Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Katherine is the third largest centre in the Northern Territory and is quite a pretty place. Mango farms are dotted around the outskirts of the town. Katherine is also the birthplace of Cadell Evans, they breed them tough out here!!

The town was named by the explorer Charles Stuart in the late 1800’s. He named it after his expedition sponsor’s second daughter, Katherine. He also named other features in the area after the other two daughters- Edith Falls and Flora River.

The Katherine River originates in Arnhem Land, flows south-west through the Katherine Gorge and then winds north west back to the coast.

We enjoyed a (2) gorge boat cruise of the Katherine Gorge which was simply stunning!
The 13 gorges with sandstone walls towering 60 metres high were carved over millions of years by raging waters swept down from Arnhem Land during the monsoon rains.

The first gorge...

Some Aboriginal artwork between the first and second gorge
A truly amazing natural wonder....

The second gorge.....50metres in depth in places..
There is usually only freshwater crocodiles in the gorge and they nest on the sandy banks of the gorge. The rangers constantly monitor for saltwater crocs as they take their tour groups up and down the gorge. They have relocated about 10 saltwater crocs in the last 5 years.

Charlie looking for 'freshies'

You can see how the strong flow of water during the wet season has affected the trees on the banks. 

One little boy was just a bit plum tuckered out towards the end of the cruise!

Eagle eyed Charlie also made a great discovery in the Nitimulk National Park. He found a male Bower Bird’s nest.

What a busy bird this boy has been. He was screeching madly as I was taking photos, distressed that we might harm it. 

Bower birds in drier parts of Australia tend to use less colourful 'decorations' in their bower. Whereas the more well known Satin Bower bird is famous for collecting mainly blue items to vamp up his bower.

This boy has been very textbook in his decorations: paler coloured items such as bones, foil, white stones and even a child's broken toy handcuff adorn his abode.

After he finishes his masterpiece and he impresses the female with his exaggerated movements he is done, all finished. The female then has to go off and build a nest 30m in a tree and fully care for the chicks. 

Whilst in Katherine we also enjoyed (not) some very testing bushwalks around the gorge and Edith Falls. These included long hot climbs in temperatures close to 40 degrees. Fun, fun, fun- thanks so much for that experience Frank!
EXTREME bushwalking....not happy Jan!!
'Let's get the AC on and get the hell out of here Frank!"

We are heading WEST next, off to the great Western Australia! Another border crossing!! There is a quarantine station between the states so we will be gorging ourselves on fruit, veges and honey before we get there!

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