Day 21: To Katherine Gorge
Quite early into the drive from Batchelor to Katherine, we found ourselves in the middle of a huge flock of Red-Tailed Cockatoos. As we were on a highway, we had to pull over and put the car in the dirt right next to the road. From here, we had excellent views of this flock of birds, which was about 200 birds large as they were moving along and crossing the road.
About 40 Km’s from Katherine is a site called Edith Falls, and we were by several people informed about it. It supposedly is very nice, and there would also be a small café where nourisments could be bought. They were all true. The site is home to Edith Falls, where you can swim in both the top pool and the plunge pool, as these are patrolled for Salties (Estuarine or Salt Water Crocodiles). There only are some Fresh Water Crocodiles in the pools though, but they generally don’t attack swimmers. We have had a really refreshing dip there, and dried up in the sun. As temperatures have risen to a very comfy 34 degrees, that was a welcome swim! The food at the café is really good, and everything is home cooked by the patrons of the campsite. Great!
Nearing Katherine Gorge, we found a Black-Necked Stork or Jabiru, the largest stork over here. It grows to about 1.4 metres tall, which is pretty large. The one we found was decently sized, and it dwarfed the other storks around it. Despite its size, the stork was quite unsure what to make of us though, as it nervously walked around trying to keep the distance between it and us the largest. It still looked awesome though!
We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening on a boat tour of the gorges which make up Katherine Gorge. Right now, it is not one but 13 connected pools, of which the first three can be visited by boat. We toured the first two (the best ones of course) and even had dinner on a boat. How lovely. The other gorges by the way can only be visited on foot (numbers 4 through 11) while the last two can only be viewed from the air.
Tomorrow, we’ll drive to Kakadu National Park, the biggest and best known NP in Australia.