Katherine Gorge Reviews
Nov 16, 2006
This really is a must visit!
There are thirteen gorgeous gorges that make up the major attraction of the Nitmiluk National Park - the english named "Katherine Gorge" which issome 340 kilometres southeast of Darwin.
This is rugged Outback country with deep rainforests, rocky cliffs and escarpments, and the water habitat of unique birds and animals, with here andof course some freshwater crocodile (freshies).
One hundred kilometres of walking tracks bring the visitor face to face with Nature in some of her wildest moods if you visit when its cool enough to walk!
One of the Northern Territory national parks, Katherine Gorge is the heart of Nitmiluk national park which is south of (and smaller than) Kakadu but larger than Litchfield which is close to the towns of Batchelor and Rum Jungle and closer to Darwin.
Nitmiluk is owned by the Jawoyn Aborigines who manage it jointly with the Northern Territory government. The gorges, with rapids and falls, follow the Katherine River, which begins in Kakadu, as it courses through the heart of the national park. Katherine River becomes the Daly as it heads out to the Timor Sea.
During the Dry, roughly from April to October, the Katherine Gorge waters are placid in most spots and ideal for swimming and canoeing. There may be freshwater crocodiles in parts of the river but, unlike their saltwater cousins, they rarely attack unless cornered and provoked. We didnt see anyone big ones butwe did seebabies in the shallows - so babies come from bigger ones .....well you guess! Only3 salties in 15 yrs has been captured so your generally safe for swimming too.
Only 75 canoes are allowed in Katherine Gorge at any one time, so if you plan to go canoeing, be sure to book in advance and it was busy when we were there for canoes.
On the other hand, you can always take a boat cruise through Katherine Gorge and there are short, medium and long cruises you can take during the Dry, the day-long ones to as far as the fifth gorge but that included a 6km walk in the dry due to the water levels being insufficeient to go all the way.
The waters of Katherine Gorge go wild in the Wet and canoeing and swimming may be out of the question. Only the shorter cruises are available but they also depend on the prevailing river conditions so best to check.
For fishing and camping at Katherine Gorge, there should be relevant and current information at the visitor centre at the end of Gorge Rd, the more popular access road of two to Katherine Gorge.
The gorge itself was awesome and a lovely cool place in the heat of the wet season.
Go enjoy the cool waters and tranquil atmopshere - the Aboriginal people view this as a magical place - in fact they will not swim here, or fish, for fear of the rainbow serpent that lives in the deep green waters. We respected the land so walked in safety knowing that we didnt upset anyone!
Go visit - the place is awesome and actually a "must see" on a trip in the NT
Part of the Australia, Nov/Dec 2006 travel blog
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