Katherine aka Nitmiluk
Katherine Travel Blog› entry 12 of 30 › view all entries
A visit to the Kakadu is not complete without a visit to the world famous Katherine Gorge. Known by the aboriginal name Nitmiluk, we took a 4 hr cruise through Katherine Gorge and it was just amazing. The Gorge is located in Nitmiluk National Park and is one of the most spectacular areas in the country, winding 12 km with walls more than 70m high. The 13 wonderful gorges of Nitmiluk National Park began 23 million years ago as torrents of water pouring along tiny cracks in the earth.
The National Park is rich in Aboriginal art designed by the Katherine Gorge aborigines; the rock paintings represent the spiritual 'dreaming' of the Jawoyn people, the traditional owners of the land.
You really need a full day for a Katherine tour and to meet the Katherine Gorge aborigines at Manyalalluk for a wonderful interaction and insight into their ancient culture.
There are three different length cruises, an easy two hours with or without a short walk, a four hour tour/cruise that includes some walking and a strenuous full day adventure of cruising and walking, for those who are fit and enjoy a bit of rock climbing.
You can also go on a Katherine Gorge cruise through the gorge at your own pace in a rental canoe or fly over it in a helicopter. Spend a night in Katherine accommodation in one of the many hotels, motels or resorts or at Donkey Camp Bed and Breakfast is a must to let you maximise your time. A visit to Cutta Cutta Caves and the Mataranka Thermal Pools is easy if you are based in Katherine for a couple of days.
We took the 4 hr tour, swopping boats as the water levels were low - it was v warm but the gorge is cool at the water - we also managed a swim - its really an absolute beauty spot and was a highlight on the tour for me.
Please bear in mind that the Gorge is very sacred to the Aboriginal people - be careful and enjoy your time but look after the land - else the rainbow serpent that lives in the deep waters of the river may come and enjoy his breakfast of you!