Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge
The spectacular Gorge is only around 20 minutes drive from the town of Katherine. Boat tours vary depending on the water levels of The Gorge and time of year.
The town of Katherine is 3 hours drive south of Darwin. Of course Katherine is gateway to Nitmiluk Gorge. Okay, so visiting The Gorge isn't about swimming, but you can't come all this way without stopping at Katherine. If you've come this far.. why wouldn't you?
Nitmiluk (pronounced Nit-me-look) is the Jawoyn name for Katherine Gorge. It's only around 20 - 25 minutes drive East from the town of Katherine.
When I visited Katherine, it was for a couple of nights. The first full day was spent driving to and swimming at Mataranka Thermal Pools and Bitter Springs.
The second day, we visited the Gorge, and drove back to Darwin in the afternoon.
Pop Rocket Cafe - Katherine
There was some time to kill between the regular 10 am hotel check out and the start of Nitmiluk Cruise. We decided we'd enjoy a leisurely outdoor breakfast before heading to the Gorge. We couldn't have picked a better spot that the Pop Rocket Cafe.
Pop Rocket is a very casual little café. The tables and chairs are basic plastic, but this is an outdoor pop up cafe, after all. They are spread out on the grassed area adjacent to the cafe building under some Eucalyptus trees. The service and food at the café was lovely.
Katherine Hot Springs
The Pop Rocket Cafe is situated beside the entrance to the Katherine Hot Springs. Unfortunately when I visited, these were closed to swimmers. I've heard many good reviews of the Hot Springs. I'll definitely be visiting next time I'm down that way.
Nit Nit Dreaming Tour
It was late in the Wet Season when I visited so choices of tours were still a little restricted. This didn't matter too much. Whatever time of year you go, there is going to be something interesting to see. My group went on the 2 hour Nit Nit Dreaming Tour.
The Gorge is make up of 13 gorges, and this 2 hour tour took us through the first 2 gorges, which are the longest ones.
Along the way, the guides shared their knowledge about the cultural significant, dreamtime stories and geology of the gorge.
A boat takes you through the first gorge. You then need to walk to a smaller boat to cruise through the next Gorge.
This walk is around 400 metres in length. It's a man-made path - parts of which are uneven, so make sure you wear closed in non-slip shoes. There's around 70 stairs on the path in total and these sections have handrails.
If you have any mobility issues, you can stay and relax on the first boat.
Make sure you plan to arrive at the Cruise set off point at least 15 minutes before your tour. It's a decent little walk from the Visitor Centre car park to the Boat Ramp. You really don't want to rush this as a lot of it is unshaded. Personally I found the walk from the Visitor Centre to the boat ramp more challenging that the 400 metre walk between the boats on the tour.
Nitmiluk Visitor Centre
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