Katherine is where the outback meets the tropics. The Katherine River flows through 13 separate gorges that carve their way through the Arnhem Land Plateau. Aboriginal rock paintings adorn the rock faces along the cliffs and gorges, while waterfalls and rock pools are dotted throughout the bushland.
Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge)
Nitmiluk National Park covers the 13 gorges that are carved from the ancient sandstone. You can explore the park in a variety of ways - on foot, by canoe, boat or helicopter. Hire a canoe and paddle down the river on either a day trip or overnighter. If you want to experience the park on foot, there are a variety of options. For the keen hiker, there's the five-day 58 kilometre (36 mile) Jatbula Trail that traverses a variety of landscapes from hot sandstone escarpment to wet paperbark forests and passes waterfalls, monsoon rainforest, stone country and Aboriginal rock art. You can swim at Leliyn (Edith Falls) and follow the scenic walking track from here to Sweetwater Pool, a secluded swimming hole.
Daly River region
The Daly River region is the perfect place for fishing and camping. You can spend a whole day for Barramundi in the Daly River, where the Katherine and Flora Rivers meet and flow west to the Timor Sea.The Daly River is home to some of the Top End’s most spectacular scenery with abundant wildlife. With Territory Guided Fishing, you can take a one day trip or an overnight fishing trip along the river. Another must-do in this area is the Butterfly Gorge Nature Park. Jump in a four-wheel drive and explore the park – you'll find swimming holes surrounded by towering paperbarks and sheer rock faces that provide shelter for thousands of Common Crow Butterflies.
Gregory National Park
Gregory National Park, known as Judbarra to the local indigenous people, it is the second largest park in the territory. Lofty gorges, sandstone formations, monsoon rainforest and eucalypt woodlands distinguish this area. Either explore the park on foot or by 4WD. There are two walking trails that differ in degrees of difficulty. On the easy Escarpment Walk, you'll get views of the Victoria River and the escarpment, and on the more challenging Nawulbinbin (Joe Creek) Loop Walk winds up a steep rocky slope to the base of the escarpment wall. If you want to drive, there are six rugged four-wheel drive tracks like the 6 kilometre (3.7 mile) Limestone Gorge track or the longer 197 kilometre (122 mile) Broadarrow Track.