The impact of the poor wet season is stark from the air, the Katherine region is already turning brown.
Members of the Katherine Times' sales team went aerial this morning as reward for their efforts in the Chamber of Commerce's Christmas shop decoration competition last year.
Chloe Follett and Natasha Baker went on a five-gorge helicopter flight with Nitmiluk Tours.
"Our travel guide was Matt, and he was excellent," Chloe said.
"It was my first time in a helicopter so I was super excited.
"Even though the trees were green, the grass was already turning yellow.
"Flying over first gorge, you can clearly tell the water level was low, the boats were out and as you got up further to the second and third gorge there were plenty of rocks in the middle of the stream.
"By the fourth and fifth gorge, if you squinted hard enough, you could see a waterfall. It was only trickling down.
"Matt said in the '98 flood, there was enough water travelling through to fill Sydney Harbour every nine hours.
"By the look of that waterfall, it would take nine hours to fill a swimming pool. Matt mentioned there are plenty of wild animals around. We kept an eye out by the river streams for any horses, donkeys or sneaky crocs but only got to see a few birds. In one image, you can see water lines on a rock. The fact that you can even see that is saying something.
"It was quite beautiful to see it from a different angle and realize how far it stretches back. The Gorge looks dry season ready for all those perfect images.
"The water's already clear again, still enough to get the reflection of the rocks on the water surface and shallow enough for the crocs to be swept out and ready for swimming.
"You can understand why tourists keep coming to Katherine to visit it."
It was Natasha Baker's second flight across the gorge.
"Six years ago my father and I enjoyed the chance to enjoy the sights of Nitmiluk from the air.
"Back then it was amazing to see the gorge full of water, lush green trees, waterfalls flowing and the odd animal running away from the sound of the helicopter.
"Compare that to this this time round, the water was as low as I have ever seen it, one small waterfall that was barely a trickle, not an animal in sight and nowhere near as many green trees as you would expect this time of year.
"All just showing how horrible our wet season as been this time around.
"In saying all this the flight was amazing and I would tell anyone that you must see Katherine's gorge from the air low water levels or not. Matthew the pilot was great and very reassuring, he even explained how the helicopter worked.
"As a long-time local, like most I been on the boat cruise and walked some of the trails, even canoed up the gorge, but flying over the gorge in a helicopter with no doors was for me the best way to see Katherine Gorge and the surroundings."
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