5/09/15 On day one at Katherine, we went to the Cutta Cutta Caves just to the south out of town, and did an hour-long guided tour of the caves. Although not on Di’s Animals in the Wild list, we saw a Yellow-Footed Rock Wallaby at the mouth of the cave, and inside, Ghost Bats and a Banded Tree Snake.
Edith Falls is located 60kms north of Katherine in the Nitmiluk National Park. We spent the following morning there, and did a 1.3km Leliyn Trail walk to the top of the hill and down to the Upper Pool above the falls where we had a refreshing swim and were able to get right in under the cascade itself. In the amazingly clear water, we could see small fish and all the way to the bottom of the pool. Di again handled the bushwalking very well, but with so much in the past couple of days we’ll need to give it a rest for a while so it doesn’t become too much for her. After the hot walk back down, we cooled off in the main Plunge Pool at the base of Edith Falls, where small fish swam around us and gently nibbled on Di’s toes. The main pool is massive and could easily have accommodated a thousand people without anyone bumping elbows. We would have to rate Edith Falls as our favourite swimming spot so far.
The following day, we drove the 30kms north-east from Katherine to the Visitor Centre in the Nitmiluk National Park and took a 2-hour Two Gorge guided boat cruise through the magnificent Katherine Gorge. Gravel banks and rock shelves separate each of the gorges during the Dry, requiring us to disembark and walk 400 metres or so to the next gorge where another boat was waiting. The size of the rock walls towering over us on both sides just blew us away as we slowly cruised along the calm river between these towering cliffs.
During the Wet, the Katherine River is a torrent that rages through the gorges many metres higher, and waterfalls cascade over the rim along the entire length of the canyon. The guide pointed out that the black stains running down the cliffs evidenced a waterfall in the Wet; and there were black stains everywhere. The gorge was spectacular enough in the Dry, it must be many times more so in the Wet. It would certainly be a sight to see.
“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castro