Katherine

The Northern Territory's Katherine region stretches from Dunmarra in the south to the Daly River region in the north. In total it covers an incredible 480,000 sq kilometres. From east to west it touches both the Queensland and West Australian borders. Katherine and its surrounds are the place to go for true outback adventure and indigenous experiences. Katherine
Katherine
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Katherine and its surrounds are the place to go for true outback adventure and indigenous experiences.

The Northern Territory's Katherine region stretches from Dunmarra in the south to the Daly River region in the north. In total it covers an incredible 480,000 sq kilometres. From east to west it touches both the Queensland and West Australian borders. Katherine and its surrounds are the place to go for true outback adventure and indigenous experiences.

The town of Katherine is the central hub of the region and offers museums, art galleries and historic sites. It is a good place to buy authentic Aboriginal art and artefacts; or create your own original dot painting to take home.

The Katherine Museum has wonderful displays of photos of the history of the region. Just out of town is Springvale Homestead, the oldest original homestead in the Northern Territory. The nearby fascinating Cutta Cutta Caves are a series of sparkling limestone crystal caverns and pillars dating back 500 million years.

Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park, NT © Tourism NT

Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park, NT

Dine on traditional bush tucker around a campfire under clear star-filled skies. Take a refreshing swim at the Katherine Hot Springs. South of town you'll find the spectacular Mataranka Thermal Pools and Bitter Springs.

The jewel in the crown of the Katherine region is Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park. The park sits at the southern tip of Kakadu National Parkand Aboriginal-owned Arnhem Land. Here you'll find a landscape of rugged sandstone cliffs, dramatic waterfalls and lush rainforest. The Edith Falls waterfalls flow all year round and are a great spot for swimming, picnics and camping.

Take a cruise along the spectacular Katherine Gorge, a series of sandstone gorges carved over millions of years which stretch along the Katherine River. You can camp by a billabong and fish for barramundi in the clear waterways.

Mataranka, NT. © Tourism NT

Mataranka, NT

The best way to explore the grandeur of the gorge is to tour it with one of the Jawoyn people, who run Nitmiluk National Park in conjunction with the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory. Aboriginal culture is strong in the area and there are many significant rock art sites throughout the park.

The more challenging five-day Jatbula Trail is a 59-kilometre trek which follows the song line of the local Jawoyn people. View the whole spectacular panorama from above on a scenic flight.

Barunga Festival, Katherine, NT. © Tourism NT

Barunga Festival, Katherine, NT

The Katherine region hosts a number of events during the drier months from May to August. See Aboriginal culture at the Walking with Spirits Festival and Barunga Festival. Mix with the locals at the Katherine Show and Katherine Festival. A number of regional fishing competitions will attract enthusiasts.

From Katherine follow the Savannah Way to the Gulf of Carpentaria visiting remote fishing villages such as Borroloola and the Barranyi (North Island) National Park.

Katherine is around 300 km south of Darwin and around 1200 kilometres north of Alice Springs. It is a few hours' drive from Katherine to Kakadu, Litchfield and Gregory National Parks.

Katherine offers accommodation styles from upmarket apartments and motels to backpacker's lodges and camping sites. The Ghan train journeyvisits Katherine on its route from Adelaide to Darwin.

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Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve (Karlu Karlu), NT. © Tourism NT
Northern Territory

Northern Territory

Lose yourself in the Northern Territory's ancient Aboriginal culture and rugged landscapes. Tropical Darwin is your gateway to World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, lush Litchfield National Park, Katherine Gorge and the communities of Tiwi Islands and Arnhem Land. From Alice Springs, discover the Red Centre attractions of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa, Kings Canyon, Devils Marbles, the Larapinta Trail and historic Tennant Creek.

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Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park

Immerse yourself in World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, a natural and cultural wonder around three hours from Darwin. Discover detailed Aboriginal art galleries, hike to the top of rugged escarpments and cruise the wetlands past waterlilies, waterfalls, crocodiles and migratory birds. Drive the Nature's Way route from Darwin, or add Katherine and Arnhem Land for a longer Top End adventure.

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Savannah Way, Western Australia

Savannah Way, Western Australia

Cut a line between the desert and tropics on this rugged outback adventure between Darwin and Broome. You'll see palms sprouting from rust-red cliffs, crocodiles baking in gorges and boab trees bursting with fruit. Cruise through Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park and see Aboriginal rock art in Keep River National Park. Canoe down Ord River and huge, man-made Lake Argyle. Explore the Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park, bushwalk to Mitchell Falls and visit the Argyle Diamond Mine. See the bulbous Boab Prison Tree near Derby and swim from Broome's Cable Beach, with its warm waters and soft dreamlike sand. The Savannah Way also has many bird watching opportunities, so pack binoculars and a field guide.

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Arnhem Land

Arnhem Land

Bordered by Kakadu National Park, the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria, Arnhem Land is a vast unspoiled wilderness, rich in Aboriginal culture. The Yolngu people are the owners of Arnhem Land and have occupied the region for at least 60,000 years. The Yolngu retain strong cultural and spiritual links to the land and you will find authentic indigenous experiences. This is the land where Australia's famous musical instrument, the didgeridoo, originated.

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