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Known as one of Northern Territory’s premier fishing areas, the Victoria River region which encompasses Judbarra/Gregory and Keep River National Parks, is situated between Kununurra near the WA/NT border to the west and Katherine to the east.
There are many off-road tracks to explore through diverse and ancient landscapes and many remote roads through stunning National Parks. Fish for barramundi on the Victoria River, see traces of indigenous art and culture in the Judburra/Gregory National Park and camp at Keep River National Park where the rock formations are similar to the Bungle Bungles.
Our adventure through the area commenced at the WA/NT border where we wound our way through scenic landscapes of mountain ranges, vast cattle stations and crossed many rivers and creeks.
Entry to this park is 3 Km east of the NT/WA border and although only small in size has a diversity of landscapes. You can explore sandstone ridges that resemble ‘Bungle Bungles‘ type formations or the Keep River Gorge (Jinumum) which features some Aboriginal art sites.
The Keep River also offers excellent camping facilities at Gurrandalng and Jarnem campgrounds and some of the best ‘barra’ fishing in the Territory. There are two spectacular walking trails which present one magnificent view after the next near both campgrounds.
Covering 13,000 square kilometres, the park features beautiful gorge scenery, rare wildlife species, Aboriginal culture, European exploration and pastoral history. Gregory’s Tree, the inscribed tree that stands at the campsite of the early explorer Augustus Charles Gregory’s north expedition in 1885, is located 3 Kms north-west of Timber Creek.
Policeman’s Point Lookout is a short drive west from Timber Creek and offers panoramic views of the Victoria River winding through rugged hills and ranges and also a good spot to throw a line in the river.
If you drive down the Bullita Access Road 10 Km east of Timber Creek, there are many treasures to be discovered such as the Stromatolites (fossilised prehistoric life forms), on the Calcite Flow Walk, the Limestone Gorge and Billabong and the East Baines River.
Historic Bullita Homestead is an old cattle outstation with stockyards where you can find out more about the park’s nature, culture and history.
There are several camping grounds located throughout the park such as Big Horse Campground, Drovers Rest, East Baines Crossing and Bullita Homestead.
A small town which has a range of accommodation including a caravan park and hotel, is used as a base for the serious ‘barra’ fishermen that visit the region during the fishing season. From Timber Creek you can get on a fishing tour, take a leisurely boat cruise down the Victoria River to see the local wildlife, inlcuding the saltwater crocodile, visit the Police Station Museum or take the heritage walking trail to see historic sites and pioneer’s graves.
It is also a great base to see the sights of the Judburra/Gregory National Park or the Keep River National Park. Nearby is the Flora River Nature Park which is a beautiful hideaway for those looking to escape from the crowds.
The stunning escarpment countryside provides the perfect backdrop for fishing tours and boat cruises, with Red Valley providing a shady and scenic rest area. The Escarpment Walk, 2 Kms west of Victoria River Roadhouse, is a 3 Km walk on a rocky path and follows the stories of the Nungali and Wardaman people as you meander through the spectacular terrain.
10 Kms west of Victoria River Roadhouse, nestled in a valley below Livistona-crowded scree slopes is the Joe Creek Picnic Area and the Nawulbinbin Walk. There are fabulous views of the surrounding escarpments and Aboriginal paintings to admire.
The Victoria River area not only had colourful scenery, including grassy plains, boab trees, majestic gorges and escarpments and the wonderful Victoria River. It had an intriguing history of early Australian explorers venturing into the vast expanses of untrodden territory. It was certainly worth spending some time before our arrival into Katherine.
Linking up with Travel Photo Thursday
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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Lee-AnneAugust 12, 2014
Absolutely gorgeous photos, Kathy – what a beautiful state! :)
kathymarrisAugust 12, 2014
The Northern Territory was full of surprises. It is definitely one to put on the ‘bucket list’ of travel destinations.
Pinky PoinkerAugust 12, 2014
That croc looked a bit close for comfort! Hope you enlisted your husband to take that one Kathy!
KathyAugust 12, 2014
Two words – zoom lens! An absolute necessity when shooting crocs! There are so many of these ‘living handbags’ in The Territory and they are very scary.
Susan LattweinAugust 12, 2014
Just love that shot of the palms at Joe Creek!
kathymarrisAugust 12, 2014
Oh yes that was a highlight. Like an oasis.
JohannaAugust 13, 2014
Loved the palms at Joe Creek too … hmm those crocs scare me … glad you had a zoom lens. Looks like a beautiful area though – and definitely much to explore.
kathymarrisAugust 14, 2014
The Gregory National Park covers a massive area and the Victoria River is very scenic, so it was an interesting area to explore. Not much out there civilization-wise, but very pretty.
budgettraveltalkAugust 14, 2014
Yep Joe Creek for me to. A special area of Australia.
KathyAugust 15, 2014
It was a very special area in The Territory. I wish we had more time to explore it further. Welcome to my blog :)
travelnwriteAugust 15, 2014
Beautiful photos and a lovely tour you gave us in this post!
KathyAugust 15, 2014
Why thank you and welcome to my blog. I will be checking yours out as well :) It was a surprisingly picturesque part of The Territory.