Springvale Homestead, Katherine
I am sitting under a gum tree next to the billabong at Springvale Homestead, catching up on this before we leave Katherine and internet access behind. Springvale Station has one of the oldest stone homesteads in the Northern Territory and was named for the many springs on the property. The swimming pools here are fed by a freshwater spring and flow into the billabong which is part of a chain of ponds that extends for several kilometres alongside the Katherine River. Water lilies grow prolifically and there are ducks and guinea fowl along the edges of the billabong, as well as freshwater crocodiles, who sometimes make an appearance after dark on our side of the water.
Today we visited Katherine Gorge and did the walking trail that climbs up to the lookout, then goes around and along the ridge, completing a loop back to the visitor centre. Unfortunately we weren’t able to go on a cruise, as they were all booked out for today, but the views from our climb to the lookout were spectacular. We enjoyed seeing the thousands of bats hanging from the trees, the wild flowers, and the peculiar multi coloured bugs we spotted on a tree in the picnic area. After our long, hot walk it was lovely to get back to Springvale homestead and cool off with a swim in the pool.