Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kata Tjuta (The Olgas )

Whilst we were at Uluru we visited the rock formation formerly known as the Olgas now Kata Tjuta National Park. These are also stunning rock formations, makes you wonder about the power that caused them to form. We managed to get in a few walks before we had to head back to camp and then back to Alice Springs.
This is the valley of the winds

One of the local inhabitants - this is a python think it is a "Woma"     

This is Walpa Gorge

Uluru (Ayres Rock)

We travelled to Alice Springs where we stayed three nights to catch up with friends from home. It was really good to see someone that you knew and chat about where you had been and where you were going.
Then we went to Uluru to see the rock, what a magnificent sight it is. It was awesome we just sat looking at it for ages. It was late in the afternoon when we got there so we didn't climb it but Stephen stood on it and I took his picture. The next day it was closed as it had been raining and the rangers didn't want anyone to fall off its slippy slopes. We joined a ranger walk and talk that morning that was very informative and then we went to the cultural centre and listened to one of the elders telling storeis of their beliefs (interpreted by one of the rangers).

A close up at the base of the rock

At the base of the rock on the ranger walk
I was surprised to find out that the rock was a permanent source of water for the aborigines and during the wet season there were many waterfalls off the rock. We definitely don't think it is from this world although the Ranger said it was sandstone (didn't feel like it to us).

Friday, June 28, 2013

The rest of our time at Mataranka

The Elsey National Park is next to the resort and the Roper river runs through this.

The Roper River

Another shot of the Roper River

Stevie's Hole a popular swimming hole inside the homestead boundaries

The homestead also boasts a thermal pool called Rainbow Springs which we enjoyed each day we were there.


We stayed at the Mataranka Homestead Resort - very dusty area but what else can you expect in a dry  area like this. The resort was the home of the replica Elsey Homestead made for the film "We of the Never Never" taken from a book written by by Jeannie Gunn. Jeannie and her husband Aenias (dont think that is the way to spell it ). were pioneers of this area and after he died Jeannie moved back to Melbourne and wrote a book about her time in Mataranka.

The Waterhouse River which runs at the side of the resort

The local inhabitants that wander through the camp

Pea hens

The wallaby- there are lots of them at this camp

Cutta Cutta caves and nature park

This area is 1499 hectares and is just outside of Katherine it is made up of karst limestone landscape and caves. Guided tours of the caves are available.

Katherine Hot Springs

Here is a shot of the hot springs that anyone can try, they are just outside the centre of the town near the river.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Edith Falls - Katherine

Edith Falls also known as Leliyn Falls is on the western boundary of Mitmiluk National Park the natural pool at the base of the falls is safe for swimming most of the year. There is a small steep climb upwards and then an escarpment walk and then downwards again to the pools. Very photogenic.

Katherine - Gorges 1 and 2 cruise

We spent a lovely 2 and a half hours cruising up the first two gorges at Katherine. the scenery was wonderful and we managed to see a baby crocodile sunning itself on the side of the gorge. Unfortunately the photos didn't turn out that well.

Katherine Day 2

We visited the Springvale Homestead which is the oldest homestead in the Northern Territory. It was established in 1828 and managed by Alfred Giles the overland telegraph linesman. They now have a carvan park next to it.

Day 3 we took one of the many cruises on offer along 2 of the gorges (there are 13 in all) and it was over 2 hours long and well worth the cost. the gorges are stunning as you can see below.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Our first visit was to the Visitor information centre in Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge)  to look what was on in the area and what we could visit. Whilst we were there we decided to  try the the 3.7klm walk to the top of the  first gorge , along the escarpment and back to the visitor centre. It was exhilarating and even though I found it difficult to breathe at one stage it was well worth the effort, the views are fantastic as you can see below.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Kakadu - what a place to visit - it was just gorgeous.
We stayed at Jabiru in the Aurora Kakadu Lodge and caravan park. A beautiful park and extremely large - lots of amenity blocks and a pool and bar and bistro and entertainment  most nights.
Our first stop was the Bowali Visitor Centre to find out about all the trails and ranger talks that you can attend and to get the $25each park admission slip ( these funds go to the upkeep of the park)
The next day we visited Jim Jim Falls - this was  50 klms on a dirt road and 10 klms four wheel driving on rocks. After parking we had to follow a trail that led up and down the rocky hillside and we were scrambling over large rocks for about half an hour until eventually we got to the falls where you were able to swim.

Jim Jim Falls

Sitting next to the swimming hole on the sandy beach

Looking up from the ground
The next day we visited Ubirr Art Site in time to hear the Ranger talks on all the sites there.We drove there but had a fifteen minute walk from the car park to the first site which was Main Gallery. This ranger had been in the area for thirteen years and she was still learning the aboriginal ways. She explained the very complex family systems that they have and about their beginnings. These stories were taught to her by the elder who unfortunately had died recently. She also learned about bush tucker and how to find it all around this area. she was excellent.

Main Art Gallery - although not a good picture it showed all the foods that can be found in this area

Nadab Lookout
Nanmarrkan sisters
Rainbow Serpent
After these talks we went further down the track to a camp spot to see Aboriginal artists painting from scratch. Some of the people who had been there earlier than us had started to do their own painting, but the following two pictures were done by the aboriginal artists.

The next day we visited Nourlangie which has walks and galleries. In between each site there is usually a walk that takes you over, up and down the hillside. You always need to carry lots of water and wear sunscreen and a hat and insect repellent - although the flies don,t take any notice of it.

Anbangbang Gallery

Anbangbang shelter where the tribe sheltered during the wet season - awesome place

Gunwarddewarde Lookout

Another shot from the lookout

Incline Gallery
This is the end of our experience in Kakadu,  we are now off to Katherine and the Gorges. We have lots more pictures of this area but didn't want to bore you all so will show them all to the family when we get home