The Mighty Victoria River

Between Katherine and the Western Australian – Northern Territory border lies the Victoria River.   This is probably one of the longest and largest wild rivers on mainland Australia and it flows through some spectacular escarpment country then on to the ocean.    We spent 2 nights here, the first where the river crosses the Victoria Highway and the second at the small town of Timber Creek.    Although we had visited this area back in 2011, it was great to be back for a couple of days.

For mustering, these days quad-bikes and helmets have replaced horses and hounds

victoria river
Looking up the Victoria River from the highway bridge.

We went for an evening walk over the old Victoria River Bridge (note the log that had become wedged in the railing in a previous flood).  Oddly, the nearby sign seemed to be encouraging swimming with the crocodiles!   We also spotted a purple crowned fairy wren from this bridge.  Unfortunately the photo is not great, but good enough to confirm the sighting of a male in moult plumage.   Here it is together with the sign.

bandicoot

Northern Brown Bandicoot at the highway camp

The following morning we went for a short walk nearby at a place called Joes Creek.   The walk takes you beneath the escarpment cliffs and features impressive views of the surrounding cliffs, some aboriginal rock art and fascinating livistonia palms growing in the moist area at the base of the cliffs.

snake toilet
Joe Creek (or Nawilbinbin in the local language) is said to flow with serpent urine!

There is some impressive rock art along the walk

As always, plenty of interesting fauna.  In addition to the wren and bandicoot mentioned above we have (clockwise from top left: masked finch; baby archerfish, buff-sided robin, and crimson finch at the bathhouse)

… and some freshwater crocodiles at our second camp spot in Timber Creek.

vitoria river near timber creek
The Victoria River from near Timber Creek
down victoria river 2
Looking downstream from the lookout above Timber Creek.  From this point the river becomes tidal.

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