Nitmiluk May 13 - 16 2021
  A little difficult to leave our airfield. Birds and blossom make a good combination for us.
  A bit of variety.
  We could even catch the small birds.
  But our own attempts at flying, despite the length of the runway, were somewhat thwarted. Perhaps the lack of wings as well as lack of speed contributed to our failure to emulate the birds.

But, with a little imagination, we could imagine a little of WWII efforts.

  And so to Nitmiluk. Which was called Katherine Gorge when here last, in 1978.

A quick evening stroll to Baruwei Lookout. Up the long flight of steps.

A look downstream, into 17 mile valley.

  A look upstream into the gorge.
  And a "we wuz here" of Ali cantilevered above the gorge.
  Next day, up at the crack of dawn, to walk before the heat of the day would become too much.

A little thwarted by track markers that made lots of mention of a track that wasn't on our map and no mention of tracks that were.

A couple of km of messing around and becoming cranky. No markers would have been better than misleading markers and maps.

  But we eventually found our way on to the other end of the Baruwei Loop that we'd been on the previous night, with hope of finding our way into the southern walks.

We never did find the northern walks ..... which don't exist for normal patrons of the park?

  We see lots of grevillias through the day.
  A detour from the main track to Southern Rockhole.

We could have gone for a swim but decided not to. Either cold or refreshing I guess.

  Pleased we ignored the two chains across the rockhole gorge and ventured another 30m to the river. A small beach, a sign about crocodiles and no swimming.

But a taste of the gorge.

Kombolgie sandstone averages about 900m thick. Laid down when the area was a river delta. When leaving we noticed granite in the bottom of 17 mile valley. Perhaps the sandstone has also been pushed up, but we have no way of knowing.

  In the distance upstream is a small rapid, with a boat moored above. People on boat tours hop off, walk a bit, take another boat further up the gorge.
  Pat's Lookout looking downstream.

The gorges are through sandstone, water erosion of fault lines. Initially waterfalls, but eventually eroded to almost the level of the plain, seventeen mile valley.

I recall similar zig-zag gorges of Victoria Falls where water eroded fault lines in the basalt.

Edith Falls not eroded so deeply, so waterfalls remain.

There are a few mines in the valley.

  With a bit of a look at the small side gorge that contains Southern Rockhole.
  There were four of these in formation. We heard them a long time before we saw them.

Definitely not one's average tourist flight.

From Tindal air force base south of Katherine.

  Onward to Jedda's Rock. Looking upstream.

The Katherine River flows west, we are no longer in Gulf Country where the rivers flow north to the Gulf.

It joins the Flora River to become the Daly River which reaches the sea at Anson Bay, south west of Darwin, part of the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, which is part of the Timor Sea.

We've reached the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf previously (August 2018), at Cape Domett, near the eastern edge of the Kimberley, "only" 260km south west of the Daly River mouth.

We have no firm plan apart from a date for a week at Cobourg Peninsula camping. Perhaps we'll reach the end of the Daly River.

  We saw many of the trees with orange flowers. Occasional twigs broken off, presumably by parrots.
  Butterfly Gorge.

Jedda's Rock around the corner, off the pic, to the left. The Waleka / Windolf walk continues on the right along the top.

I at first imagined the track for butterfly gorge led to another lookout. But instead it followed the bottom of the gorge, eventually to the river in the main gorge.

The heat of the day was beginning to effect us. If we walked down we would have to walk back up. A "bridge too far".

About 16km for the day was probably enough, we were back at camp by lunch time.

  Two nights at Katherine Gorge then on to Edith Falls.

We wondered at an area with so many female names ....

In the Edith Falls campsite (a very nice site) a brief encounter with a pheasant coucal as the sun went down.

  A quick swim for Ali and Margaret, we planned the Leliyin circuit (2.6km) for the next day.

Another swim in the top pool.

I ventured further on foot.

  To the top end of Long Pool.

A walk across the plateau to reach it.

  And look downstream.
  The upper pool from Bomang Lookout, on the way back to camp.
  How quickly the vegetation changes. From spinifex on the plateau to this golden yellow grass on the hillside above the camp.
  And the plunge pool, the lowest pool, near the camping ground, from the bridge across the outlet river.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing. A bit of washing. And a bit of talking.

Umbrawarra Gorge May 17 - 18 2021

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