Nitmiluk National Park : Sandstone Country Full of Stunning Gorges
It was Day 1 of the 9-Days adventure tour that I joined and I felt excited while waiting for my tour that will pick me up in the hotel that I stayed the night before. I was still early on the scheduled time after I checked-out in the hotel.
The Cavenagh Hotel
And when there was a huge 4WD vehicle stopped at the front of the hotel, I knew that it was my tour but still I waited for the tour guide to get-off the vehicle and waited if he will asked for my name. And that was what happened. He asked if I was the person he is looking for and I responded to him that I was that person. Then, he checked my luggage and asking if that was my only luggage and I confirmed that it was. Then, he introduced himself and his named was Scotty. The look of him was rugged tour guide which definitely fit for adventure tour. He was wearing the typical tour guide uniform that I usually saw in Australia which was colored khaki polo and short.
Then I hopped inside the vehicle and there I found another joiner of the tour. The greetings happened after. The next thing happened was picking up all the tourist that will join the tour and this happened until all of us 20 were complete and all of the seat has been occupied.
Before totally leaving the city, we stopped by in the gas station to fill-up our tank as our preparation for our long journey in remote places called Kimberly Region which located mostly in Western Australia.
Then we hit the road towards our first destination for our first day of adventure. But few minutes that we were on the road, our tour guide introduced himself again to the whole group while he was driving and then he instructed us to play games so that all of us inside the vehicle which still strangers to each other that time and will be together for the next nine days, he said to us to introduce ourselves to the next person in our seat. And then after five minutes, we have to change our designated seats and repeat the same thing, it happened until almost all of us know each other our first names, the country we came from and what we do for the living. It was a fun activity while inside the 4WD vehicle.
After few hours that we were on the road, we reached the first destination based on the itinerary plan for that day which located in Katherine Region. It was Edith Falls or Leliyn for the Jawoyn people (Australian aboriginals in the park) that can be found within Nitmiluk National Park.
Everybody prepared themselves for a swimming since its falls that we were targeting to enjoy. I was a bit of nervous because I was not really good in swimming specially if it’s very deep water. From the parking lot of the falls, we took Leliyn Trail towards Upper Pool. But before we move straight to the Upper Pool, we stopped a bit in Leliyn Lookout to see the base pool which accessible few meters from the parking and very popular to all visitors.
At Leliyn Lookout
Edith Falls base pool or main pool from Leliyn Lookout
After seeing the view of the base pool or lower pool of Edith Falls, we continued our walk towards the Upper Pool, a pool where our group spent hours to enjoy the falls itself and had our first swimming adventure in a natural pool coming from the water falls of Edith River.
When we reached the pool, all of us prepared to get wet in the pool. My group went straight in the hole, but because it was deep, I was not able to come with them. I soaked myself with the water but, I felt that the rock was a bit of slippery. Because of that I stayed just beside the rocks, steadied myself to be in balance and just soaking myself. My group looked at me and calling my name and I told them I was not good in swimming. Then my group move to the other where Edith falls is. And I just stayed where I was. Then, Scotty approached me and asked me to join them at the other side of the pool and I told him, I was not really good in swimming. Therefore, he helped me while I was trying myself to move at the side of the rock. I was able to join the group at the other side and everyone was helping me and assisting me. When I was stable myself and was able to sit with the group, I had a bit of fun even I was not able to be under the falls since that part of the pool was very deep for me to take. We stayed in that part of the pool for a while. While others in the group keep going back and forth enjoying swimming to and from the falls.
After spending time with Upper Pool, the group decided to end our adventure with Edith Falls. I just wore my shoes and then we trekked back to our vehicle.
Edith Falls in Upper Pool
Looking towards the ground
Before we ended our first day adventure, we drove towards Katherine Gorge which at least an hour drive from Edith Falls. When we reached the parking lot, Scotty, our tour guide, told us just to follow the trail and we will not get lost. We had a bit of trekking to reach Baruwei Lookout. Even the hike was a bit of assault, when we reach the lookout, a wonderful scenery greeted us. We saw how vast the national park is and how amazing the Katherine River down below which said to be croc-filled waters. We spent time taking photos from the lookout and then we decided to return to the parking lot as it begins to get dark.
We stayed in a tent village for the night and because the season was almost over, only our group seems to be the visitor in the tent village and some in the group had a chance to have one permanent tent and I am one them who got a chance to slept by myself. I didn’t knew the name of the accommodation where the tent village belong but based on our tour guide, its one of his favorite accommodation because the caretaker of the tent village was one of his favorites.
After we reached the tent village, the group helped to prepare our dinner that night and that night made me remembered my experience in my 3 days adventure tours in Red Centre where our guide was really good in food and menus. And it seems Scotty was the same. And I thought that knowing how to cook is one of the qualifications to become an adventure tour guide.
It rained a bit that night, that’s why after the dinner and cleaning up dishes, everybody immediately chose the tents we have to take. It was a strange night for me. Because the tent village that night was unpowered tents. Meaning, it was totally dark in our surroundings. The funny things was everything will be heard like, individual steps or even the cricket sounds. After I took a bath that night, I returned to my tent and had a good rest.
Until then the next day adventure.