Saturday, September 5, 2009

Katherine and Litchfield National Park

After Kunanurra we hit the the road again, and crossed the border into the Territory after 2 and a half months in WA. It was a lengthy 500km+ haul to Katherine, but with the 130km/h NT speed limits we made pretty good time and were in Katherine by early afternoon. The drive itself was more interesting than expected, with some fantastic scenery through the Victoria River region.

In Katherine we took the obligatory cruise through the gorge, then headed up to Edith Falls and Litchfield National Park en route to Darwin.

The surroundings in the Top End are noticeably more tropical and so is the humidity (although the temperatures are still in the mid-low 30s) so the fact that pretty much every spot we visited had a swimming hole was pretty welcome!

The other thing thats immediately noticeable about the Top End is the number of World War II heritage sites. For the rest of Australia and NZ I guess the war was something that happened a long way away- it only really affected us directly in that so many of our grandfathers got turned into meat patties there. In the NT the war affected Australia directly- Darwin was bombed more than 40 times (which pretty much meant it had to be completely rebuilt, considering it was only a small backwater of a few thousand people then) and almost the entire state acted as a forward base for the allied war effort against Japan. It's fitting then that Adelaide River is the site of Australia's only war cemetary, and those Australians who lost their lives in the NT defending AUstralia are buried there.

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