Katherine (Nitmiluk) Gorge

Nabilil Dreaming Sunset Dinner Cruise

I’ve been trying to get Sparrow to write about the Nitmiluk Cruise at Katherine Gorge for ages now, but she has been “too busy”. Looks like my persistent stares finally paid off.

[Sparrow File]

With Enzo firmly ensconced at the kennels in Katherine, the Silverback and I headed off for a sunset dinner cruise at Katherine Gorge or more correctly Nitmiluk (the name given by the Jawoyn people) .  Since it was a dinner cruise a bit of discussion was had about what clothing would be appropriate.  I knew there would be a bit of a walk in the middle, so decided to forgo my dress and sandals for trousers and flats.  I was happy to see that our fellow dinners were also in pretty casual outfits, then about 5 minutes before embarkation, a large group of 20 somethings arrived in high heels, and mini skirts making me feel quite old and frumpy.

We settled into the boat and headed up the first gorge.  It was stunning with steep cliffs of red sandstone, that were set off beautifully in the fading light.  Sharp eyes spotted a freshwater crocodile sunning itself on the bank and everyone rushed to the side to take photos. There are rarely ‘salties’ in Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, but they do put out traps just in case.

Find your places!  The first boat – Nitmiluk First Gorge
Freshwater crocodile on banks of Nitmiluk First Gorge

After arriving at the end of the first gorge, we disembarked for the short walk to the next gorge, being dry season, the water levels were low.  The walk was very easy with a concreted, even path most of the way (I could have worn my dress and sandals!) and even a large rock art painting overlooking the path.

Another boat took us to the end of the second gorge and more stunning scenery until we had to turn around and go back.  We did the return walk to the first gorge slower this time as the low light levels and still water meant lots of photo stops!  We were welcomed aboard a transformed boat with glasses of champagne. It was now set up with elegant tables, all ready for our dinner.

Our dining companions were a lovely English couple now living in South Australia who we got on so well with, Silverback asked me if we had completed a personality questionnaire so they could match us up! We hadn’t, sometimes you just get lucky!  Dinner and the wine were exquisite, with a bush tasting platter entrée with crocodile, kangaroo and melaleuca smoked chicken.  We both had barramundi mains (beef eye fillet was the other option) which were delicious and chocolate cake with mixed berries and cream dessert.

It was over all too soon and we were swapping phone numbers with our new found friends and disembarking.  Unfortunately, we started off up the road with everyone heading back to their cars.  Bob, our van, was at the caravan park in the other direction, so we ended up stumbling our way cross country in the pitch-black night with a dying torch. Eventually, we made it back safely to Bob.

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