Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday, 7 October 2019

Katherine & Adelaide River, Northern Territory - Half Lap of Australia, Part 4

Hi everyone, and welcome to Part 4 of my Half Lap of Australia. 
This week we will travel from Western Australia into the Northern Territory, and visit Katherine and Adelaide River on our way to Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory. 

We had not visited this part of the Northern Territory before, so this is all new territory to us. You can see a rough map of our trip through the Northern Territory on the map below, the main locations showing with a red dot or red print. 

Leaving Lake Argyle and Kununurra (last week's blog post) we crossed the border into the Northern Territory 63 kilometres from Kununurra. From there our trip takes us to Katherine, Adelaide River, Litchfield National Park, Darwin, Kakadu National Park, Mataranka, Daly Waters, Karly Karlu (Devil's Marbles), down to Alice Springs in central Australia, before reaching the Northern Territory/South Australian border. 

We left Lake Argyle at around 6.00am which incidentally is 7.30am Northern Territory time. We had lost and hour and a half crossing the border. The time difference and that we had 510 kilometres to travel today to our next stopping place, Katherine, was the reason for the early start. Also we were travelling over new ground, so there were gong to be places we wanted to stop and look at. My diary records that the sun was already "a burning red ball above the horizon, lighting up the rocks red and shimmery across the long grass." 

Below you can see the Western Australian/Northern Territory border crossing. You might be able to see on the bottom of this sign a bit of "decoration" and stickers put here by travellers.
Can you see the "end 80" speed sign? In the Northern Territory maximum speed is 130 kilometres an hour, whereas in Western Australia it is 110km/hr. However, as we were towing we stuck to our 80-90 km/hr. Fast enough for us! 

Australia has very strict quarantine regulations to protect our agriculture crops and stock, particularly coming from other states into Western Australia. You need to be aware of these regulations and restrictions before crossing any state border. You can find information on the internet, or pick up one of their very handy quarantine guides at an information centre. Going from Northern Territory to Western Australia is a manned border check, however from WA to NT is purely self checking (though this might not always be the case), with bins provided to dispose of such things as fresh fruit and vegetables. Some people stock up in Kununurra only to find they can't take it into Northern Territory. We only take dried, frozen or canned foods over the border. 

89 kilometres from Kununurra you can visit Keep National Park. Only a relatively small park it has some amazing landforms. There are walk trails and camp sites, which are accessible via 2WD along gravel roads. Please make sure you only walk early morning or late afternoon, wear a hat, good boots and carry water, as temperatures rise rapidly here to very hot, as we discovered on a previous trip.

My previous diary recorded.....
... most insanely we walked for two hours in 38 plus degree heat in the Keep National Park in the Northern Territory – we wouldn’t normally hike in 38 degree heat but we were on holiday! Make sure you definitely carry water and wear a hat for that one! 

Because we had been to Keep before, and Katherine was our destination today, we continued on. 

area around Desmond Passage
Boabs are an icon of the north
We stopped for morning tea in a shady park in Timber Creek, lunched east of Victoria River road house, arriving in Kununurra at 3pm. 

We had booked a site at the Riverview Tourist Park before we left home, and were given a nice partly shady spot. After setting up, we had afternoon tea and then walked down to the hot springs only a short downhill walk from the back of the park. The water was lovely and warm in the leafy channels lined with pandanas palms. Lovely after our long drive.  Not a good pic below, but you get the idea.

 The next day we had booked a boat cruise at Nitmiluk (Katherine) River Gorge. Located on the lands of the Jawoyn people it is a 30km drive from Katherine to the entrance of the park.
There is a 3 gorge and 2 gorge cruise. We did the two gorge cruise, which included a rocky, though not difficult, walk from one gorge to another. 

Some things we learnt on the cruise included:

- Nitmiluk means cicada (nit) country (luk)
- Paperbark leaves were crushed by the indigenous people and made into paste for antiseptic  
 - Paperbark trees also used to make canoes.
- Pandanas trunk is hollow and use used to carry fire from one camp to another.
- Freshwater mangrove leaves and bark was crushed and put into waterholes to stun fish
Crocodiles - no swimming here!
After the cruise we visited the Visitor Centre where I was able to buy a very useful local wildflower identification book and also enjoyed lunch on the elevated outdoor eating area of their cafe. Back to camp, and another swim in the hot springs. And bed sheets and bath towells washing done - tick! 

These big trees shading our camp at the caravan park are South African Mahogany. 

Next day we headed out to Nitmiluk again, but this time we were headed to
Leliyn (Edith Falls) (40kms from Katherine and then another 20kms in) to do the 2.6km Leliyn Trail described in our guide as a moderate circuit walk. 

The first part of the walk is steeply uphill.  There are a couple of places you can swim , but access to the upper pool was tricky (and we didn't have our bathers on), so we decided to push on to the lower main pool. By then it was hot hot hot, and I must admit I was rather grumpy....I don't do heat well. I am glad we had started early. Thankfully the last part of the walk was under shade and going downhill.  I really recommend an early start, I wish we had started earlier considering the long drive out. Make sure you wear a hat, sunscreen, walking boots, and carry plenty of water. 

