Katherine & surrounds Three-day itinerary
This three-day trip visits local gorges, waterholes, waterfalls, and thermal springs, demonstrating that this region is an ideal vacation spot for adventure seekers. Katherine is the gateway to Nitmiluk National Park, which is awe-inspiring. Jawoyn Country is where the Outback's red sand meets the lush tropics, combining the finest of both worlds.
Start your engine
Leave Darwin and go south on the Stuart Highway for 3.5 hours to Katherine.
Plunge into Edith Falls
Leliyn (Edith Falls) is a great place to break up the journey with a soothing soak in the plunge pool (open May–October) or a bushwalk along the 2.6km Leliyn Trail if you're feeling really active.
Edith FallsEdith Falls, Nitmiluk NT, Australia
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 galleries in town showcasing Aboriginal art, where you can meet the artists, browse the pieces or buy one of your own to take home.
Katherine Hot SpringsKatherine Hot Springs, Riverbank Drive, Katherine South NT, Australia
Feel revitalised with a dip in hot springs
Next, cool off at the Katherine Hot Springs, a series of clear pools on the banks of the Katherine River fed by a natural thermal spring.
Catch a must-see show
The Katherine Outback Experience with Tom Curtain is a must-see while you're in the area. Tom is known for his award-winning musical ability as well as his horsemanship. Authentic horse-breaking, a working dog demonstration, and performances with his trick horse are among the highlights of his 90-minute show.
Rest your head in Katherine
There are numerous possibilities for tonight's lodging. Pitch a tent in the Nitmiluk campground or stay at the Cicada Lodge, which is located adjacent to the Katherine Gorge in the gorgeous Nitmiluk National Park.
Start your day at Nitmiluk Visitor Centre
The Katherine River formed 13 gorges from old sandstone in the world-famous Nitmiluk National Park. Begin your adventure at the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre, where you can get information on the various methods to see the gorges.
Nitmiluk National ParkNitmiluk National Park, Gorge Rd, Nitmiluk NT, Australia
Grab a paddle, or cruise along
To see the steep cliffs, sandy beaches, and Aboriginal rock drawings, take a river tour. Rent a canoe and go exploring on the water.
Take in the views from above
From the air, get a feel of Nitmiluk's immensity and spectacular splendor. Helicopter flights are available year-round (weather permitting) from the helipad near the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre or the Maud Creek airstrip near the gorge. Walking is another excellent way to see the landscape. Over the sandstone plateau, there are numerous short routes to follow.
Eat like an outback stockman
Tonight, dine under the stars at Marksie’s Stockman’s Camp Tucker Night in surroundings reminiscent of an outback stockman’s camp. You’ll feast on traditional outback tucker cooked using a range of Aboriginal spices to develop unique tastes. Partake in a scavenger hunt, or sit back and enjoy humorous yarns and stories with your host, Geoff Mark.
Marksie's Stockman's Camp Tucker NightMarksie's Stockman's Camp Tucker Night, Gorge Road, Lansdowne NT, Australia
A top art and cultural experience
Local Aboriginal artists can be met at the Top Didj Art Gallery and Aboriginal Cultural Experience. You can participate by creating your own artwork and learning traditional painting styles, or you can try your hand at woomera spear throwing. Guests can learn how to build a fire with two sticks in the traditional way.
Top Didj Cultural Experience & Art GalleryTop Didj Cultural Experience & Art Gallery, Gorge Road, Lansdowne NT, Australia
Go underground at the Cutta Cutta Caves
The Cutta Cutta caves are only 27 kilometers south of Katherine, where you may plunge 15 meters below the surface to see limestone tunnels that were built millions of years ago and are still expanding. A variety of species, including the rare orange Horseshoe Bat, can be seen in the caves.
Cutta Cutta Caves Nature ParkCutta Cutta Caves Nature Park, Stuart Highway, Venn NT, Australia
Soak in thermal hot springs
Elsey National Park is another hour south. Dip your toe into Australian literature, which is most famous for being the setting for the Australian novel We of the Never Never. Bathe in the warm turquoise water at Mataranka Thermal Pool, which is bordered by pandanus, paperbarks, and palm trees. Then take a stroll to Bitter Springs, a spring-fed thermal pool surrounded by palm trees and tropical foliage.
Mataranka Thermal Pool and Rainbow SpringsMataranka Thermal Pool and Rainbow Springs, Homestead Road, Mataranka NT, Australia
Pit-stop at Pine Creek or Adelaide River
Stop at Pine Creek for a refreshing drink on the way back to Darwin. The Lazy Lizard Tavern was constructed using mud brick manufactured from termite mounds and local lumber. A visit to the Adelaide River Inn is also recommended. Challenge yourself to eat one of their delectable, massive hamburgers and meet ‘Charlie' the Buffalo, who co-starred in Crocodile Dundee with Paul Hogan. If you're interested in war history, pay a visit to the Adelaide River War Cemetery, which serves as a reminder of the Territory's involvement during WWII and commemorates military and civilian losses.