Travel to Australia's Northern Territory: Katherine
We've got 400 miles ahead of us today. We're heading to the town of Katherine, population 8,000. 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.
And 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 stationed closed in 1935 but remained in use as a local market and water source until 1966.
The telegraph office.
The obligatory cemetery.
An interesting 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.
A glimpse of the original, wartime highway.
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 getting wetter.
A hundred miles up the road, 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 farther up the highway and on the fringe of Katherine: Springvale, a pioneer homestead.
Sign one of seven.
Two of seven.
Three of seven.
Four of seven.
Five of seven.
Six of seven.
Seven of seven. Exhausting, but devoted.
Wheat to be?
Finally, a happy river.
A quieter spot.
Prerequisite to the town of Katherine's establishement: a railway bridge, opened in 1925.
Apparently the river can rise from time to time.
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 drunks were arrested.
Since there's nothing in town older than the railway bridge, this place is historic.
A heritage building.
Right-turn commences now. Can you imagine passing? It's easy most of the time, because the road is so straight and traffic so scarce.
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