The swim in the lower main pool was cold and refreshing and very welcome after the heat of the walk. We enjoyed our picnic lunch under the shady trees and bought an icecream from the cafe.

This is the beautiful Fern leaf Grevillea - Grevillea pteridifolia - which was growing near the lower main pool.

And below are Batchelors Buttons - Gomphrena canescens; one of the yellow flowering Sennas, and Batwing Coral Tree - Erythrina vespertillo; which we saw on the way back to Katherine.

Next morning we were packed up and on the road north by 8.30am. Reaching the tiny township of Adelaide River at around 11am, we were astounded to find the place packed with people, cars, caravans. It was a public holiday in the Northern Territory and Adelaide River was having their Rosella Festival. I love Rosella jam, which we had tasted before in Broome, and which I had actually eaten the flowers straight off the bush along the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley. We managed to find a place to park and walked down to the Festival and bought Rosella jam, sauce, chutney - delicious! How lucky were we! 

Adjacent to the park and market was the Adelaide River pub where you can enjoy a cooling ale in the "303 bar", see "Charlie the Buffalo" from the movie Crocodile Dundee, and buy a Croc Dundee tshirt, which our son did. 

 Also a must visit in Adelaide River is the Adelaide River War Cemetery.   
112 kilometres south of Darwin, and established in 1942, there are 434 military burials here. The adjoining Civil Cemetery honours 63 civilians including the nine post office workers who were killed in the 19 February 1942 bombing of Darwin by the Japanese. The Memorial to the Missing, remembers 292 service personnel who lost their lives in Timor and other northern regions, whose bodies were not brought back to Australia. 230 people were killed on the first day of the bombing raids over Darwin, and many more people were displaced as Darwin was evacuated. The Adelaide River War Cemetery is a beautifully maintained and sombre place to remember those who lost their lives in the region during the Second World War. 

Whilst we were there, another visitor found her uncle's name on the list of those who were unable to be brought back to Australia.  Myself having relatives who are buried overseas in war cemeteries, what an emotional place for her this must have been.
More about Darwin and World War 2 in future posts.

Our next stop is Litchfield National Park - till next week, thank yo for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this trip to Katherine and Adelaide River in the Northern Territory.

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.


  1. Hello, beautiful scenic views. The cruise sounds fun and I love the waterfalls, Rosella flowers and the other wildflowers. The war cemetery looks beautiful. Wonderful post and photos. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy new week!

  2. What glorious, vivd color you have shared today! I especially like the photos of the wildflowers!

  3. What a beautiful part of the world! I love your trip. Cheers from Canada!

  4. Loved reading this as Australia is on the other side of the world from me. Swimming in Edith Falls looked wonderful, and a great reward for the hot hiking!

  5. We are new to RV travel, just purchased ours last April after a trip using a rental Class C. My post this week is about a local trip we took. I would love to visit Australia, the plants and animals can be so different. Using an RV looks like the perfect way. California still has agricultural stops and certain items are confiscated to protect their crops. I remember as a kid my dad stopping just before the border with Oregon cherries and all of eating as much as we could before having to surrender the rest. - Margy

    1. are yes, my son & co had to do something similar when coming from South Australia into Western Australia on their last Eastern States trip. If you stew, or stew and freeze them, they are fine.

  6. My goodness, had no idea that you had to deal with quarantine of food! What, better safe than sorry! Never tasted the jam you talked about. The bachelor's button is beautiful and the yellow fern leaf makes me think of a toothbrush,lol. Wow, you drove many kilometers here- hope that the roads were in good condition! Many thanks for sharing with All Seasons another post with so many beautiful things to see, and experience! Australia is much larger than I thought! Have a great week!

    1. mostly bitumen roads and a bit of gravel, so no problems. Yes, you have to be aware of the quarantine restrictions.

  7. Jill - once again, I am struck by the size, diversity and complexity of your "world". Quarantine? It's like several countries in one, which probably makes sense given its size and its biodiversity! I like heat, but there are limits when you are hiking, and it is very dangerous (as you know) to get overheated and dehydrated. Thanks so much for sharing the ongoing diary of your journey with all of us at Mosaic Monday! Beautiful scenery, as always!

  8. P.S. How can a time zone change by an hour and a HALF?

    1. Because our country is 4000 kilometres across, we have 3 time zones. The east coast is 2 hours ahead of the west coast, and the middle states - Northern Territory and South Australia - are an hour and a half ahead of the west. The time zones change at the borders.

  9. Your adventure around Australia is a pleasure to read. My brother taught high school in your country in the 1970s so I'm imagining what he may have seen as I read your posts. Thanks!

    1. where did your brother teach Su-sieee Mac? Did he get to travel about much? Australia is very different now to what it was like in the 70s.

  10. Sounds like a busy trip and thrilled that I could visit through your wonderful photos. Thanks and have a great rest of the week.

  11. Sounds and looks like a wonderful trip! The scenery is so amazing to see. We talk about talking one of the Aussie river cruises one day.

    Thanks for being a part of 'My Corner of the World' this week!

    My Corner of the World

  12. What an amazing tour, and well photographed. I would love to visit this area someday (I might skip the crocodile nesting area)!


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.