Nitmiluk National Park
You'll be drawn to the majestic beauty and sheer size of the spectacular Katherine Gorge.
Located on the lands of the Jawoyn people, rock art sites dot the park and dreaming stories bring the silent gorge walls to life.
You can learn about the Jawoyn people's association with the land at the Nitmiluk Centre or by taking a boat cruise of the first few gorges.
Take sunrise or sunset cruises and see the gorge turn all shades of mauve and red.
There are canoes for hire or you can get a permit to use your own canoe from the Nitmiluk National Park Visitor Centre.
You can canoe to the fourth, sixth and ninth gorges and camp overnight, but make sure you book ahead of time by calling Nitmiluk Tours on (08) 8972 1253 or 1300 146 743.
You can use fishing lures in areas of the Katherine River, but fishing is not permitted in Edith Falls.
Walkers have plenty of trails to choose from and waterfalls to see, but the ultimate trek is the 62km Jatbula Trail.
To fully experience Katherine Gorge, take a helicopter ride and get set down for a swim in one of the harder to reach gorges.
Leliyn (Edith Falls)
A visit to Leliyn (Edith Falls) in the west of the park should also be on your list.
Swimming in the lower and upper pools is a must.
If you have time for a full day or overnight walk, go for a swim in the secluded Sweetwater pool.
You need a permit for the overnight walk to Sweetwater pool so book early by using the contact listed for Leliyn below.
What to see and do
You can do all of the following activities in Nitmiluk National Park:
- canoeing - get the Nitmiluk National Park canoeing guide
- swimming in marked areas - watch for closures
- view Aboriginal rock art
- wildlife spotting
- scenic lookout
Powered and non-powered sites are available near the Gorge Caravan Park.
Non-powered sites are available at Leliyn (Edith Falls).
You need to book overnight accommodation and canoeing at Nitmiluk, the phone number to ring is (08) 8971 0877.
Leliyn (Edith Falls) does not take bookings, but the best time to arrive to secure a spot is 10am, as this is when campers who are not staying another day have to vacate their site.
If you plan to launch a boat in the park you should be aware of the following:
- you need a permit to launch a boat or canoe at Katherine Gorge
- you can pay the permit fee at the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre when you arrive at the park
- if you bring a private vessel it is required to be less than 4 metres long with a maximum 15 horsepower motor. The speed limit is seven nautical miles per hour
- you are not able to use a private powered vessel in the Katherine gorge system from 1 June to 31 August. At other times you can use a private vessel in the first gorge, except when the river is closed due to Wet Season flooding.
You can fish only with lures - bait cannot be used, to avoid accidental capture of turtles.
Nitmiluk Tours provides a variety of accommodation at Katherine Gorge, phone: 1300 146 743.
How to get there
The Gorge entrance to the park is 30km east of Katherine on the sealed Gorge Road. Follow the signs.
The turnoff to Leliyn (Edith Falls) is 40km north of Katherine along the Stuart Highway. The park entry is 20km further along Edith Falls Road.
Check if this park is open
All year round, but the park and some activities may close due to flooding in the Wet Season.
The best time to visit is between May and September.
Nitmiluk Visitor Centre is open daily from 8am to 5pm.
Katherine Gorge, phone: (08) 8972 1886
Leliyn, phone: (08) 8975 4852
Nitmiluk National Park Visitor Centre phone: (08) 8972 1253 or 1300 146 743
Nitmiluk National Park has all of the following facilities:
- information signs
- ranger station
- fire pits
- drinking water
- public toilets
- disabled access
- picnic area
- walking trails
- souvenir shop
When visiting the park, remember all of the following:
- take your rubbish with you
- stay on marked roads and tracks
- cultural items and wildlife are protected
- do not touch Aboriginal art sites
- do not feed animals
- pets are not permitted
- nets, traps and firearms are not permitted
- do not use soaps or detergents in or near waterways
- camp only in marked camping areas
- generators are not permitted
- follow fishing laws - there is no fishing permitted at Edith Falls and you can only use lures in the Katherine River
- check your vehicle is not transporting pests like weeds and cane toads.
Have a safe and comfortable trip to Nitmiluk National Park by doing all of the following:
- observe park safety signs
- swim only where recommended and watch for warning signs
- carry and drink plenty of water
- wear a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent
- wear suitable clothing and footwear
- carry a first aid kit
- avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day.
Last updated: 20 June 2016