Katherine & Nitmiluk National Park
Day 34 - Thursday 25th August 2011 - Mataranka to Katherine
- Early morning ride down to Bitter Springs for a swim before the flocks of crowds arrived.
- Drive from Mataranka to Katherine was nice and quick.
- Stopped in at Cutta Cutta caves just before reaching Katerine
- Great limestone caves, very hot and humid down there. Not like any other cave we've seen before. Hardly any moisture. Interesting bats and snakes living in there too.
- Arriving in Katherine we still hadn't decided which caravan park to stay at.
- Red Rooster was our saviour and we looked at a few brocures / internet reviews while getting a junk food fix.
- Decided to drive a few k's out of town and check out the River View Big 4 caravan park, right near the hot springs.
- Park is alright. A bit dusty and quite a few of the spots were very tight together.
- The couple on one side of us had been stuck there 3 weeks waiting for their 4x4 to get fixed, and the lady on the other side of us was camping on her chairs waiting for her car to get fixed. eep!
- Walk down to the Hot Springs was alright. Doesn't compare to Bitter Springs but would be an alright place to take the kids.
- Saw our first crocodile warning sign :)
- If they had that 10c refund for cans thing going in NT that whole area would be cleaned up in no time. Beer cans as far as the eye can see.
- Also best not to take some of those little paths down to the river, you might find yourself disturbing a bunch of locals.
- There were about 40 tourists in the hot springs. Not very relaxing. Good temperature but would be better in the arvo / morning when the water is warmer than the outside temp.
- Did a big shop after unhooking the van. Stocked up on heaps of goodies at woolies and picked up some gear that had been posted to us from home.
- Saw Holiday Road again (beep beep!) camped just near us.
- After settling down for a bit Dave went for a drive to fill up the gas bottle and hunt down a bike shop (which turned out to be closed down) so ended up at Toy World getting bike supplies. A new $8 bike pump (the other $40 foot pump fell appart - grr) two new tire tubes (thorn proof this time!) and some repair kits.
- Back at the van I fitted the new bike tube (hopefully last one I have to do for a while)
- Had a chat to the neighbours about their travels and car issues.
- Dinner was an awesome frozen pizza from woolies :) omnomnom
- Watched a movie then hit the hay
Day 35 - Friday 26th August 2011 - Katherine to Nitmiluk National Park
- Our "unpowered" site came with a power point, so we quickly plugged in and cooked some toast :)
- Dave went on an early morning ride down to the Hot Springs. Highly recommend getting there just after sunrise - nobody around and the water is crystal clear.
- Packed up around 9am after a big brekky.
- Filled up the car with the van on, always an interesting experience.
- Posted a letter then headed inland towards Katherine Gorge.
- 30k drive out of town, scenery didn't really change which surprised us. No big hills or forests, just same old same old. Even when we got to the national park nothing really changed (I'm sure it would all look different in the wet).
- Passed a few chopper tour places on the way out, noted down their numbers so we can ring and check prices later (further out ones are most likely cheaper).
- Checked in at the Nitmiluk camp ground, got ourselves a powered site and booked in a sunset dinner cruise.
- When we asked about the chopper flight and if any of the waterfalls were visible from the air this time of year she really didn't seem to know (surprising) and didn't really try to sell the chopper flight to us. Oh well, went with a different company.
- After lunch we booked our short Heli-Muster chopper flight, all very casual about it, just turn up and away you go. Went up in a little 4 seater Robinson(?) and flew over all 13 gorges. Quite a bumpy ride in some spots, very windy.
- I would recommend doing an early morning flight to avoid the wind and the heat, or an afternoon one if possible.
- Great view of the gorges and the surrounding landscape.
- Dave wore his geeky GoPro camera on his head to record the whole thing. Looks great! haha
- We both felt a bit sea sick afterwards. Bumpy flight and occasionally fiddling with camera settings did it to us. Took a good hour to recover after.
- Drove back and fell asleep in the heat
- Gave a thursty wallaby a bowl of water, pulled a plastic bag out of it's
mouth (bloody rubbish!) and fed it a carrot. Quite friendly little fella.
- 4:15pm drove down to our sunset cruise - oh what an interesting mix of people! Everything from a fully dressed up big shot cowboy businessman (who made sure everyone heard about the important matters he was attending to on his blackberry the entire trip) through to pot smoking hippies.
- A huge number of bats lined the river bank, all just chilling there upside down.
- Bats! so many bats
- Cruise was nice. 3 boats in the different gorges. Short walk in between.
- Dinner on the boat was good, a mix up on the seating so they had to boat down a few extra chairs.
- We ended up on a table with two older couples from Melbourne.
- Saw 3 freshwater crocs on the cruise (there aren't too many more in these gorges)
- Came home - super stuffed - passed out.
Saturday 27th August 2011 -
- Washing (free washing machines)
- Dave went for a ride to check out some of the walks.
- Didn't end up doing a walk this morning.
- It's already 10:41, we should have checked out by 10. oh well
- We'll leave in another hour or so when the washing is done :)
- Off to Edith Falls today I think...
Day Number: 34 and 35
Katherine and Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk National Park).Stayed 1 night at river view big 4, another night up in the national park.
Dumb thing we did today
- Dave hit his head many times
Travel Map from Previous Location
- Filled up in Mataranka (southern servo) and bought a stubbie cooler ($?)
- Filled up at woolies in Katherine before going to Gorge ($?)