Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 67-68 Nitmiluk NP – 14-15 Aug 2009

10599 kms, 35 degrees C (but hotter in the gorges, possible up to 50 degrees), 6 snakes

Just when we thought we might be getting gorged-out, we arrived at Nitmiluk. What a wonderful part of the world.

Nitmiluk is the aboriginal name for what was once called Katherine Gorge – 29km NE of Katherine. After a coffee fix we hit the park on Fri 14th August, set up camp and made bookings for our two days there. We had a swim in the Katherine River before lunch (see photo of Nic in action). There is a croc trap opposite the boat ramp, with the door open and a fresh(ish) pig leg inside as bait. We presumed that was good news!!

After lunch with did the 2 hours cruise up gorges 1 and 2, which featured Justin, the 3m freshwater croc (see video). The gorges are amazing – the pictures and video don’t really do justice to the place. Anyone who suffered the film Rogue might recognise Katherine Gorge, as some of it was filmed there. If you have not seen it, don’t bother, its a shocker about a saltie who attacks a tour boat and eats the inhabitants.

The land by the boat ramp is a veritable zoo. We stayed an hour watching the bats, roos then a number of Great Bowerbirds decorating a bower then fighting over it. Apologies for the 2 minutes of bowerbird footage, but we were very excited to see the bower in action, doing maintenance work on his pad to try and attract a mate.

The campsite was just as good – there is a red winged green parrot having a drink.
On our second day we went on a canoe trip up the first 3 gorges – check out Michelle in the canoe. Nicky was stuffed after 15m so became cameraperson for the trip. A canoe is the best way to appreciate the gorge, down at water level, peaceful and tranquil. We saw House Martins in their tiny bottle shaped nests attached to the rock overhangs and a snake slithering along the waters edge. And Justin once more!

The sandy banks on the gorge had signs – Crocodile Nesting Area DO NOT ENTER. And the tracks in the sand backed up the signage – check out the photo. We saw snake no 6 off our trip slithering along half in the water and on the beach – you can just see it on the video.

And what better way to end the day, with Stueys camp fire damper and Nickys beef casserole.


BluesBoy said...

Hey, some great images and it acts as a good reminder from time spent up North several years ago. You can keep the Crocs - boy do I have a loathing for them!!

Stuart Riley said...

Chris, goodo. Its pretty amazing. Good start to season for both our teams - long way to do tho. Gr8 to see Liverpool lose!!

Honora said...

Well I never thought you gave crocs names! Justin, sounds like a nice boy - so long as he keeps his mouth shut and his distance. So impressed that you are still making the damper Stuart.