The Ghan – First Stop, Katherine

 

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Katherine Station.  It’s a long walk to the end of the train.  We were situated about half-way down.

Katherine is situated on the Katherine River in the Northern Territory, Australia, 320 kilometres south-east of Darwin. The town is a tourism gateway to nearby Nitmiluk National Park, particularly Katherine Gorge and its many ancient rock paintings, which was where we were heading.

 

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There are millions of termite mounds all over Australia, all shapes and sizes.

Our bus took us to the Katherine River, where we cruised between sheer sandstone cliffs down the First and Second Gorges, while our guide told us stories about the traditional owners, the Jawoyn people.  The Park covers 292,000 hectares and comprises 13 sandstone gorges carved over 23 million years.

 

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On our way to the boat ramp

 

There is all sorts of wildlife from bats to crocs;  our guide was very knowledgeable and we learnt a lot about the area.  At the second gorge, we walked a short distance to see the ancient rock art which is believed to date back about 40,000 years.

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We didn’t see any, but the river is inhabited by harmless freshwater crocodiles.  Sometimes the river rises after heavy rain, and saltwater crocodiles move upstream.  These are the ones you don’t want to mess with.

 

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Here is one of the baited traps which park rangers check daily for saltwater crocodiles.  They are relocated to another part of the river.

We had heard a lot about the beautiful scenery at Katherine Gorge and we weren’t disappointed.  We had an excellent guide who kept us entertained with many stories of the aboriginal people, legends and traditions.

A very enjoyable day.

 

 

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