Travelling Australia - Journal 2013
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6-9 June 2013

Katherine
location map
The weather in Katherine was definitely Dry Season. Daytime temperatures reached the low thirties (about 32°) in the afternoon and overnight was rarely below 20°C. The sun shone bright and hot during the day; sometimes there was a breeze. Humidity varied from not bad to uncomfortable. The bright sunshine was an incentive to park the car under one of the sun shelters in the public car park near the shopping centre.

The caravan park was conventionally laid out but some time in the past African Mahogany trees had been planted around the park. I had seen these large trees at Mary Ann Dam near Tennant Creek where the lowest branches were less than two metres above the ground with the top branches twenty or thirty metres high; these African Mahogany at Katherine had been carefully pruned over many years so lower branches had been removed. They were now massive trees arching over the sites and touching each other but lowest branches were so high that any thought of fouling television aerials on the branches was laughable. An added attraction was that it was noticeably cooler under the trees and moderately shaded.

Tree An African Mahogany tree towering over our caravan. Look carefully at the height of the van (about three metres high) relative to the tree to get an idea of how tall the tree is.
The caravan park was on the banks of the Katherine River far above flood level but easy walking distance from Katherine Hot Springs which offered a pleasant break; the water was not really hot but lukewarm and very pleasant to step into (about 1.5 metres deep). After looking at the opaque, dark green water of the Katherine River and taking note of crocodile warning signs I was initially wary of the hot springs until I saw how clear the water was; bottom pebbles were clearly visible and any crocodile in there would be seen immediately.

The caravan park and nearby river bank were home to a variety of birds, some of them making themselves at home around the caravans.

We spent most of the Katherine visit in the township. We had visited Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) on a previous visit; the boat trip along the gorges was pleasant but we did not wish to repeat it. I visited the dry limestone Cutta Cutta Caves on one day. Otherwise we stayed in the township; including several visits to the Information Centre while planning future visits in the Top End.

Katherine - page 2
Kingfisher One of several insect-eating birds feeding along the bank of the Katherine River.
Hot Pool The Katherine Hot Pool is about 1.5 metres deep with stone access steps leading onto stainless steel steps in the water. The water is better described as warm.
Spring The Katherine Hot Spring is a few metres away from the pool. Water is coming out of the ground at the bottom of the right hand part of the pool and flowing out on the left; the water surface is far more active than the photographs shows.
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