Day 33 – 6 Aug 2012 – At Springvale Homestead, Katherine

It was a lovely quiet night at our Park. We left just before 9.00am and had one more Waterfall to have a good look at before we left Litchfield. It was the Wangi Falls at the other caravan Park and which we did not have time to fit in yesterday.

Wangi Falls Swimming area

Well, what a lovely spot. The information boards were superb, the walks were well defined and there was some observation platforms which looked over the swimming area. There was then another walk up into the tree canopy, alongside a ridge.

View from canopy of forest at Wangi Falls

Absolute magic. There were bats in the trees – rowdy bats as they drowned out all other bird song. The swimming area was unbelievable. At some parts the water is 14m deep which is amazing. This is crocodile area but there are none during the ‘dry’ season. This spot belies all said about Litchfield tourist area in yesterday’s blog. Ah well, can’t be right all the time.

The walk into forest at Wangi Falls

We then drove back through Batchelor and this time drove around the town for a look. What a pretty little town. Very tidy and very clean. There is a large college there for Indigenous Uni. Education and the campus was huge. Most of their students are over 30 years of age and the majority of the are women. It is doing a marvellous job. Mobile access was available so Ian took the opportunity to reply to a couple of phone calls we had missed while out of range.

We then joined the Stuart Highway to head south.

We passed some more major control burns. It is the first time there were signs warning of ‘thick smoke across road’. No doubt they know what they are doing but the amount of land being burned up here is unbelievable. No wonder it is a controversible issue. In parts the sky is always hazy and the smell of smoke is a little choking. Then just as suddenly entering these areas, the sky clears and the smell goes.

Smoke on Stuart Highway

We stopped at Pine Creek to have a quick lunch so that we could get to Katherine to stay aat the Springvale Homestead. This Park has guided tours of the old Homestead and farm every day at 3pm, but unfortunately we were just a little too late to join the tour group. It is a nice Park though – very well set out and lots of space.Tonight at 6.15 we have paid to go on a night ‘safari’.

It is now late and we have returned from the night safari. We boarded a little boat with 10 passengers and went upstream on the Katherine River which is right beside our caravan park. This river has only fresh water crocodiles (although a large saltie was seen about 6 weeks ago and there is a large steel trap upstream hoping to catch it) and the guide was able to use his torch to point them out in the water. They were not very big – from about 1 metre or so. It was lovely to see them so close though. We stopped about a few kilometres down the river and went on to the bank where there were tables and chairs and we sat and got to know each other while the captain Pat and the guide Joe cooked a lovely BBQ meal. WHile the meal was cooking they went down to the edge of the water and little pignosed turtles came up on the bank – looking for a feed no doubt. It was lovely. There were fish jumping and occasionally we could see bats flying overhead. After the meal we had a leisurely trip back to the camp. The reflections in the water from the overhanging trees and branches was unbelievable and unfortunately, just not possible to catch from my camera. The trip cost $69 each and was well and truly worth it. We had a good time.

Katherine River

Must mention that 2 of the people on the boat were people we knew – Nola Coster’s sister Melva. (All my family know Nola from Longwarry days). Still more of a small world – Melva’s husband Joe used to work with Bruce Weaterhead in the early 60’s and he lived with Bruce’s Auntie in Melbourne.

We plan to be at Katherine Gorge tomorrow and will do another tour along the Katherine River. Should be good. Don’t know if there is internet access there.

Love to all, Janese and Ian

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One response to “Day 33 – 6 Aug 2012 – At Springvale Homestead, Katherine

  1. Not sure why, but only the last photo opened on my i pad. We are expecting snow tomorrow! Enjoy any nice swims you might be forced take to wash the dust off or cool down a tad! I will try not to think about you!,xJ

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