We will be sailing into Darwin, so we decided to check it out in advance. Besides, the word is that the longer ride from Adelaide is bumpy and two overnights. Not to mention it was a shorter flight to Darwin.
Actually, we enjoyed a night in Darwin to scope out the water front. Our hotel was located on the water and a short walk to the shopping and restaurant district. We would return to Darwin at the end of the Red Center trip for a few days to explore in detail. Using the ATT Kings Tour group made the travel and transfers much easier, even though we are not usually "tour people" Australia is so huge that this was the easiest way to see the National Parks.
|There were 46 cars on our train!|
|Our suite was very comfortable.|
|So much better than airplane food!|
The Ghan only runs twice a week so our schedule was fixed around its departure from Darwin. Our agent booked us in the Gold Service so we had a sleeper car with an ensuite bathroom, which proved to be wonderful after a day of sightseeing in the heat of Katherine Gorge, a stopping point along the route. A shower after the treks is soooooo welcomed!
|Nice dinner on the Ghan.|
|These trees were filled with bats!|
|Loved these trees!|
The upper half of the Ghan route stops in Katherine with a tour north-east to Nitmiluk National Park. Nitmiluk is the home of Katherine Gorge, a seies of 13 sandstone gorges carved over a billion years by the Katherine River.
This area is home to the Indigenous Jawoyn people and many of their stories are told on the rock walls.
|We were advised to keep our limbs inside the boat!|
Unfortunately, the water was too high for us to leave the boat and see them. There is a window of time for these tours for when the water is to high to go ashore and when the water is too shallow for the tour boats! Since there had been an unusual amount of rain, the water was high. The plus for us was that the Outback will be greener than normal. You can have the best laid plans, but Mother Nature still rules!
It was very peaceful just cruising along the river while enjoying the scenery. We have found there to be many beautiful places in the world. People in every country insist that you have never seen anything like "their" mountains, gorges, lagoons, bays, beaches, etc. Well, we are here to tell you that they are all lovely and none are particularly unique in the world of nature! We are not trying to put any place down, it is just that they are all interesting to visit and it is best to go without great expectations.