Nitmiluk National Park is located 30km northeast of Katherine via sealed road. The main and prominent attraction is the stunningly rugged Katherine Gorge. The gorge system spans 12km in length and comprises 13 distinct gorges carved by the powerful Katherine River. The scenery within the park and particularly between the gorge walls is utterly breathtaking.
The gorge can be explored by canoe, boat cruise, helicopter or walking trails. Tours can be organized through the Katherine Visitor Centre or directly with Nitmiluk Tours located at the gorge. Advance bookings are highly recommended as gorge tours are very popular.
Canoeing the gorge is a fabulous experience and hire rates are available on an hourly and daily basis. Cruising through the gorge at your own pace allows you to thoroughly enjoy the magnificent scenery and the immense size of this natural beauty. The first gorge can be seen by canoe in about 2 hours (at a steady pace) as a basic guide and additional gorges progress increasingly from there. Note Freshwater Crocodiles inhabit the gorge and are generally harmless unless provoked. The gorge is surveyed and traps are set after the wet season rains to detect any Saltwater Crocodiles which may have slipped into the area. Visitors are advised accordingly as to the current situation.
Guided boat tours are equally as enjoyable. Relaxing in comfort whilst taking in the scenery and listening to an informative commentary along the way is a great way to see the gorge. Learn about the gorge’s natural ecosystem and aboriginal cultures and traditions of the Jawoyn people. A variety of gorge cruises are available, starting from 2 hours exploring the first 2 gorges.
over Katherine Gorge are available by helicopter and would be the ultimate way to view the spectacular scenery from above. Scenic tour lengths range from 8 to 18 minutes and longer flight packages are available to explore waterfalls and aboriginal art sites within the park.
Walking trails within the park range from reasonably short walks to viewing points over the first gorge to the 65km Jatbula Trail which links the first gorge with Leliyn (Edith Falls) and features many rockholes, cascades and falls along the way. Walking is required to see many of these other attractions the park has to offer accessible on foot only. All walkers need to obtain permits from the Visitor Centre or arrange a guided walking tour, several options are available.
The Nitmiluk Visitor Centre is located at the gorge and is well equipped with souvenirs, kiosk, restaurant, facilities and plenty of information about the area. Rangers are also located here to assist with any inquiries.
Camping is permitted at Katherine Gorge in the designated camp ground near the Visitor Centre. Facilities include powered sites, bathroom, laundry, swimming pool, free gas barbeques and camp kitchen. Pets are prohibited.
Leliyn (Edith Falls) on the Edith River is also part of Nitmiluk National Park and is located 61km north of Katherine, including the 19km access road off Stuart Highway. The impressive lower pool is close to the car park, easily accessible and a fantastic swimming area. A 2.6km loop walk takes you up the escarpment with views of the upper pools and Katherine River and then descends to the stunning pools and breathtaking waterfall. Leliyn is a very scenic place and a longer 8.6km walk to Sweetwater Pool is available for the fit and energetic. The lush grassy camping area in the surrounding bush land is the perfect spot to set up camp. Facilities include barbeques, kiosk and toilets. Pets are prohibited.
The Nitmiluk experience is one of the scenic highlights of the Northern Territory. The majority of visitors explore the Katherine Gorge and Edith Falls separately as the linking walking trails are suitable for experienced hikers only and take up to 5 days to complete.
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Destinations in the Northern Territory
Elsey National Park
Return from Nitmiluk to Northern Territory