Day 99. Nitmiluk National Park

99 Katherine gorge pano smallThe star attraction at Nitmiluk National Park is Katherine Gorge. The park changed its name in 1989 when the land was returned to the Jawoyn people. There are actually 13 gorges that make up Katherine Gorge. In the morning, we went on a 4-hour boat tour that took us up three of the gorges.

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During the wet the Katherine River flows through all the gorges but during the dry the water level drops and one by one each of the gorges are divided by rocks. This meant on the boat trip we had to get out and change boats at the end of each gorge walk a few 100 metres and get on a boat waiting for us. Our hilarious guide says the 4-hour boat trip takes about 1 hour in the wet, 55 minutes up at full power and 5 minutes floating back down. Such is the speed of the flow of the river.

On the return journey we had a swim at the bottom end of the second gorge.99 Katherine gorge 3 small

In the early afternoon we decided to walk the Baruwei Lookout Loop Walk. The views over the gorge and sandstone plateau were spectacular.

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The first part straight up the cliff to the lookout was fine but the rest of the 3.7 km walk was hot and exhausting. Patrick had to do the last bit on Tom’s back and I was dragging Sam along. When we finally finished it was straight into the pool for all of us to cool down. It is very lucky we do not have any big walks planned for another few weeks, after this one they may refuse. Hopefully they will have forgotten by then.

99 Katherine gorge view small


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