Notes on the Geography of Australia: Katherine
Heading from Tennant Creek north to Katherine, we've got 400 miles ahead of us. Like Alice, Katherine is named whimsically, in this case for a daughter of James Chambers, one of the financial sponsors for Stuart's first attempt to cross Australia south-to-north.
Here comes the wire that followed in his path.
The Tennant Creek telegraph station, with a root cellar on the left, then a kitchen, a residence for the station master, and the office itself. The station closed in 1935 but remained in use as a local market and water source until 1966.
The telegraph office.
The obligatory cemetery.
An indicator of the local interest in history.
Toot, toot! Our first road train. Just don't ask the driver to back up.
And our first pasture. Must be getting wetter.
A glimpse of the wartime highway to Darwin, predecessor of the Stuart.
Relics of the convoys for which the road was built.
Wartime station grounds, wiped clean.
Plenty of detail here.
Map of the camp.
Another wartime station, this one at Elliott, named for the lieutenant in charge.
Water in the distance.
One of two businesses on the site. The other is a gas station and convenience store.
Farther up the road, an obelisk.
Desert no more; it's definitely getting wetter.
A hundred miles up the road from Tennant Creek, then off to the west a few miles, this is Daly Waters, at one time a busy airfield, both military and civilian.
Runway. The first civilian aircraft here carried Lady Mountbatten, although her identity was kept secret until after her plane's departure.
An explanatory sign.
Abandoned police station.
One of the houses on the site.
A hundred miles more and we're at the pioneer homestead called Springvale, on the fringe of Katherine.
Sign one of seven.
Two of seven.
Three of seven.
Four of seven.
Five of seven.
Six of seven.
Seven of seven.
Wheat to be?
Finally, a river.
A quieter spot.
Prerequisite to Katherine's establishement, this railway bridge opened in 1925. It's been superseded, in case you were wondering.
Apparently the river can rise from time to time. What's that? You want to know the river's name? It's the Katherine, named by John McDouall Stuart himself.
The former railway station.
The railroad has been relocated, but bits survive from the old days.
Information in abundance.
Downstream a mile or two, there's a new railway bridge.
Katherine's Main street. The town has a population of about 8,000.
On the night before the morning when this picture was taken, over 80 people were arrested for drunkenness.
Since there's nothing in town older than the railway bridge, this place is historic.
A heritage building.
Wide turns? Can you imagine passing him? Actually, it's easy most of the time, because the road is so straight and traffic so sparse.
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