We are so fortunate to have parents that love the outdoors and traveling too. Katherine was the location of our second visit from my parents. The inspiration was that my birthday happened to fall on Fathers’ Day this year and as I was born on Fathers’ Day, that is pretty special. So Dad was keen to catch up for my birthday this year.
It is funny how the world works as it also ended up being super handy having them here so Andrew and I could make preparations for a trip back to Melbourne for Oma’s thanksgiving service and coordinate getting the car and trailer repaired … again.
The amazing photos and stories on blogs may disguise some of the more challenging parts of traveling a little, like logistics of shopping, washing, car servicing in unfamiliar locations as well as managing life together as a family with little time apart. Sometimes the kids crave home comforts food wise which can take great initiative and creativity in a camp kitchen with limited access to grocery stores.
Luckily Mum and Dad booked an apartment for us in Katherine making it super easy to catch up on the washing and get a decent machine to remove some of the dirt building up from travel. It also meant we could bake Matthew’s favourite home comfort, choc chip cookies again. We also got to sleep in beds. Izzy was most excited about this point.
We also got to book the car in at a Toyota dealer to get the matters not fixed from our last time in Katherine repaired and get Liam all good to go for the next leg. Unfortunately this got complicated. The whining noise we reported last service and we were told was fine we were now told was the front diff and a new part needed to come from Sydney. This left us with the trailer stuck at one service centre, the car at another and us in Katherine without a car. So this is why we are really grateful to have my parents here to hang with the kids while we organise some logistics. Like hiring a car, sorting out new parts and how to time it all and coordinate it in with our trip back to Melbourne. Nothing happens quickly in Katherine. Parts that we were told would take a week to come in were now going to take two. The solution? Get the parts ordered in Melbourne and bring them back with us so we can get back on the road ASAP.
Despite a lot of logistics, we managed to enjoy some of the unique and amazing features of Katherine and celebrate some special days – Fathers’ Day, my birthday and 100 days of being away!
We celebrated Fathers’ Day and my birthday with a picnic at Leliyn (Edith falls). Matthew and Andrew made me an amazing chocolate cake and we feasted on yummy delights under the shady trees.
We made the most of the location with a swim at the falls.
Then we enjoyed pizza on the BBQ and Izzy decorated a pav to honour Fathers’ Day and my birthday. It looked amazing and tasted amazing too.
It was a special day spent with family and I am so grateful my parents made the trip up to share it with us.
Katherine also has hot springs which we all enjoyed. Andrew and I enjoyed a quiet swim after dropping the car off and a lazy breakfast at the pop up cafe, blissfully ignorant of the outcome of the car service at this stage. The springs were so good we came back again with the family.
The main big activity we chose to do was a day canoe trip on Nitmiluk George. This involved a boat up George 1 before collecting our canoes to explore Gorge 2 and beyond. Each gorge is separated by a rock bar and we managed the portage between Gorge 2-3 but the one between 3-4 was quite long, about a 40 minute portage we were told. Given the canoes were heavy and not everyone could lift them we decided to stop at this point and enjoy the water and rock pools.
Andrew, the kids and I walked a little further for a swim in one of the pools on the rock bar.
All the adults had done a boat tour of the gorge in the past but we all agreed that a canoe trip was the best way to really appreciate the beauty and immensity of Nitmiluk. Both Andrew and I are keen to explore further up the gorge one day and also do the Jatbula Trail from the Gorge to Edith Falls.
What amazing photos and blog of your trip, really enjoying each one and seeing Matthew and Isabel doing incredible activities, like holding wild life and swimming and leaping into wonderful pools. Had a nice catch up with your Mum and Dad today for lunch, they did enjoy seeing you all in Katherine and being able to help. They got to see our new home and very different lifestyle.
Do hope car trouble are now behind you and it’s full steam ahead for the rest of your travels.
Take care and keep up the Blogs, we do enjoy them. Spring has sprung at last and blossom on the trees, hooray.
Love, John and Susan Vale