Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kayaking Katherine Gorge

After leaving Kakadu National Park, Zack and I headed to Katherine Gorge, also known as Nitmiluk National Park. We spent a full day kayaking, hoping to get as far as the fifth gorge, but the low water levels prevented us from getting past the third one. No worries though; we still had plenty of fun and adventure along the way!

There were cool birds along the shore...

Bugs on the rocks (note the spider below the dragonfly) and snakes in the caves to steer clear of...

Harmless Banded Tree Snake-also known as a Night Tiger.

Flies to avoid while walking along the banks of the river (we grew to love our head nets)...

And lots of beautiful views...

But the craziest thing of all happened on our way back to the drop-off point. We had been kayaking along the edge of the shore all day, reading these signs about crocodiles nesting and avoiding certain areas. I knew that there were no saltwater crocodiles in Katherine Gorge, and those are the dangerous ones that will attack and kill you (the type we saw in Kakadu). But freshwater ones live in Nitmiluk, and they can become aggressive if cornered or threatened.

Well, we had just started to kayak into a small cave (like we had when we found the snake pictured above), when we suddenly heard what sounded like a mix between a loud hiss and a growl. Zack paddled us backward quickly; I thought it was a snake for a second. But it was a crocodile!!! That's right, we almost cornered a freshwater crocodile in a cave while we were sitting just inches above the water in a kayak all alone out in the middle of the gorge! It had reared its head up a bit, so its body was kind of slanted while it eyed us. It was pretty big! We stayed at a distance and tried to get a few pictures and a video, but you can see they didn't turn out so well. Anyway, it was wild, and we've been recreating the sound it made ever since! 

Katherine Gorge itself wasn't that impressive compared to some Colorado or Utah scenery we've experienced (I know I sound like a snob, but it's true), but the kayaking was a nice way to spend a hot day, and the crocodile encounter made it worth the trip! Oh yeah, and there was some more cool aboriginal art to see, but that'll be in tomorrow's post...


  1. You should have wrestled the croc. That would have been awesome. I love the matching his and her sunglasses.

    1. You should come wrestle a croc. I'm sure you and Cindy have plenty of dorky matching things!