Did the hour drive to Katherine, then decided to drive right through to get to Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park. Went for the for longest hike the ranger recommended for a half day - the Windolf Trail (5+ mi / 8.5 km). I was a little worried when the ranger said the temperature on the trail was peaking at 45°C (113°F)! It was hot, very hot, but I don't think it was quite that hot - maybe 35°C (95°F). At least the humidity isn't quite so bad out here, though the air is still a little thick.
The trail wandered up a very steep trail to the top of the first gorge - awesome views of Seventeen Mile Canyon stretching in one direction and the sheer, brightly colored walls of the first of the Katherine gorges in the other. From the gorge the trail cuts across a dusty plateau. It's basically featureless brush interrupted every once in awhile by a cluster of startling red or purple flowers. The trail ends at Pat's Lookout, another fantastic view point - looking down into the end of the first gorge, and over the start of the second. From here a side trail follows a contributing stream down to the Southern Rockhole and then on to river itself. The river is closed to swimming due to Estuary Crocodiles (the kind that eat people), but the rock hole is perfect. A nice deep crystal clear pool at the bottom of a beautiful two stage waterfall. After the hot hike it was nearly perfect - the only drawback was that I had to share it with a dozen other people.
Got back to the car about three thirty - still lot's of time until dark, so instead of spending the night in Katherine I decided to make a run for Darwin. I got within an hour of Darwin when it got dark. I stopped to stretch my legs, make a phone call and get a bite to eat and the continued on. The last hour was painful due to the road trains plus the reduced visibility from a series of short but torrential rains. Finally got to Darwin a little after nine. Checked in to the hostel and sat around reading before calling it a night. It is really hot and sticky here - looking at the map I realized that latitude wise this is about the same distance from the equator as Nicaragua - definitely tropical.