We’re at Katherine, and there’s so much to do around the Katherine / Litchfield park area – this is a great spot to stay awhile. One of the first things we did was grab a handful of pamphlets about all the local attractions to decide how and where to spend our time (as you do) and we just couldn’t resist the sound of the Katherine Gorge sunset cruise. As it happened, we bumped into Dianne and Roger (whom we’d first met at Alice Springs) and so we all signed up!
What an enjoyable afternoon/evening it turned out to be. The Gorge is beautiful at any time of day, but it’s really special at sunset: first there’s the colour of the rugged rock walls as the sun drops low in the sky, and then there’s the serenity at night when you’re drifting quietly along and all the stars come out. We had an energetic and entertaining skipper to chat about the gorge as we made our way down the first gorge, disembarked to check out the aboriginal rock art, then climbed aboard the second vessel to explore the second gorge.
After a quiet meander along the waters of the second gorge, we returned to where we’d left the first boat…but in its place was the floating ‘dining room’. How nice to be welcomed on board with a glass of bubbly and to sit down to entrees waiting on a nice table setting… very civilised! The hours flew by on this cruise. We’d recommend it for both an insight into the history and culture of the Gorge and for a pleasant evening with friends (or just for the two of you, if you’re so inclined!)
As we ate dinner the crew turned on spotlights to highlight the gorge walls beside us. Well, the spotlights were probably just as much so they could see where they were going on the way back home, but it was still effective!
At the Katherine park, we met up with all kinds of people. Kassey, a backpacker who found it easier to travel with a wheeled backpack rather than lugging it around on her back, walked past just as we were testing some fruitcake and was a willing guinea pig. (We figure that since she lined up for a second slice it must be a success!)
In a nearby van were Jenny and Dave Rowe, always ready for a chat and a laugh. Jenny tells us that she has been able to get employment as a nurse on the way around, and Dave has found work in hospital admin.
We also ran into Trevor and Jenny Klemm, who sold their farm about five years ago after having it all their lives, so they could start travelling. Jenny pointed out that on the back of their van they have a picture of coins going into a piggy bank: the joke is that “…we sold our pigs to buy a van!” Trevor tells us that they still have some land and a house to go back to, though.
It’s always nice to run into people from ‘back home’, who often know people you know… and that proved to be the case with Janette and Brian Monk from the Illawarra in NSW. Brian has spent many years involved in exploring aged care and housing options… and he knows only too well that a lot of travellers are vitally interested in the kind of home base they might establish while they’re enjoying the RV lifestyle. Many retirement-aged couples are keen on the idea of ‘lifestyle villages’ where they can leave the house locked up in a complex, knowing there are many neighbours to keep an eye on things. Even better if they can keep the van onsite when they pop back home for a while!
Next week, we’ll look at more of the attractions around Katherine and Litchfield Park…