On Monday we had an easy traveling day from Batchelor to Katherine (approx 190 kms). We left at 9.30 am and drove for half an hour or so to Adelaide River where we visited the war cemetery.
This is the 4th largest cemetery managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and it provides a beautiful and peaceful resting place for those killed in action in the WW2 conflict in Darwin. I am always impressed with the way that the government ensures that our service men and women who gave their lives for their country are not forgotten. There is also a section of the cemetery for civilians who were killed in the Darwin air raids. These include a number of people who worked in the Post Office and who played an important role in operating the telegraph system.
For lunch, we went to the Adelaide River Hotel, which is famous for its menu of Barramundi and chips. There used to be a big water buffalo named Charlie in a coral near the pub, but Charlie died a few years ago. His body is now stuffed and stands to the right of the bar. His horns must have a spread of at least 3 metres.
From Adelaide River we drove about 140 kms to a delightful picnic ground at Edith Falls. It was mid afternoon by the time we reached there and we fitted enough time in for a number of our group to have a swim. We finished the day by reaching our motel in Katherine at 5.00 pm.
Today (Tuesday) we set off at 8.00 am to Katherine Gorge. We had some confusion about our tour bookings, but fortunately, Bill from Self-Drive was available at the other end of the phone and we had things quickly sorted out. In the end we were all able to enjoy a wonderful two hour tour of the lower two gorges in the national park.
The scenery was quite spectacular with vertical cliffs of 100 metres or so, rugged rock faces and vertical cliffs. It was quite an experience to travel up the main gorge where Daryl Sommers once floated on an inflatable mattress doing a commercial for the Northern Territory and saying “If you never never go, you’ll never never know”.
After the tour, we drove into town and left it up to individuals to do their own thing. Some people went shopping and others spent time looking at local sites such as the hot springs.. Many spent most of the afternoon lazing around the pool and relaxing.
Tomorrow, we have a long driving day to Kununurra. We plan to leave at 8.000 am and expect to spend all day on the road.