We had decided to stay just out of Katherine at Shady Lane Caravan Park so we were closer to the Katherine Gorge. After rising reasonably early for breakfast we headed out to the gorge which is a large part of the Nitmiluk National Park. After arriving in Katherine the day before we had booked ourselves onto an 11:00 cruise up the first two sections of the gorge. This would allow us to do the first four kilometres of the Baruwei loop walk in an anti-clockwise direction
to a lookout over gorge number one earlier before it became too hot for hiking. The trail was very steep at the start but fortunately in the shade.After a while we were in the sun so we moved a bit more quickly.
This meant we reached the lookout point a bit sooner than the recommended time.This even provided us with the opportunity to see the 10:00 cruise float past us down below.Next we started our descent down the rocky stairs and steps. We made it back down to the boat dock by 10:30 so realised we hadn’t needed to rush our walk as much as we did. Anyway it had been worth it to see the view. After about twenty minutes the staff came and checked our tickets ready for the boat trip. We boarded pretty much on time. Our boat trip was quite busy, only two places from being full. Our guide James was a local indigenous guy. He gave a very informative talk as we went. The first gorge was lovely as you can see.
When we reached the rocky end we had to take a walk which took us past some rock art and about a hundred metres further along a path to our next boat. The second gorge was really spectacular. At one point there was a small beach
and even see a few skinny dippers up on the lowest rock ledge sunning themselves! We spent about an hour going up and back in gorge two.Really beautiful.On our return we disembarked and walked back to a new boat for the return trip through gorge one. Along the way we passed a trap to catch any saltwater crocodiles that may be in the gorge. That certainly puts you off swimming in the gorge!Up high we passed the lookout where we had been earlier in the day.Once we were back at the dock and off the boat we walked along to the Visitor Centre and had a brief look at the information boards and displays of indigenous art. Overall it had been a wonderful day but as it was heating up we were happy to return back to Shady Lane for lunch back at the caravan followed by a quick nap before heading to Katherine thermal springs for a cool down. It is a series of pool sections which doesn’t link up as well as Mataranka but quite refreshing to cool down on a 30+ degree day. (Sorry no photos as we were too busy cooling down in the water!)