After leaving Katherine, the scenery along the road made many changes. Open woodlands with spinifex grass & cane grass paddocks to rolling hills & mountain ranges. The ranges in Gregory National Pk were spectacular whilst driving along the road.
Ranges that were created over 350million yrs ago, eroded by an inland sea & more recently in the last 50 or so million yrs, by wind & rain, to leave beautiful cliffs & gorges
There are 2 sections to the national park. The eastern section is far more spectacular with deep red sandstone & conglomerate cliff faces & the western section is grey limestone.
We chose to visit the western section with a 45km 4x4WD road access to the Limestone Gorge.
Around the gorge are a couple of different features that I'd not imagined to occur in Oz.
Tufta dams - better for you to read the sign, than for me to transcribe
Then there's the calcite flows - a little like the calcite flows around Rotorua in NZ. Viewing the flows was restricted to the lookout.
Then there was this weird limestone
The Limestone Gorge itself didn't look much from a distance - a bit boring really
as this is the road we had to walk along to get to the end @ the campground
The gorge walls are plain to look at as well as being a hot dry walk
The only thing to break the monotony was a few billabongs that we could have swum in apart from the slime & moss
We stayed @ Timber Creek - the town - named after explorer Augustus Charles Gregory when he needed repairs to his boat when sailing down the wide Victoria River - thus Timber Ck was named using the timber from the area. Lol.
Gregory & his team of explorers base was set up along the river 5kms outside Timber Ck
Some of his party engraved dates into the Boab trees - 2nd 1856 - July is around the other side I think??
Keep River National Park is just inside the NT border - with WA. It had been on my list of national parks to visit for birdwatching, rather than what else was there. The rare Gouldian Finch can be found in this park.
Or so I'd read!! - I had to ask the rangers to give me some tips as to where they were. I was really excited to find them - not the red headed 1's he'd seen. but black headed. :)) - Happy little girl is me.
Driving the 18km dirt road was 1 of our easiest dirt roads we've been on towing the van.
Oh my, the scenery was a spectacular bonus.............................
The 1 hr walk next to the packed campground took us probably 1.5hrs as every turn had another spectacular view - this walk would be rated as 1 of a handful of the best we've seen so far on this trip.
I also took far too many pics & have had trouble deleting many of them...................... thus I hope you get some of an idea how good the area was & enjoy the walk too.................
I was so impressed, that I went back to some of the area for sunset pics & video camera in my pack as well.
Many beautiful red tailed black cockatoos fly gracefully overhead, calling out to each other constantly for communication
There was another less impressive (for scenery) walk along the Keep River. This unusually spastic looking boab tree was near the car park..............
Ginger's Hill, named after perhaps a nice fellow - had some great words of wisdom to say
in theory hard to think it would work, but the people would entice hawks & kites into their lair with smoke - they circle over head over fires, looking for prey - the prey this time is some one hiding inside the structure to grab the bird when it landed on top & will eaten for lunch / dinner!!!!!!! What do you think???
This national park also had a large lagoon - cockatoo lagoon - I only got to see some of it & view the birds there as some areas were sectioned off for 're-vegetation'
3 km west of Keep River turn off is the WA border -
Droves of people arrive at the border not knowing about the quarantine & either madly cook up / make salads or what ever they can do to turn fresh to cooked or ready to eat in another way or have to throw out $$$ worth of fruit & veg etc.