If you are not convinced of the beauty of Australia’s Northern Territory, then you only need visit Nitmiluk National Park, and your opinion will completely change forever..
This approximately 292,800 hectare national park is home to the Jowoyn Aboriginal people, and co-managed by the Park and Wildlife Service of the Northern Territory. Nitmiluk will captivate you with its gorgeous sandstone landscape, wide valleys and number of cultural sites.
The highlight of the park is undoubtedly, the Katherine Gorge. This spectacular deep gorge is carved through ancient sandstone, where the Katherine River freely flows. The best way to maximize your visit to the gorge is to do an overnight trip here. But if camping is not your cup of tea, you always have other accommodation options nearby. Once you reach the gorge, you can further explore its magnificence by hiking or canoeing. Another more comfortable and relaxed alternative is to go on one of those regular boat cruises that take passengers to different parts of the gorge.
You can reach Nitmiluk National Park at the top most section of the Northern territory. Katherine is the main gateway to Nitmiluk, and is served by all sorts of public transportation such planes, bus and train. From here, you can reach the park via two main access points. One of which is situated 30 kilometers northeast of Katherine. The other access point is through the western part of the Park, through the Leliyn or Edith Falls. You can reach this entrance by turning off Stuart Highway. A number of travelers do an overnight in Katherine, and leave for the park early in the morning. Nature lovers choose to camp within the park, particularly at the Nitmiluk Caravan Park at Katherine Gorge.
You may visit Nitmiluk National Park at any time of the year, but the period of May through September offers the most ideal weather. During wet season, there is a strong occurrence of flooding of the Katherine River thus restricting some of the usual activities in the park.
It is arguably more convenient to drive your own transport when going to Nitmiluk. But in case you don’t have one, you can always make use of the shuttle bus service from Katherine. The earliest bus leaves from the town at 8 am. But take note that it only goes back and forth the park three times a day.
The bus drops you off at the Nitmiluk National Park Visitor Centre, which is actually an excellent starting point of your exploration. While here, you can get an overview of the park’s landscapes and more information about the Jawoyn Aboriginal people. The visitor center is also the right place to get maps and guidebooks as well as sign up for a camping spot in the caravan park. You may also purchase your ticket to Katherine Gorge cruise here.