Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Kununurra to Katherine & Edith

We left Kununurra and drove our last kilometres through The Kimberley. The Kimberley has been a real highlight of the West Coast with its red escarpments, beautiful National Parks and giant Boab trees - its realy been gorgeous.

We leave W.A. and cross the border into the N.T., stopping for a picnic breakfast beside Cockatoo Lagoon in the Keep River National Park, then it's back on the road for a long drive to Katherine.

Another early start saw us out at Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park. After a brisk walk up the escarpment to the lookout over the first gorge we boarded our boat for our 2 hour cultural cruise through the gorge. The sheer limestone walls of the gorge were stunning and it's easy to see why this is a special place for the Aboriginal people. Our guide on the cruise was aboriginal and he told us stories of how they hunt and kill in that region which was really intereting and also how they celebrate with special ceremonies. The Katherine river zigzags its way through a series of 13 gorges in this section of the river and although the guide warns us that we're surrounded by crocodiles, all we managed to see were some old croc trails and a snake.

Leaving Katherine we drove on to Leilyn/Edith Falls campground where we had a lovely cool dip in the plunge pool at sunset.

Early the next morning we set out on a 12 km hike through the bush to Sweetwater Pool and then on to Edith Falls. It was a great hike, passing by rivers and little cascades although sometimes walking through hip high grass in a country full of killer snakes and spiders could get a bit much and we'd break into a jog! We were walking through the scorching midday heat by the time we reached Edith Falls, so the cool water was a welcome relief.

The falls themselves were beautiful - water gushing down in a sand coloured alcove and we whiled away an hour there swimming against the current and diving beneath the falls. We could've stayed there all day just messing about in the water. Another couple of kms saw us fairly tired and back at the carpark for the drive to Kakadu.


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