A little trip up to Katherine

Katherine is a small town in the Northern Territory of Australia. It’s located ‘just down the road’ from Darwin, that’s ‘just down the road’ by Australian outback standards, which can mean virtually any distance you can get to on a full tank of fuel.

Katherine is 317kms south of Darwin, and our son, Kelvin, lives south of Katherine on the road towards gorgeous Mataranka Springs. The warm springs at Mataranka are one of my favourite places in the top end, in fact, one of my favourite places in Australia. To drift down those waters on a noodle, is one of life’s memorable little highlights, and I’m looking forward to doing it again.

Katherine is a bit more than ‘just up the road’ from Busselton. It’s more than 4000kms away, so quite a distance for an impromptu road trip. This is how this little trip came about .

We had been considering flying up to the Northern Territory to spend Christmas with Kelvin, and his fiancée, Nikki. We contacted Kelvin to make sure our plans weren’t conflicting with any plans he and Nikki may have been making. No – they didn’t have plans for Christmas, but why not come up at the end of this month he suggested. His words were, “why not come up here at the end of this month instead, you can be our witnesses. Nikki and I are getting married”.

He assures me they are not having a wedding. It is to be a marriage ceremony, which I gather is to performed under the mango trees on the farm by a celebrant – a very, very small affair.

Yep! I’m sure they’ll find a suitable tree to get hitched under.

Niki is newly arrived in Australia after romance blossomed between the two of them when Kelvin went to the Phillipines on holiday last year. There has been a couple of visits since between the two countries, including one when Nikki spent a few months over here in Katherine. Kelvin wasn’t sure she would adapt to life in un-sophisticated Katherine after a life of hustle and bustle in the busy Phillipines. The visit was a success.

The slow and costly immigration process begins, and the expense of a fancy Australian wedding is unwanted in their budget at this point in time. Once one starts down the fancy wedding track here in Australia it’s not unusual for the cost to blow out to around the $40,000. That’s not a celebrity wedding, that’s just the cost ordinary, hard working folk are paying to get hitched. Crazy!

We considered flying up, but the idea of a quick road trip is far more appealing. We will leave in two days time, stopping in at Broome for a few nights on the way. We should arrive in Broome after five days of travel staying in road side stops on the way (I think that’s called boon docking in America). From Broome we’ll have another three nights on the road to get to Katherine.

The planned trip showing the night stops

We are anticipating that we will arrive on the Sunday, five nights before the ceremony. How exciting. I’ll try and post details of the trip, and of course photos of the happy couple as they tie the knot, How exciting!

18 thoughts on “A little trip up to Katherine

  1. It has been a long journey Sam. I’ll work out the total kilometres when we arrive home. We’re enjoying ourselves – there’s nothing quite like a epic road trip.

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  2. Katherine, and the Northern Territory have the most extraordinary amount of little oasis’s scattered throughout. Many surrounded by towering gorge walls. I love the whole of the top end. It’s worth taking time to have a look, I hope you get there one day.

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  3. Absolute madness the amount some ordinary folk will spend. The most extravagant that we ever attended saw the bride and groom leave for Europe on 6 week honeymoon. They returned, and went their separate ways. Sad for the mum and dad.

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  4. Not at all surprised. i used be a fan of cooler climates, but somehow the heat has crept into my veins. I’ve only been to Bali once, and wasn’t impressed, however we may give it another go one day. If we do it’ll be to a luxury resort, which we’ll hardly ever leave. – and lots of massages. That’s something that’s a lot more affordable in Bali.

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  5. Chris, what fabulous news! So happy for you and well done on being flexible enough to just go. I’ve never been to Katherine but want to get there one day. Enjoy yourselves and congrats are in order 🙂

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  6. What a great adventure Chris. So much better than flying and just think of the experiences yo’ll have on the way and the people you may meet. Much more fun. Hope it all goes well. Looking forward to hearing all about it.

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  7. I suspect that you might be able to guess the kind of vacations I like, Chris. Snow, ice, fog, fjords, mountains, forests, old world villages, in any season. Generally Europe or Scandinavia. Whilst I do like short breaks at the beach, I dislike heat so Bali would never be an option. But the mountain/wet forest holiday theme continues here in Australia. Are you surprised?

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  8. The thought of an impromptu 9000km, there and back trip would be daunting for a lot of people. To me, and I suspect to you, it’s just one of life’s little adventures. I love it. And I’m particularly excited by the reason. My son’s first wife died tragically around ten years ago, so it’s been a long time coming. Some people do well going it solo through life, but I don’t think Kelvin is one of them.

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  9. I’m intrigued as to what this week’s theme will be. I love the wide open spaces in the outback, and the little places like Mataranka that we find tucked into the hot, seemingly barren landscapes. My writing mojo seems to have gone out to lunch lately, I’m sure this trip will see it snap back into place quick smart. What sort of vacations are your favourite Amanda?

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  10. Chris that is really exciting for you. Not only a trip to see family but a very special occasion as well. So happy for you andI lokk fireard to posts along the way. I had a friend who worked in Mataranka as a governess for a few years, so it will be inteesting to read about that. As much as I am not a person that likes the outback, at all, I can see that Mataranka Springs looks like a lovely, lovely place and I’m intrigued to know more about the area. I think yo might have just inspired the Friendly Friday theme for this week.😎😉

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