On this day in 1985 I was hiking and boating through Katherine Gorge, in Australia’s Northern Territory.

The town of Katherine was a lovely place to stop over. The hostel was a couple of kilometres out of town, but was on the river, with a spring and waterfalls that were delightful to swim in. The temperature was almost forty degrees and humidity was ninety percent, so a few swims each day was perfect.

The hostel was an old worker’s quarters, with solid internal dividing walls but open louver walls with fly screens on opposite sides to let the breeze through. It all felt very tropical.

Katherine Gorge was an amazing place. I joined a day safari which involved five boat trips with walking in between, down five of the thirteen gorges along the Katherine River. Stunning scenery. We swam in six different parts of the river and had a barbecue lunch.

We saw all sorts of birds and fish, snakes and bats. There were fresh water crocodiles in the river but we didn’t actually see any of them fortunately.

The river level was low at the end of the dry season, and after three years of poor rains. In the wet season the river level rises by at least twenty five feet. When the river floods, the rocky paths that we walked along become rapids.