Last updated 14 February 2021
A memorable Northern Territory experience
There are numerous ways to get up close and personal with the impressive scenery and wildlife in Nitmiluk National Park. Traditional Owners, the Jawoyn and Dagomen people allow visitors access to the park and one morning in the middle of May, I’m taking a boat cruise on the first two of the thirteen gorges in Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge.
At the southern tip of Kakadu National Park, Nitmiluk (pronounced Nit-me-look) a Jawoyn word meaning cicada place, is 278 kilometres southeast of Darwin and 30 kilometres northeast from the town of Katherine. By road, Nitmiluk is a 4-hour drive south from Darwin on the Stuart Highway.
That’s too far to do in one day from Darwin but if you look into tours, like the one I did with AAT Kings or are self-driving it is one place you do not want to miss. You can take the weekly Ghan train from Adelaide or Alice Springs, or fly into Katherine with Air North
Arguably Nitmiluk’s main attraction, the Gorge is a series of 13 steep-walled sandstone water-filled chasms, some with depths up to 100 metres. During the wet season (November – April) the waterways flood and flow for 12 kilometres before opening out further upstream. During the dry season (May – October) when the water level drops, sometimes by two metres, the gorges become separate entities, divided by exposed rocks.
The greeting by one of the locals – a cute agile wallaby – as we entered the carpark was pretty cool too!