Katherine - 3 days - Tropical Summer
This three-day itinerary explores local gorges from the water and the air; Aboriginal culture, and outback life, showing that this region is a perfect holiday destination for travellers with a thirst for adventure. Katherine is the gateway to the magnificent Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge). This is Jawoyn Country where the red sand of the Outback meets the lush tropics, offering the best of both worlds.
Start your engine
Leave Darwin to embark on your 3.5 hour drive south along the Stuart Highway to Katherine. Immerse yourself in local art Katherine is a great base for exploring the nearby gorge country and learning about local Aboriginal culture. Stop in at the art galleries in town showcasing Aboriginal art, where you can meet the artists, browse the pieces or buy one of your own to take home.
Catch a must-see show
A must-see while you're in the region is the Katherine Outback Experience with Tom Curtain. Tom is equally renowned for his award-winning music skills as he is for his horseman abilities.
Watch in awe as you witness authentic horse-breaking, a working dog demonstration and performances with his trick horse.
• Tuesday/Wednesday - 2.5 hour shows
• Saturday/Sunday- 1.5 hour shows
Check into your accommodation. There are many options available in Katherine, from luxury hotel rooms to camping under the stars including:
• Katherine Holiday Park
• Ibis Styles Katherine
• Cicada Lodge
Start your day at Nitmiluk Visitor Centre
The world-famous Nitmiluk National Park contains thirteen gorges carved from the ancient sandstone by the Katherine River. Start your journey at the Nitmiluk Visitors Centre for advice on the many ways you can experience the spectacular gorges – you can walk, canoe, boat or fly!
Take in the views from above
Get a sense of the size and majestic beauty of Nitmiluk from the air – helicopter flights take off year-round (weather dependent) from the helipad near the Nitmiluk Visitors Centre or near the gorge at Maud Creek airstrip. Flights are available with Nitmiluk Tours, Coolibah Air, or Katherine Aviation. Another great way to see this country is on foot. There are plenty of short trails to follow over the sandstone plateau.
Soak in the scenery while cultural guides share their knowledge about plants, animals, dreamtime stories and culture of the stunning Nitmiluk Gorge with Nitmiluk Tours.
A top art and cultural experience The Top Didj Art Gallery and Aboriginal Cultural Experience offers a chance to meet with local Aboriginal artists. Visitors can get involved and create their own artwork and learn traditional painting styles, or try their hand at spear throwing using a woomera. They can also learn a traditional way to start a fire by using two sticks. Open May - October only.
Go underground at the Cutta Cutta Caves
Only 27 kilometres south of Katherine are the Cutta Cutta Caves where visitors can explore 15 metres below the surface to discover limestone caves that were formed millions of years ago and are still growing. The caves are home to a variety of wildlife including the rare orange Horseshoe Bat. Open April - November only.
Pit-stop at Pine Creek or Adelaide River
On the return journey north to Darwin, stop at Pine Creek for a cool drink. Be sure to check out the mud brick made from termite mounds and local timber used to build the Lazy Lizard Tavern.
If history interests you, it is worth visiting the Adelaide River War Cemetery, a reminder of the impact of WWII on the Territory commemorating military and civilian casualties.
The Adelaide River Inn is also worth a stop. Challenge yourself to finish one of their deliciously huge hamburgers and meet ‘Charlie’ the Buffalo, who shot to fame after starring in Crocodile Dundee.