At Katherine the train stopped and we went on our first excursion of the trip. I had chosen the 2 gorge trip to the Nitmiluk Gorges, as that had the highest fitness requirement. Having seen my fellow passengers I assumed the excursions requiring a reasonable fitness level may have a lower level of participation.
We were bundled on the appropriate coaches and travelled to the gorges. On the way we passed this rather interesting tree. I think it could be a ghost gum (see later post), I admire its resilience!
We travelled on the Nitmiluk Gorges on boats like this which are owned and operated by local indigenous people.
Once again, I got a fleeting interest in geology, however not strong enough to entice me to study all the details of stone composition etc. The gorges have arisen because the high Kakadu plateau had too much surface tension and split down ‘easy’ fault lines.
The vegetation and stone either side of the first gorge were stunning.
We then reached a point where the ‘fitter’ people needed to walk from one gorge to another across this rock fall separating them and past an aboriginal rock painting (the less fit only needed to walk to the painting and got a talk about it).
The second gorge was deeper than the first giving a feeling of being in more of a closed in gorge than the wider river sensation in the first one.
As is so often the case, I took far more pictures than would be interesting for others to see and none of them really give you the same sense of awe of nature as actually being there would. Having said that, I think this couple’s experience was even more serene than mine.
Another slightly more interesting picture is of this crocodile trap. There are both salt and fresh water crocodiles in the gorges. The freshwater ones are pretty harmless and they nest on the beaches in the gorges. Saltwater crocodiles on the other hand can be aggressive and dangerous to tourist, so are trapped in these traps and taken back up to the coastal salt water.