24 July - 1 August - Central NT
After the Red Centre it was time to head north again for some warmth. We called in at the Devils Marbles, Daly Waters Pub and Bitter Springs/Mataranka. At Mataranka Homestead we saw Nathan Griggs (world record holder for the most whip cracks in 1 minute - 530 cracks!) perform and I bought a whip from him made from tyre inner tube - inexplicably the kids have been angels since!
Malkgulumbu (Beswick Falls) is in south west Arnhem Land. Here we spent the weekend at an indigenous festival run jointly by Djilpin Arts and the Australian Shakespeare Company. It was great to have the company of the Ellis family there. The festival is annual and is called Walking With Spirits Concert and Corroboree. It showcases local culture, art, music and dance and allows attendees to camp for a couple of days in this otherwise inaccessible area. The location is quite beautiful and provides a perfect backdrop for the performance.
Heading further north the next stop was Katherine Gorge where we did a cruise of the first two gorges.
West of Pine Creek is Douglas (thermal) Springs and Butterfly Gorge. The surroundings are not as lush as Bitter Springs however on the upside the area is less developed and has a nice camping area right adjacent. The water is so hot in some parts that the kids were almost successful in boiling some eggs! It is a rough twenty kilometre drive to Butterfly Gorge but very worthwhile.
Litchfield National Park and Berry Springs were the last stops before Darwin.