Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Camping among the palms in Katherine, NT

The distance from Derby to Katherine is over 1400 kms and added to this is
about 700 kms of side trips so we were pleased to arrive in Katherine. This
township is a cross roads - all traffic coming from Queensland, Victoria and
South Australia meet at Katherine and either continue north to Darwin or
west to Western Australia. We arrived late morning on Friday and the town
was busy - it seemed that every vehicle had a caravan or a camper trailer.
We hadn't booked ahead - we very rarely book as then we are committed and
prefer to be flexible with our timing. The first park we tried was fully
booked, so a quick phone call fortunately got us the last powered site at
another camp.

We were so happy with our campsite amongst the palms at Shady Lane Tourist
Park. It was 35 degrees and we had heaps of shade from the palms and the
pool was just alongside us - it couldn't have been better. There were a few
children in the caravan park as it is school holidays but the majority of
campers were just like us - couples of our age on extended holidays to the
warmer areas of Australia. The pool was great for cooling off and a very
social environment.

The Katherine Gorge is about thirty kilometres from the township of
Katherine. This national park was returned to the traditional owners a few
years ago and is now named Nitmiluk National Park. The national park is
made up of thirteen gorges and the best way to see these is by a boat
cruise. Bookings were tight for the next couple of days so we decided to
book ahead for when we return through Katherine in a few weeks. So we had a
relaxing few days instead, and it was just great.

Katherine has a population of around 10,000 with a large proportion of
Aboriginal people. The township has a reasonable shopping area and we were
able to do some shopping in Woolworths and it was a treat not to have to buy
frozen bread!

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