I had been to Katherine before, quite a few times actually for work. What's in Katherine, you ask? Nothing. But 40 minutes down the road is Katherine Gorge (aka Nitmiluk National Park) and that was a beautiful place to explore.
First we explored it by foot. We took a hike up a cliff to a lookout over the first gorge. It was 35 degrees C and there was very little shade so it was a warm walk. We wanted to recover by swimming in the gorge but it was closed. We had to settle for drinking beers instead.
|The first gorge|
|Happy to have some shade|
|Panorama of the canyon|
|Pretty bird trying to share our lunch|
Since the first gorge was closed, we also couldn't kayak (which for some reason is known as canoeing in Australia...). So we decided to see the gorge by helicopter instead. With the doors off we flew above the seemingly flat land until we got to the water cut in the rock to form the first gorge. All up, we got to see thirteen gorges, all a stark contrast to the surrounding land.
|excited to go for a helicopter ride|
|Not much going on from above|
|The river cutting through the gorge|
That evening we saw the gorge one final way - by boat. We took a sunset cruise through the first two gorges, and on the way back stopped to have dinner on the water. It reminded me of canoeing down the Colorado River - similar steep red cliffs and deep green water. It was a really peaceful ride and a great way to end our time in Katherine.
|Cruising on the river|
|up close of the canyon walls|
|Massive rock faces|
On the way back to Darwin we stopped at Edith Falls, just 20 minutes off the main road. We hiked to the upper falls and took some time for a swim in the refreshing water. It was a great spot and well worth the hike to the top.
|The upper pool at Edith Falls|
|The surrounding area|
|The lower pool at Edith Falls|
Continuing on the road back to Darwin, we stopped in Adelaide River for some yummy barramundi burgers and a visit with Charlie the water buffalo from Crocodile Dundee. What a classic Aussie Northern Territory experience.
|Adelaide River Inn - home of Charlie|