Hi, let me introduce you to Kate… Katherine really, until you get to know her. Yes, this is the famous Katherine Gorge. I know you’ve been dying to see her. Kate (we’re friends now) lives in Nitmiluk National Park, in the Northern Territory of Australia, 244 km southeast of Darwin.
A little bit about Katherine Gorge: “a deep gorge carved through ancient sandstone by the Katherine River, is the central attraction of the park. Katherine Gorge is made up of thirteen gorges, with rapids and falls, and follow the Katherine River, which begins in Kakadu. During the Dry, roughly from April to October, the Katherine Gorge waters are placid in most spots and ideal for swimming and canoeing. There may be freshwater crocodiles in most parts of the river, as they nest along the banks, but they are harmless to humans. Saltwater crocodiles regularly enter the river during the wet season, when the water levels are very high, and are subsequently removed and returned to the lower levels at the onset of the dry season. Thus, swimming in the wet season is prohibited. Cruises of various lengths go as far as the fifth gorge.” (Wiki)
We spent a day visiting Kate. She’s very interesting, and has a lovely indigenous rock art collection. We didn’t get an autograph but these are our photos.
The G.O. (fortunately) clocked up another birthday this past Saturday, and while we were celebrating in his customary low key style, my thoughts revisited his birthday on the last day of our WA/NT holiday.
Making notes after the trip, I wrote:
“We finished off on Saturday morning with a helicopter ride over Kakadu for the G.O.’s birthday, which he also celebrated in his own style with a 2 meat pie breakfast and hamburger & hot dog dinner!
We drove back to Darwin after that, stopping briefly at the overrated Humpty Doo Hotel and had a rest and a walk around Nightcliff and watched the sunset before going to Darwin airport for a long, boring wait and catching our late arriving chilly red-eye flight back to the same cold and wet Sydney we left a fortnight earlier.
We made a promise to return.”
The helicopter flight was a highlight of the trip. We interrupted a croc stalking a couple of amorous buffalo, and had birds’ eye views of areas we weren’t able to access via road.
To experience the energy which is a invisible, tangible trait belonging to Kakadu it’s best to have your feet on the ground but to appreciate its powerful topography we wingless mortals have need of mechanical means.
Some birthdays give you wings.
In the midst of a busy day, my thoughts turned to getting away from it all, and Grove Hill.
On the way from Katherine to Kakadu National Park (Northern Territory, Australia) if you take a turn off the main road onto the gravel you’ll find your way, maybe, to Grove Hill Hotel & Museum. This is the place to have that quiet beer.
We were greeted out the front by a huge dead snake, but I’m sure it’s not a permanent resident.
Even though Stan & Mary (who I believe comprise the entire permanent population) are the new management, Grove Hill was on the market. The G.O. started looking a bit interested and I decided it was time to move on.
Half way between Katherine & Darwin & 16 km off the Stuart Highway. Pieces of Territory memorabilia fill the Hotel and its grounds. With much of the mining history of the region depicted in old photos and equipment of the era past. Looking for somewhere different to have a quiet beer in the Outback, then Grove Hill Hotel is what you are after.