Katherine Tourist Information Centre
This is the first place we visited on arrival at Katherine and I can totally recommend it!
The staff were very friendly and helpful. They found accommodation straight away and booked it on the spot. We said that we were thinking of doing a helicopter flight over the gorges and they immediately recommended Heli-Muster and before we knew it ..... we had booked that too.
No mucking around with these guys!! ....They are professional with a smile!!..and that is what I like :o)
Edith Falls - Leliyn
Edith Falls are great when the water is flowing fast. The falls is also a very popular - and safe - swimming area.
There are walking tracks, and a nice walk to the upper swimming holes at the top of the escarpment.
A long walk (about 8 k's) takes you to Sweetwater Pool, also safe for swimming, but I didn't get out tp this water hole.
You can picnic or camp here. Lots of grass and shade.
A kiosk is open limited hours.
NOTE: During the summer rainy season the plunge pool may be closed and access to the park restricted - check with the Katherine Visitor Information Centre
The gorge for me promised much but left me somewhat disappointed. All the hype that surrounds this place probably had me expecting more than I should have and, had I approached from Queensland I might have been more excited.
Alas, I had already seen better in W.A. and so I couldn't get as ecstatic as I might.
For the tourist there are two ways to view the gorge, from the water or from on high.
I chose the water (and more popular) route on one of the numerous cruises that regularly leave the wharf.
You can go up three gorges or just the one, I chose the former.
Here you get to see some wonderful aboriginal art, get a snack and a swim in the second of the gorges and some interesting commentary.
There are 12 kilometres of Gorge available to the general public from the main Nitmiluk centre. It's set up for bulk nmbers of tourists with any amount of souvenirs etc., and a restaurant as well.
Katherine - Adventure Territory
"Working in the area"
I was working on a remote aboriginal community in the Katherine area earlier this year so got to see a bit of Katherine and what it has to offer. Usually I have just driven through here and not had time to see much.
Unfortunately all of my pics have disappeared into cyber-space (don't know how I did that) so I will have to go back (and will in 2010) and then add the pics.
There is so much to see and do in the area that it is definitely worth a stop on the way through the centre.
The Katherine Visitor Information Centre should be your first stop for all up to date info - especially if you are there heading into the wet season - road closures, safety info etc will be very important if you are exploring the area.
There are also limitations on alcohol in some areas - find out where you can and cannot have alcohol.
Then there are the crocodiles - and there are plenty of them. Local knowledge is the best gauge of which water holes are safe for swimming. Take care - people (even locals) still get taken or are attacked by crocs.
"Climate, Clothing, Dehydration and Water"
Yep, you need to take careful note of all of these.
Casual clothing is the norm - even at night - neat and tidy is the go.
You will need a hat, sunscreen, good walking shoes and long sleeves or sarong (women) for covering up when the sun gets too hot. It can get cool at night too so a jumper may be needed
Thongs, open sandals and the like are OK but not for bushwalking. There are just too many snakes and other creep crawlies around this area.
I see many people suffering dehydration when up here - remember to drink lots of water and if you are out bushwalking or climbing make sure you take enough with you. If it is the dry season there may not be many good water holes where you can fill up. A rule of thumb is you take two litres of water for every hour of active walking, climbing, hiking etc.
There are still large areas of the outback without mobile phone coverage - make sure you have a way of contacting help if you get into trouble or make sure someone knows where you are heading.
"To tour or go solo"
It's up to you - if you have a reliabale vehicle go it alone. Take care of warnings, drive carefully and have your water and spare parts you will be fine. Do remember that kangaroos, wallabies, buffalo, cattle and emus do come out at dawn and dusk to feed and look for water - very often at the side of the road - and some of them startle easily - before you know it they are in front of you.
The Katherine Region Visitors Guide has lots of great suggestions for 2 - 3 - 4 day trips, or longer.
Tours of the region are also available - just see what suits you the best. The centre will also have info regarding permits you will need to enter some Aboriginal Lands.
We arrived in Katherine a little bit on the angry side having picked a puncture on our way here and having to use our spare tyre we had to find a garage to buy a new tyre being late saturday afternoon nowhere was open (being that there was only one garage here) and that it was close the next day on sunday, we were a forced to stay here longer than anticapted, but us being us made the most of the situiation, and saw what Katherine had to offer.
Katherine is slap bang in the middle of the Northern Territory, when we
visted it was very hot and dry so make sure you have plenty of water if you go out for stroll. We were quite surprised to see how much Katherine had to offer and how nice it was. The nautral Mataranka hot springs are a great place to relax and a must do if in Katherine, theres great Barramundi fishing too probably the best in Oz, i managed one afternoon to hook up with a few and land a keeper as well,superb. There`s various National parks around Katherine all worth a look if you have your own transport.