Chris McManus: From Sydney Chef to Katherine's Kumbidgee Restaurant

Chris McManus: From Sydney Chef to Katherine’s Kumbidgee Restaurant

I first visited Katherine 15 years in the past when my first grandchild was born right here. On the time, I used to be working in Sydney, working a busy 90-seat restaurant on the financial institution of the Nepean River.

Visits to Katherine turned a daily prevalence till ultimately I labored within the metropolis for six months yearly. On the best way again, I ended in Noosa for a number of weeks to see my mother and father after which returned to Sydney. I arrived on the finish of March to work in the course of the fall and winter and I left at first of October when it turned heat once more. The temperature was round 40C once I arrived. When it began hitting 40C once more in October, it was time to maneuver on.

Situated 320 km southeast of Darwin, Katherine is a crossroads metropolis. In the event you’re heading north to Darwin, south to Alice Springs, or west to Broome, you must go by Katherine, and there is a lot to do right here. Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) Nationwide Park has 13 gorges carved by the Katherine River by means of the sandstone to discover. You’ll be able to hike, lease a canoe, take a cruise or swim in a pure pool. The gorge is 30 km northeast of Katherine.

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Kumbidgee Restaurant Lagoon. Picture: Chris McManus

Simply exterior of city are Katherine Sizzling Springs, that are pure scorching spring swimming pools alongside the sting of the river. It is good to go there for a very good bathtub and a picnic. There may be additionally a seasonal pop-up cafe. In the event you like scorching mineral swimming pools, the sandy-bottomed thermal pool of Mataranka is simply an hour’s drive away.

I used to be really amazed by Cutta Cutta caves. The caves go down 15m under the floor and I anticipated the temperature inside to be colder than on the floor, nevertheless it was hotter! You’ll be able to take a guided tour to see the limestone stalactites, stalagmites, and bats inside.

The Katherine Museum can also be value a go to. You’ll be able to be taught concerning the Overland Telegraph and see a Gypsy Moth airplane utilized by the primary flying physician.

The beautiful landscape of Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge.

The gorgeous panorama of Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge.

Once I began working at Katherine, I used to be a chef on the Nabilil Dreaming Sunset Dinner Cruise in Nitmiluk. It is a spectacular cruise the place they serve a three-course candlelit dinner as you ascend and descend the gorge because the lights from the boat illuminate the sandstone cliffs.

Whereas driving to work on the cruise, I handed an deserted website someday and questioned, “What is that this remoted place?” I did some analysis and found that this was a restaurant that had been closed for 11 years. I made a decision to purchase it and provides it a brand new life. Sadly, there was a variety of work to do and it took a 12 months to replace every part earlier than we may reopen.

Kumbidgee Lagoon.  Photo: Chris McManus

Kumbidgee Lagoon. Picture: Chris McManus

Kumbidgee Restaurant has been working for 2 and a half years now and is positioned on the entrance of my 8ha property. I stored the identify of the unique restaurant as a result of it was well-known to travellers. It has a powerful view of a lagoon typically crammed with wild birds. Generally there are 100 whistling geese, then the magpies come. Individuals can dine exterior and benefit from the view.

The menu options Northern Territory-themed dishes similar to crocodile dumplings, freshly caught Northern Territory barramundi, grilled octopus and blue crab meat tossed with bush herb spaghetti. Kumbidgee is well-liked with locals and vacationers alike, and has a five-star TripAdvisor ranking.

Miso-crusted Atlantic salmon with quinoa and broccolini at Kumbidgee Restaurant.

Miso-crusted Atlantic salmon with quinoa and broccolini at Kumbidgee Restaurant.

A good friend touring in Western Australia prompt it could even be a ravishing and quiet place to camp. So I arrange Hipcamp RV Campsites within the shade of the mahogany bushes close to the restaurant. Some folks adore it a lot they have been again thrice.

I’ve lived in Katherine for 4 years now and have 4 grandchildren right here. One other woman additionally joined me. She got here two years in the past as a result of I wanted assist working the restaurant and she or he loves the place a lot she by no means went again. Identical to his dad!

Chris McManus with his granddaughter Grace.

Chris McManus together with his granddaughter Grace.

See additionally:

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