Nitmiluk NP is probably the first ‘popular’ tourist spot we’ve been to with quite a few people around. We first stayed a couple of nights in a Katherine caravan park, but then move just 30 kms out to the NP campground. Nitmiluk is owned by the Jawoyn aboringines, lease back to the NPs, but they run the cruises and campground. It’s well setup, with a great pool and nice kiosk/bar that opens late in the afternoon and then serves meals in the evening. Most campers stay 1 or 2 nights, just to go on one of the gorge cruises.
There are four gorge cruises to choose from and wee booked in for the 3 gorge cruise that lasts 4 hours recommended by some campers at Katherine. We started off from the visitor centre at 9am with a nice breeze blowing, keeping the temperature down. You board a flat bottom boat that holds about 60 people, and cruise up the river until it is impassable due to rocks. At the first rock crossing, you hop off the boat, walk about 800 m and boat a boat on the other side which makes the ‘second’ gorge. The second gorge is where the sides are vertical cliffs creating a very picturesque passage. gain, you reach a rocky out-crop in the gorge, pull over to the edge, walk a 100 m along the edge and then board the next flat bottom boat. This ‘gorge’ is quite short, but there is a side gorge with a lovely waterfall and waterhole where you can swim. It is very pretty. It would’ve been even better without all the other tourist. We have been spoilt so far having most gorges and waterfalls mostly to ourselves (or a few others), but I suppose it is starting to get to the busy part of the dry season.
While in Katherine, we took a short drive down the Stuart Hwy to Cutta Cutta caves. The are nice small limestone caves with some spectacular stalagmite (or is that stalactite?) formations. The caves are very close to the Tindal Airfirce base, and during WWII, unfortunately some of the stalactites where used as target practice!
From here we’re heading further north to Litchfield NP.
Did you know … #13?
Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) has in fact 13 individual gorges from one end to the other!