Wander to Wonder Oz – Darwin to Katherine
Howdy! We’re the Davey family of Wander to Wonder Oz – Leigh, Tegan, Bodhi (7yrs) and Finn (5yrs). We’ve been travelling around Australia for the past 6 months in our caravan, blogging about our adventures on Facebook, Instagram and our website, sharing destination inspiration, tips and tricks. We are stoked to be embarking on another adventure as we join the Follow the Sun Relay and travel from Darwin to Broome. We’re going to show you some cool places to take the kids and share some family travel advice. So jump aboard!
We picked up our new set of wheels from Apollo Camper in Darwin, where the crew gave us some pointers and wished us well on our journey. The little wanderers were super excited to be able to sit at the table as we travelled and us parents were equally excited to discover the curtain separating the drivers cab! After stopping to grab some crucial supplies (by that I mean coffee) we hit the road bound for Katherine!
On the way down we couldn’t resist a quick pit stop at Adelaide River Inn to see Charlie the water buffalo. Remember that classic scene in Crocodile Dundee where Mick hypnotizes the huge beast? Well that’s Charlie and he called the Inn home up until his death in 2000 and now proudly stands at the end of the bar. He’s not the only stuffed beast on display though, there’s also ‘Jock the Crock’ who measures 5m and was captured after he started attacking boats!
We arrived in Katherine later that afternoon and checked into Riverview Tourist where the kids made a beeline for the pool. We visited this park during peak season only a few months back and it was a hive of activity with live music and activities. This time round it was peacefully quiet and we had our pick of spots. Managers Craig and Wendy were absolutely lovely and made sure we had everything we needed for our first night in the motorhome.
Katherine Outback Experience
Earlier this year we explored the Flinders Rangers with the crew of Camper Trailer Lifestyle and Finn was gifted an Akubra hat from the gorgeous host Alicia Blythe. Well since then he has morphed into a fair dinkum Aussie cowboy. So we knew if we only did one thing in Katherine it would be the Katherine Outback Experience. The 2.5hr show gives visitors a taste of the inner workings of an outback Australian cattle station. This wasn’t a choreographed, flashy performance but a genuine look at real horse starting, working dog demonstrations and outback animals. All this plus a splash of live country music by 2-time Golden Guitar winner Tom Curtain. There’s really something to be said about outback hospitality as Tom’s lovely wife Annabel goes above and beyond in making sure guests are cool and comfortable providing cold washers, cold drinks, icy poles and a cracker morning tea.
We picked up a collection of Tom’s work for the road trip (personally signed by the great man of course!) and as if the morning couldn’t get any better, out came three cattle dog puppies – Game, Set, Match Katherine Outback Experience.
We woke the following morning to the sounds of heavy rain in what was the first drop of proper rain Katherine had seen since April. And although it didn’t stick around long it did bring a welcomed cool change, which was definitely appreciated as we headed to Nitmiluk National Park to explore. Nitmiluk Gorge (otherwise known as Katherine Gorge) comprises of 13 stunning gorges carved from the ancient sandstone.
It is home to the traditional landowners – the Jawoyn people who jointly manage the park with NT Parks and Wildlife. You can explore the park via foot, canoe, boat or helicopter and while all options sound fantastic we opted to jump on board the Nit Nit Dreaming 2 Gorge Cruise which took us through the first two gorges. The scenery was stunning and the guides were fantastic in sharing the cultural significance of the area to the Jawoyn people, telling dreamtime stories and showing rock art sights and wildlife.
We love a good visitor centre and Nitmiluk’s certainly didn’t disappoint! The little wanderers got their fill of road schooling while browsing the interpretative displays on the parks wildlife, geography and culture and Mum got her caffeine hit in the café.
What better way to cap off an awesome day then to soak in the beautiful, warm, crystal clear waters of Katherine Hotsprings!
The natural thermal springs are made up of a series of clear pools on the banks of the Katherine River and the water temperature remains a steady 30 odd degrees making this sweet little oasis perfect to escape the heat. Being off-season we had these to ourselves and best part was they were located right at the rear of our caravan park so were a breeze to get to!
We had a great time exploring Katherine. The town is far from just a stop over and you should definitely stay and play! Now the journey continues to Kununurra!
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Wander to Wonder Oz Website – https://www.wandertowonderoz.com/
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Wander to Wonder Oz