blog entry! Edith Falls and Nitmiluk
Using the money I had earned working in Darwin we booked accommodation at Knott’s Crossing Resort in Katherine, which is a 3 hour drive south of Darwin. On the way we stopped at Edith Falls, a large waterfall and rock pool which is usually open to the public for swimming, but it is crocodile season at the moment we we’d like to keep all our toes as long as we can.
We walked up a 2km trail to the middle pool (some hike in the heat) and there is a picture on the blog
showing how beautiful it is.
We got down to Katherine later on that day, spent two nights at the Knott’s Crossing resort and headed out to Katherine Gorge the next day. The cabins at Knott’s Crossing are great (see pic), with enough space for 4 people to share, a small kitchen area and television. The bathroom and toilet is outside next to the cabin, but secured with a key so it can only be used by people staying in the same number cabin.
We got to Katherine after a 20 minute drive, parked up and found the information area. We took a map and booked a Gorge Cruise which cost $60 each, then used the map to walk another trail (even longer and much fucking hotter!) up to a viewing point over the first gorge. More pics on the blog.
The tour was a slow cruise through the first 2 gorges, and there’s some amazing scenery as you can see from the pictures. At the end of the first gorge there is a short walk to the second boat as the next gorge is blocked of by low lying rocks and a small rapid. It’s well worth
doing, there’s some great photos we got and the tour guide was very good. You can see the pics on the blog.
I was hoping to be able to kayak down it, but as it was the wet season the crocodiles were out in force and swimming and kayaking was closed off.
That was mostly it for Katherine and Darwin, and on the 6th
December we hopped on a flight to Cairns to start our East Coast descent - backpacker style!