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Published: September 21st 2016
Katherine Hot SpringFriday 9th September 2016
The water wasn't hot, just a pleasant temperature. We spent some time here to escape the heat.
After a restless night we set off at about 0830hrs for Katherine. We farewelled Mark and Helena, hoping they catch up to us later in the trip if things work out.
We were settled into the Riverview Caravan Park well before lunchtime and set off for a visit to the main town. Katherine does very little for either of us; the town has many indigenous locals wandering around the town, some very vocal in their discussions with each other, many just sitting outside the malls and liquor outlets. Very sad.
A large Woolworths seems to be the base of the town’s food outlets and we spent some time there replenishing our stores. The afternoon was spent in the cool of the van, the temperature in the high 30s.
Later in the afternoon we joined many locals and visitors at the nearby hot pool, the water we found was no-where near as hot as that of Mataranka. On returning to the camp we then went to the pool there and found it was very cold in comparison.
The evening was spent going
Beautiful scenery like this from the lookout above.
through the Uluru photos, we’ll get the blog up to date eventually! Saturday 10th September 2016
It was already warm when we drove out to Nitmiluk Gorge, (Katherine Gorge) about 30kms out of Katherine, so we decided to do the shorter walk of about 4.5kms.
This took us up a ridge overlooking the Gorge and the surrounding countryside, the scenery quite stunning with the river weaving its way down through the steep sided cliffs. We remembered how we enjoyed the boat trip through them when we were here 5 years ago.
We met a young Danish girl on our climb and she joined us for a while before stopping to replenish her water bottle from the water purification station at the top. She was working as an au pair on a property near Katherine and had only been there for a couple of weeks. Judy warned her of the danger of the sun on her very fair complexion but was assured she was covered in suncream.
By the time we returned to the Visitors Centre the temperature was in the high 30s and we
This was the site of early Katherine. The causeway across the river ends in thick bush now.
were glad to be able to sit in the breeze and shade whilst we had our cut lunch. On our return we dropped in to Knotts Crossing, about 5kms before town, which has the remains of a weir and was once the main river crossing. Today it is a popular spot for fishing and relaxing but we only saw a woman with 4 children splashing in the water despite the sign saying swimming was prohibited because of the crocodile danger.
By the time we returned to the van the temperature was over 37 degrees and we were happy to have a rest in the cool of the airconditioning. Sunday 13th September 2016
We spoiled ourselves this morning by going out to breakfast at the Katherine Country Club. They had an excellent buffet there with only us and another couple to enjoy it. We enjoyed the fruit juices, fruit, eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns, coffee and pastries etc all for the princely sum of $16 each. We couldn’t understand why there were so few there, except that they may come in later after a round of golf.
Katherine Country Club
A delicious breakfast was enjoyed by both of us.
We made our way to Woolworths after breakfast; nothing else was open in town. We didn’t really need anything urgently but as the temperature outside was already in the mid 30s it was much nicer in there. We walked out with a stack of supplies, which should keep us going for another week or so.
After unpacking the supplies we walked down to the hot springs, which aren’t that hot, just warm from the temperature of the ground, and lazed in the water. Judy struck up a conversation with a young couple and a lady from South Australia. The coincidences soon started; the lady was from Moonta where some of Judy’s ancestors came from. Then came the biggest coincidence; the couple came from W.A., and Judy used to work and play squash with the guy’s mother. Judy stopped playing when she became pregnant and her and Gail both had their first sons 2 days apart. Small world!
The rest of the day was spent in the comfort of the van, the temperature climbing to over 37 degrees. We should have been here a month ago, the temperature is now uncomfortable.
Katherine Gorge Monday 14th September 2016
This fellow watched us eat our lunch
We extended our stay for another night as we have decided to visit Edith Falss after our discussions with the woman in the hot springs yesterday. We drove 40kms north, then 20kms east to Leliyn (Edith Falls). These are part of the Nitmiluk National Park and adjacent to the parking area at the base of the falls is a large pandanus fringed plunge pool. This is a huge expanse of water, stretching at least 200m in diameter with crystal clear water and is a popular swimming area. It has a large grassed area near it with shady trees and a camping area behind that. Be a nice place to stay in cooler weather.
From Reading the information signs we discovered that there are many snakes in this area, many of them tree snakes so as we set off up the Leliyn Track, a 2.6kms trip that climbs the escarpment and then goes to down to other pools still above the plunge pool, Judy kept her eyes on the trees searching for snakes. Stunning views were had as we climbed to the lookout, and
This fall was the third pool, some distance up the range from the pool near the parking area.
we had a swim in the top pool to cool us down before continuing on the walk. The pool below the one we swam in became visible when we came around a hill, this one surrounded by high cliffs and probably the largest of the three. But it appeared to be inaccessible by any path.
By the time we returned to the first pool we were both extremely hot and the water was most refreshing. This area is monitored for crocodiles and any “salty” is removed. There are freshwater crocs there but we didn’t see any. There are however fish in the pool and these took delight in nipping our toes and legs. They were only about 8cms long and live there with some good-sized barramundi. Fishing is banned of course.
By now it was near to lunch so we sat at the café there in the middle of the bush, drinking our cappuccinos etc whilst eating our prepared kangaroo fillet steak and chutney sandwiches, watching the bower birds picking at our crumbs. We have a wonderful life!
After another quick shop in town on our return we both
The second pool was difficult to access.
had a “nanny nap” in the van, the aircon running flat out in the 36 degree heat.
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