The Katherine Gorge: Nitmiluk National Park
Located in the top end of the Northern Territory in the Australian Outback you will find one of the countries most iconic national parks, where you will see ancient landscapes rich with Indigenous culture and some spectacular scenery well worth the drive out to see.
Nitmiluk National Park is run by the Jawoyn People who are the traditional owners and operators of the area. Here you will find the breathtaking 13 gorges that make up the Katherine Gorge which we highly recommend you explore.
As you travel down the river you can’t help but look around to take in the sandstone and red rock coloured landscape as it towers either side of you. Filled with native bushland and wildlife there’s a beautiful silence that comes with the river which fuels you with anticipation as you look out for crocodiles which are native to most parts of the gorge.
Quick Tip: Pronounced “Nit-me-look” – we totally got that wrong our entire trip.
Top Things To Do: Katherine Gorge & Nitmiluk National Park
There are so many ways to experience the Katherine Gorge that will cater for just about every type of traveller: the foodie, the adventure junkie and those looking for a cultural trip.
For Those Wanting To See Culture: Cultural Safari Cruise
The charm of this tour is not only the exclusivity of a smaller group but that your guide is giving you an authentic cultural tour of the Katherine Gorge with such passion that you will walk away wanting to know more about Australia’s past. Included with your cruise down the river is a picnic lunch, Didjeridoo playing, spear throwing and basket weaving.
For Those Wanting A Food Tour: Sunset Dinner Cruise
Let’s be honest, the best kind of tours are food tours and the cream of the crop are those surrounded by natural beauty. As you eat and take in the views you will hear the stories of the Jawoyn people by candlelight and starlight.
For Those Adventure Junkies: Gecko Canoeing & Trekking
Located in the croc free areas of the gorge this tour is for those who want to get out of the boat to really get close to the natural beauty of the area. Here you can join a canoeing tour to take you on the river before stopping, tying up your boat and trekking through the surrounding wildlife.
For Those Who Want To Take It To The Next Level: Helicopter Flight & Adventure Swim
This is certainly one of the best ways to not only get a incredible view of the area but also to head to remote locations closed off to other tours. Your pilot can take you to a crystal clear waterfall, or to an abundance of rock art which will be interpreted by your indigenous guide – the options are endless when you have a helicopter.
Top Free Things To do
Katherine Gorge Baruwei Lookout
A short walk from the Nitmiluk Visitors centre, past some wallabies grazing and bats living in the trees you will find the Baruwei lookout. Without booking a heli-tour this spot will offer the next best birds eye view of the gorge.
Leliyn (Edith Falls)
This idyllic spot not only offers bushwalking and camping facilities but also a lagoon for swimming. Edith Falls is located in Nitmiluk National Park, but is not near the main area of Katherine – we recommend a half or full day trip here.
Where to Stay
Luxury: Cicada Lodge
During our visit to Katherine we spent two nights at the Cicada Lodge. These luxury eco resorts are about 30km outside of Katherine, alongside the gorge and offer balcony room views of the native bushland.
Those who are after a bit more of a budget-friendly option can stay at the local camping sights just outside of Cicada Lodge at the Gorge Caravan Park you will find powered and non-powered sights.
What is your favourite National Park to explore?
Thanks to Tourism Northern Territory for kindly inviting Flying the Nest to experience Katherine Gorge and Nitmiluk National Park. As always, all opinions are our own.
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