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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Nitmiluk; also known as Katherine Gorge

On the Tuesday morning on our Ghan journey, the train stopped at the town of Katherine. The most famous tourist attraction in this area is the famous Katherine Gorge on the Katherine River or, as it is now called , the indigenous name of Nitmiluk. A number of tours were available and DH and I chose the one which just explored the first gorge. So off we went to board the bus which would take us from the town of Katherine, out to the gorge...not too long a drive.

To do both gorges entailed a fair bit of walking as the boats were unable to sail from one gorge to another due to the depth of the water. So to do the second gorge meant walking a fair way over rocks to get to another boat already moored in the second gorge.

The cruise on the gorge was absolutely peaceful and such beautiful scenery.

There were sandy beaches along the gorge where we were told crocodiles would lay their eggs...I guess no swimming then!

Our guide on our cruise was Raymond, a young indigenous man, who told us that it was his grandfather who led the push for land rights for the Aboriginal people of that area. When the indigenous people won those rights, they then leased the land back to the National Parks. Raymond was a wonderful guide and extremely knowledgeable with an obvious love for and pride in this country .
Then we came to the point in the cruise where a person could stay on the boat or he/she could clamber over rocks for a round trip of 600 metres to see some Aboriginal paintings believed to be at least 8000 years old. The sun was very hot and there looked to be a bit of climbing up over boulders involved...and I had decided that morning to wear sandals instead of my lace up shoes...ooh decisions...but in the end I decided to 'have a go'.


It was quite an experience standing in front of a cliff looking at drawings that were done years before the civilisations I'd studied in ancient history at school were dated.

 I would say that everyone on the boat really enjoyed the cruise and the walk. I made sure I thanked Raymond as I got off the boat.
In case anyone wondered how a 1.2 km train like the Ghan could find a platform long enough to pull up doesn't! Like a lot of long distance trains, there are steps built into carriage door which are uncovered when part of the floor is flipped up by the train crew...but that still leaves a big gap between that bottom step and the ground. So the staff put a set of steps at ground level at each door.  way



Jackie said...

What beautiful scenery!! I think you did well to scramble over those rocks in sandals.

God Bless

angela said...

The gorge is beautiful. I remember the walking. So much walking
Well done and in sandals too xx

margaret said...

this is certainly a once in a lifetime trip you are taking I am so enjoying it with you both

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Fantastic photos ❤️❤️❤️

Sue (this n that) said...

Well done Maria, it can get blisteringly hot can't it, but it was definitely an experience you won't forget... to see those ancient paintings would have been marvellous. So beaut to have Raymond as your Guide as well. The cruise was a great way to see the all that magnificent scenery. Thanks for sharing it :D)

Vireya said...

When I was there my son and I went canoeing in the first gorge only. We were going to take a helicopter ride over the rest of the gorge, but the helicopter developed problems and we missed out. I didn't know about the rock paintings.

Cynthia said...

The gorge is beautiful and I'm glad you got to experience it first hand with a walk around, placing your feet on the same spot where the Ancients trod. A good guide makes a journey so much more memorable.