Where the Outback Meets the Tropics

The third largest town in the Northern Territory, Katherine forms a bridge between the tropical Top End and The Outback, and is the gateway to an exciting region of historic significance and outstanding natural beauty.

Traditionally home of the Jawoyn and Dagoman people, pioneers, led by John McDouall Stuart, first settled the town in 1862 as an important stopping point on the road to Alice Springs. Today you can get a taste of that pioneering spirit at the impressive Springvale Homestead, the oldest cattle station in the Northern Territory, or see the original Flying Doctor's biplane at the museum.

Less than 30 minutes drive away, the scenic Nitmiluk National Park is home to the majestic Katherine Gorge, a series of 13 sandstone gorges carved out over the centuries by the river. A haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers, the park is characterised by rugged landscapes, cascading waterfalls and an abundance of flora and fauna.

South-east from Katherine, the Cutta Cutta Caves are a series of tropical limestone caverns set amid lush, tropical rainforest and home to a colony of endangered ghost bats and orange horseshoe bats. A little further on, the small township of Mataranka is famous for its thermal pools, a perfect spot to rejuvenate in its inviting waters and palm-fringed lagoon.

Insiders' Tips

  1. Explore Katherine Gorge: A spectacular nature lover’s haven, made up of 13 gorges with rapids and falls and ideal spots for swimming.
  2. Go Bushwalking in Nitmiluk National Park: There is 100km of trails dispersed with waterfalls, diverse scenery and ancient Jawoyn rock art.
  3. Go Bat-spotting at Cutta Cutta Caves.
  4. Relax on a Sunset Cruise: Soak up the history and culture of this stunning location.

More Information

For maps, days tours and accommodation options, visit the Katherine chapter in our online Northern Territory brochure. Click here.

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