K causes a kerfuffle

a-to-z-letters-kRather than inundate readers I’ve tried to be selective in which places we visit, balancing those that are a bit unusual with the ones most tourist will visit. Today’s choices were “Konflicting” and caused a kerfuffle in my decision-making, so it’s a quick “plug” for each of them.


Katherine Gorge is one of the Territory’s iconic sights. The gorge winds through rocky cliffs and progressively narrows. Adventurous travellers can opt to canoe the gorge, and there are levels of access to the famous cruises as well, depending on the individual’s fitness and mobility. Even if you can’t clamber over the rocks that lead between the different levels you will still enjoy your peaceful outing.  Energetic bushwalkers also love the gorge and Nitmiluk national park as there are some great bush walks there….or so I’m told…don’t look to me for advice on that, I’m afraid!083 Katherine Gorge small res

It gets very hot on those rocks, whatever the season, so make sure you,  “slip, slop, slap”  to use one of our iconic Aussie-isms, ie slip on a shirt, slop on some sun cream and slap on a hat”.

084 Katherine Gorge canoe small edit_edited-1

Katherine itself is a mixed bag and many visitors find it rather confronting at times. You’d be wise to stay away from the pubs or you might wind up with a knuckle sandwich. Katherine’s about 300kms south of Darwin. Alternatively if you’re heading north, there’s another three hour drive ahead of you (unless it’s the Dry Season and the highway is inundated with slow-moving caravans –once we counted 100 on that leg of the journey…ugh!!).

Unless you’re “head down, bum up” as we say, I suggest you also stop and look at nearby Edith Falls which is a pretty place for a swim and has a pleasant camping area. In fact you may even prefer this to staying in town. Of course if you’ve won the Lotto or want to splash the cash, you might enjoy the new upmarket resort right in the heart of Nitmiluk.


The Kimberley is the vast top corner of Western Australia. When you cross the NT-WA border you are in the Kimberley and will be notching up the klicks as you travel. It’s spectacular, rugged country with great scenery and wonderful sites to visit, some of which you’ll tour here.

From the red rocks and pointillist vegetation...
From the red rocks and pointillist vegetation…
...to the vivid colours of the Kimberley coast at Broome.
…to the vivid colours of the Kimberley coast at Broome.

K is also for KALKARINGI

If you want to take a different route to the Kimberley you can always head out of Katherine on the Buchanan highway then take a left turn heading down the Buntine Highway. This takes you to Halls Creek via Kalkaringi. Until you reach Kalkaringi the road is bitumen but beyond that it’s unsurfaced and variable depending on when the grader went through last. You can’t overnight at Kalkaringi because it’s an Aboriginal community (with a very famous history for gaining equal pay for Aboriginal stockmen) but you might enjoy visiting their Karungkarni Art gallery (pre-booking is probably a good idea).

The wide open spaces near Kalkaringi from a "secret squirrel" spot.
The wide open spaces near Kalkaringi from a “secret squirrel” spot.

Here’s a photo of some of their artists at last year’s Indigenous Art Show in Darwin. After the long drive by the time you get to Halls Creek you may well be knackered, unless you choose to camp somewhere along the way. Fuel opportunities are limited so make sure you have sufficient to go the distance.


FYI: Don’t forget, there are a couple of maps on my A to Z planning post which will help you to pinpoint where today’s tourist spots are situated.


Kiwi: a New Zealander (after their unique bird)

Knackered: exhausted, worn out from working

Knock off: another one that has to be judged by context: (1) knock off work=to finish for the day; (2) knock-off= a copy eg a dress or an idea/concept

Knocker: someone who has to put everything/everyone down

Kerfuffle: a fuss, bother, fight etc

Kaput: finished, broken permanently

Knickers in a knot: don’t get in a fuss “don’t get your knickers in a knot”

Klicks: short for kilometres, you’ll have done a lot of klicks if you were driving to all my touring spots.

Knuckle sandwich: a punch in the mouth (hence why it’s better to stay out of some pubs)

11 thoughts on “K causes a kerfuffle

  1. I really enjoyed visiting Katherine Gorge. My only regret was that we didn’t do the helicopter flight. I think that would have been spectacular.

    The hot springs in Katherine were also enjoyable.

    1. Hadn’t thought about the helicopter flight Sharon…might be one for the “to do” list. It would indeed be spectacular….and a lot less tiring. I didn’t much like the hot springs which I guess it’s why it’s dropped off my mental radar. Both good reminders, thanks 🙂

  2. The scenery looks beautiful.
    I don’t know if I should tell you, some of the aussie-isms are common here, or used to be. I don’t think they traveled from there to here.
    “Knuckle sandwich” was one of my Uncle Henry’s favorite expressions. “Knickers in a knot” even though it’s been a long time since we’ve worn knickers, I have heard that expression. “Knock off” is common. “Kaput” is also common. I am familiar with knackered but I’m pretty sure I got that one from my international reading.

    1. I’m glad you told me that Kristin because it’s interesting to know where the overlaps come in…besides which we may not need a translator if ever I make it over your way:-) There are some that are distinctly new words these days and come from international TV. Our family has always used “knickers in a knot” and indeed still use “knickers” as a word as well though not the actually bloomers;-)

    1. I come from the east coast, Queensland, and Qlders are known for being one-eyed about their own state, but I have to say I think the coast of Western Australia, especially the top half is probably the most magnificent in the country.

  3. Hi Pauleen,
    I really like the image ‘The wide open spaces near Kalkaringi from a “secret squirrel” spot.’ I’m currently working on a project to develop 45 community profiles all with two images of the community or surrounding area. These community profiles are use as an informational fact sheet for GPs, nurses and allied health professionals thinking of work in the remote communities of the NT. The community profiles will be placed on the NTML website for public viewing. I would really like to be able to use this image on our Kalkarrindj community profile with your permission. Cheers Tracey

    1. Tracey I have responded privately. Having once worked at the NT Clinical School I’m happy to support the attraction of health professionals to the NT.

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