Timber Creek is no run of the mill town and worth stopping to learn the rich history it holds. This is a place that can teach you of the wild north of old: the good, the bad and the ugly.
Named after Charles Gregory who lead an expedition to North Australia, and landed his ship at the mouth of the Victoria River in the NT. The group set up camp at the Gregory Tree site between 1855 and 1856, which reflect the dates engraved in the huge boab tree 15km north-west of Timber Creek. Also, a sacred site for the Ngaringman people, the tree talks of a a time when life would have been far different from today. Try and imagine it when you’re there. Additional reading
The heritage listed Timber Creek Police Station has a small museum dedicated to taking you back in time to the early days of settlement in the Victoria District when life was simple, people were tough, and punishment was severe. Open to the public seasonally for a few hours, ring 08 8981 2848 to find out more. Well worth a look to help you imagine how life on the land was wild and dangerous. Check out the NT Police Museum and Historical Society website for a pre-visit history lesson. Additional Reading
Fighting for land and rights
Not all the history of Timber Creek provides inspiration. The treatment of Aboriginal people, displacement from their land and fracturing of families through stolen children is dark and shameful. Traditional Owners of this region have fought long and hard for their land and their rights. The Wirib Store and Tourism Park is owned by representatives from the clan groups of Timber Creek. Staying at the park and gives visitors the opportunity to make positive contributions to the lives of locals. The park sits on sacred land for the Traditional Owners because it is part of their dingo dreaming and an important ceremonial site.
Apart from having a fabulous name, the Nackeroo lookout gives insight into how remote Timber Creek is. Looking out to the land or river will make you feel tiny against the vast, harsh and beautiful country that keeps going and going in all directions. A couple of km west of the center of Timber Creek, the Nackeroo Lookout is a must see.
Victoria River is the largest river in the NT and home to an impressive population of saltwater crocodiles (yep they are the scary ones). Once you know what you’re looking for, you can spot saltwater crocodiles in all parts of the river. Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they can’t see you, so take care when near the water. Leaving from Timber Creek, cruises will take you along the river to spot the crocs and the amazing bird life that live on the river. Fishing is outstanding at the right times and the scenery is truly breathtaking. Wirib hosts a fishing competition at Easter – ask at reception for the 2020 details. (photo: Shaana McNaught)
Meet freshie crocodiles
At the back of the park there is a peaceful creek that we invite you to visit. If you are quiet and patient, you’ll meet the family of freshwater crocodiles that lives there. Far less dangerous than their saltwater cousins, the freshwater crocodiles are ancient creatures that have lived in this part of the world for millions of years. Graceful and mesmerising, they are a highlight for many visitors.
Bird watching in the entire Victoria River District is nothing short of amazing. The diversity and amount on birds makes Timber Creek a well-trodden part of Australia for twitchers. For those less in the know, Timber Creek and surrounds have heaps of beautiful birds that are beautiful to watch and fun to try and identify. Policeman’s Point west of Timber Creek town is a good place to start where you will be able to see finches, wrens, mannikins, herons, woodswallows and heaps more. Enjoy!