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.
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.
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.
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.
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.