Katherine


Sunset from our site at the caravan park

Sunset from our site at the caravan park

Our original plan to stay one night in Katherine to shop quickly changed to two, and was  just as quickly extended to three. We’ve stayed here 4 times over the last ten years, but two of those visits were just to shop and move on, so we felt it was worth a longer look around this time. And Russ was quite happy to think he’d definitely get in two nights of AFL football on TV!

It’s an easy drive of about 107ks from Bitter Springs to here, so we were on site and set up before lunch on Thursday leaving us the afternoon to shop as planned. Shopping out of the way, we spent yesterday swimming.  We took a picnic lunch 60ks out to the beautiful (but cool) Edith Falls, then came back into town to the Katherine Hot Springs. Although we’ve been here 4 times, it was our first visit to the springs.  At 28c they are not as warm as Bitter Springs (34c) but  they were lovely-especially after chilly (well I found it chilly) Edith Falls. Russell managed a swim in the pool here to finish the day but I’d had enough by then.

Edith Falls

Edith Falls

We are staying at the Big 4 Caravan Park here in Katherine (it used to be known as the Low Level CP) . At $45 it is at the top end of what we’d like to pay and is around $10 more than anyone else we’ve spoken to is paying elsewhere in town. The park is set in amazingly beautiful grounds, the sites are big and green, the amenities spotless and the pool possibly the best in Australia. There’s a licenced bistro poolside but I can’t comment on it as we haven’t been this visit. I loved being advised we were welcome to wash the car and van on site as it helps water the lawns. I can only think of one other place (Fitzroy River Resort) where we’ve had this offer. Sadly I think this will be our last visit here as the price is just beyond our budget when there are other parks-8 of them in fact- that will do the job for less.

Happy Melon Seller at the Tick Markets

Happy Melon Seller at the Tick Markets

This morning, we visited the Tick Markets in town. It wasn’t a huge market, but we were able to buy some beautiful fresh Asian ingredients-greens, eggplant, chillies, lemon grass, galangal and stock up on nice tomatoes as we eat so many. We were planning turkey schnitzel parmagiana  tonight, but that has been changed now to Thai red pork curry. After the market, we drove out to Katherine Gorge for a walk to the lookout. We’ve done the three gorge boat trip, and flown over the gorges in a helicopter on a previous visit, and to do all that again would have been close on $500 for two so a walk it was!  As we walked, we were amazed at the number of fruit bats we saw. I was later told the national park is home to a couple of hundred thousand of them. This afternoon after our lunch settles, we’ll go over to the pool for a final swim.

Bats in Nitmiluk NP

Bats in Nitmiluk NP

Our original plan to go West from here has also quickly changed. Over a delicious dinner of  prawn pasta (we are slowly getting through the 5kg box we bought in Karumba)  and a bottle of wine, we’ve decided we are only a tank of fuel away from Litchfield National park and it’s wonderful swimming holes and scenery so have decided it’s time for a revisit! Loving this flexibility to do whatever we please for as long as we please with only a booking in Coral Bay at the end of July, and a couple of very special family events in October in Perth, dictating where we need to be!
The recipe below is originally by Paula G and will be found on the recipe site Food.com under the title Easy Shrimp Pasta for 2 I have made a couple of changes to Paula’s recipe but it is still basically the same.

Easy Prawn Pasta for 2

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette (I used one tablespoon each of oil and balsamic, but you could use low fat balsamic salad dressing)
  • Prawns (as many as you want- we had 16 medium sized ones each), peeled
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 60g cream cheese (I used light), cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste-I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped, divided  (I forgot to divide so used it all to garnish)
  • 200g pasta of choice cooked, drained (I like skinny spaghetti as it soaks up the sauce so well!)
  • parmesan cheese freshly grated
Easy Prawn Pasta for Two

Easy Prawn Pasta for Two

Method:

  1. Place the prawns in a small bowl and pour the vinaigrette over; cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the shrimp from the marinade; set aside reserving the marinade.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat; add prawns and cook 3 minutes or until prawns turn pink, stirring frequently. My smallish prawns took about 2 minutes.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the prawns from pan; cover to keep warm, set aside.
  5. Add the tomatoes, reserved marinade, cream cheese, red pepper flakes if using, pasta cooking water and 1 tablespoon of the basil to same pan; cook and stir 3 minutes until well blended.
  6. Add the prawns; cook until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  7. Place the hot pasta in serving bowls; top with prawn mixture, sprinkle with remaining basil and grate cheese over all.

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