Nitmiluk National Park: Jatbula Trail

The Jatbula Trail is a 62km walk from Katherine Gorge to Leliyn, also known as Edith Falls, in the Nitmiluk National Park. 

This hike follows the western edge of the Arnhem Land escarpment over sandstone plateau and through woodlands, open forest, monsoon forest and riverine landscapes. 

The trail is long and difficult so you must be well prepared to make sure you have a safe and comfortable hike. 

Book your walk

The trail has a cap of 15 walkers leaving each day so you will need to book. 

Bookings open on 1 November for the following year. 

A camping fee of $3.30 per person each night needs to be paid with your booking. 

You can book online or contact the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre on either:

Book your ferry

The walk starts at the eastern side of 17 mile creek.

You will need to book a ferry across the Katherine River with Nitmiluk Tours. 

The ferry costs $7.50 per person. 

In June 2016, ferries are departing daily at 7am, 9am and 11am.

To book contact the Nitmiluk visitor centre.

Book your transfer to and from the trail

You can book a transfer from Katherine to the Nitmiluk visitor centre, the start of the Jatbula Trail.

Or you can organise a transfer from Leilyn, also known as Edith Falls, to Katherine or the Nitmiluk visitor centre. 

You can book transfers with either of the following companies:

Gecko Canoeing and Trekking
Phone: (08) 8972 2224

Travel North
Phone: (08) 8971 9999

Maps and guides

You should read and research the maps and references for the Jatbula Trail before you start your walk. 

You should also take a topographic map and compass. At least one person in your group should have the skills to use these.

Get the Jatbula Trail maps booklet (9.1 mb), which has detailed maps and information for each section of the walk.

Get the Jatbula Trail: before you go booklet (2.0 mb) for detailed advice on preparing for the trail.

Get the Jatbula Trail information sheet (1.3 mb).

When to walk

The best time of year to walk the Jatbula Trail is from 1 June to 30 September.

During the cooler months, from June to August, the temperatures range from 30 degrees Celsius during the day dropping to 10 degrees Celsius at night.

Conditions on the trail start to heat up in mid-August with temperatures rising to over 40 degrees Celsius from October to late November. 

From December to April the trail is difficult to navigate due to Wet Season rain and vegetation growth. 

If you want to hike between 1 October and 31 May you should email 

Walking during this time can be challenging and you should only do it if you are experienced and very well prepared.

You need to be aware of extreme temperatures, humidity and a high chance of flooding.

Look at the Jatbula weather chart (282.8 kb) before you go.

Plan your walk

The walk can be completed in five or six days. Camping is only allowed for one night at each site along the trail.

Leliyn - Edith Falls - is not a campsite on the trail and separate camp fees will apply.

You should tell a reliable person of your plans before you go walking.

You should tell them your intended campsites, departure and arrival dates, health issues and any other information that might help if you need to be rescued.

You should take a satellite phone or a personal locator beacon. You will not have mobile phone reception on the walk.

Drinking water

You should drink at least three litres of water a day to stay healthy. Store your water in strong and secure containers.

Take rehydration sachets in your first-aid kit.


Be careful when swimming in waterholes. 

Never jump or dive into rivers or waterholes. Many creeks along the Jatbula Trail are fast flowing and have rapids and waterfalls. 

Slippery rocks, rapids and waterfalls create a dangerous environment and you need to be very careful near all waterways.

Last updated: 02 June 2016