From beside the Camooweal Billabong , we headed west along the Barkly Highway towards Katherine. 1,100 Km.
Just outside Camooweal, we crossed the border into the Northern Territory.
The Barkly Highway had been significantly damaged during the recent monsoonal floods. Although the speed limit was 130km/h the fear of breaking an axel on some of the deep potholes kept us closer to 40km/h in some areas.
With fuel stops few and far between, we stopped at each of them to top up.
Banka Banka West Station
Our first overnight stop in the NT was at the Banka Banka West Homestead. Powered sites and plenty of room. And baby plovers running around.
Larrimah Pink Panther Hotel
While passing through Larrimah we stopped at the The Pink Panther Hotel for lunch. They make their own pies, which were fantastic.
Our next overnight stop was at Mataranka Homestead. Will stay longer next time we come here. Lots of peacocks and peahens around.
The thermal springs are in Elsey National Park adjoining Mataranka Homestead. They are on the side of the Waterhouse River, the water was warm but not hot. Just beautiful.
Staying in Katherine allowed us to restock, get washing done, take time off from driving and enjoy some of the tourist attractions.
The unofficial 2016 Northern Territory tourism campaign had the nation talking. CU = See you, in the NT = Northern Territory. Tourist shops and souvenir stores stock quite a lot of different types of merchandise with the advertising slogan CU in the NT. Darwin City Council banned these products from the markets at Mindil beach and Nightcliff.
Our last visit to Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, was during a very dry season (see our 2019 blog). This time, due to the recent flooding, there was much more water. We went to the first two gorges of the thirteen gorge system in the Nitmiluk Gorge. Between the gorges we got out of our boat and walked to the second gorge and took another boat. Just stunning. Our boat driver and guide, Jamie, was excellent, combining a wealth of information with a tinder dry sense of humour.
We didn’t see any crocodiles but there were a set of tracks in the sand. Ones set going up the sand and the other coming back down.
So many red flying foxes in the Nitmiluk National Park, near the jetty and the Information Centre.
Loved our stay in Katherine.
Cheers til next time, Helen & Tim