We were up early heading for Katherine but first we’re going to check out Pine Creek.
Just after leaving the Mary River Roadhouse there was a vehicle approaching us with flashing lights and going slow. I slowed down and moved over thinking it was a truck with a wide load. Imagine our surprise when it was a bunch of bike riders. Mum and I waved as they passed. It was a charity ride from Katherine to Darwin a 3 day event. At least they were riding in the cool of the early morning. We’ve seen a lot of people traveling around on bikes and camping.
Pine Creek’s a mining town and home to the Pine Creek Railway precinct, the original terminus of an uncompleted transcontinental Railway system. Yes I’m being a buff again. The Pine Creek Railway history included the transporting of machinery and equipment to the mine fields (Gold was discovered in 1871 by workers on the Overland Telegraph Line.)
The line was extended to Katherine during World War II. Next to the railway station is a restored 1877 Beyer Peacock locomotive. It operated between Darwin and Pine Creek in 1915
In town where the railway tracks were
uplifted a water garden was created in the series of unsightly trenches. The water used in the water garden is from an old open cut mine that ceased operation in 1994 and is full of water.
We had lunch at the Pine Creek Railway Resort. The resort was built in the shape of two trains parked at a railway station... tragic I know but the home made pies were fantastic.
Keeping in with the train theme while driving along the Stuart Highway to Katherine we saw a lot of road trains. Most of them are four trailers long. Not as scary as everyone would tell you they are. What scares me more is the numbering on the Army convoys we saw go by - they either don’t know how to count or like to mix it up to confuse us.
Before checking in to our caravan park for the next 3 nights we decided hit the local shops ... OK Woolies and BWS. We’d run out of supplies .... mainly booze ... mums drinking it all.
I love that the cops always ask to see my ID when I’m purchasing booze in The Northern Territory and where I’ll be
staying. They must think I’m under age 🤣
As we were being shown our spot in the caravan park I noticed the 4WD next to us had personalised Canterbury Number plates and the spot next to them had a Rorters towel drying .... unfortunately the park was full so we had no choice but to set up next to them. Thankfully the retired couple next to us were lovely inspite of the footy teams they follow.
Mum and I got up early to head down to the Hot Springs behind the caravan park. The water was luke warm and wonderful. There was only a handful of people in the different pools and there was no smell to the water. It was very refreshing and we didn't want to get out but we were starting to get pruny.
Deciding to keep out the heat of the day we headed to the local cinema in Katherine to see The Secret Life Of Pets 2. After the movie we took a drive out to the Nitmiluk National Park to check out Edith Falls. We were really surprised by the amount of water that was in the lower pool.
were back on the road early the next morning for our tour of the Cutta Cutta Caves. Our tour started with our guide using a broom to make sure there was no snakes on the steps. Thankfully there wasn't any. We were shown through 3 caves that were surprisingly large. The sparkling limestone looked amazing. We even sported a formation that looked like an upside down dragon.
After our cave tour we headed to Mataranka for the Thermal Pools in Elsey National Park and Bitter Springs. Both springs were fantastic and therapeutic however you could just float with the current at Bitter Springs .... it was like a water park for old people. A lovely lady offered her floatation device fo mum so she could have a ride.
Our last night in Katherine was also Territory Day and fire cracker night. I loved cracker night when I was growing up. On our way back into Katherine I noticed the firecracker shop was still open so I went in to get some. Well all I can say is firecrackers have changed in 30 years. The guys were trying to sell me rockets taller than me and were $500 dollars.
I just wanted a few small fireworks not recreate the Sydney Harbour New Years Eve Fireworks display. There was another couple trying to get some firecrackers and were in the same boat as me. I suggested to them, we could go halves in one of their smallest packs and they agreed ... even though it was still too many fire crackers. I was also provided with a pamphlet on when, where and times fire works we're to be set off.
Mum and I thought we'd head to the show ground to check out the organised fireworks display but as we were getting close to the show ground we saw thick black smoke. We were told later that a wall of tyres that they were going to use as a barrier for the show ground had been set alight. The fireworks display was moved to the cricket ground but we only discovered this after we'd walked to the show ground. We didn't miss out as there were quiet a few people letting their fireworks off all over the place. I now know why we don't have cracker nights anymore. I had lit a parachute rocket that was meant to spin
around on the ground and shoot up into the air except this one decided to shoot over towards mum and nearly set her shirt on fire ....... she's never going to let me forget I nearly set her alight. Needless to say that was the end of my cracker night. 😬
Next stop - Batchelor and Litchfield Park
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