Red Gum Tourist Park
42 Vicotria Highway, P.O. Box 1845, Katherine, 851, Australia
More about Katherine
Going to 2nd Gorge.
Katherine Tourist Information Centre
Chopper trip with Heli-Muster Katherine
Katherine Gorges from NT-Muster chopper
Travel Tips for Katherine
DOUGLAS HOT SPRINGS
This park is located about 130 kms from Katherine. It is jointly owned by the Wagiman Aborigines and the Parks & Wildlife. Here, in amongst the dry bush, is a creek of running hot water, some of it extremely hot. Make sure you test the temperature before going in it, some pools are 60c. Quite a few animals and birds are attracted to here. The park is an important area for Aboriginal Women's ceremonies, and it may be closed when they need it. It is quite a pretty spot and relatively unknown by tourists.
Walking in Katherine Gorge
Even if you go on a boat cruise on Katherine Gorge you'll have to do some walking. The boats can't cross between the gorges so you have to get out and walk across the rocks and into another boat. Some places you'll see aboriginal rock art.
We stopped for tea at a sandy bank, unfortunately we had the company of an eating osprey. He had just caught a fish and decided to eat it from a branch overhanging the boat. So the first few seats ended up all covered in sticky fish guts. Nice! Still impressive to see the bird swoop down from the sky and catch a fish in just a matter of seconds.
The other stuff
Katherine Gorge has more to offer than just some ancient canyon.
Though there's not a lot, the aboriginal paintings are excellent examples of their type. There's also Johnsons River crocodiles here (freshwater) and, in the last 15 years, there have been two estuarine crocs (the dangerous ones). Fortunately traps are permanently set for the latter so there should be no danger from them.
I took up the option to go swimming and managed to stay alive.
Others (pic 3) were not so sure.
Katherine and the Gorge
"The far side"
By the time I reached Katherine on my way around Australia it is fair to suggest that I wasn't in the best of moods to judge the town. This was further exacerbated by the fact that some low life stole my generator while I was parked beside one of the main sports grounds.
Frankly, I was fairly jittery by the time I headed out of town but I hope I can still give a fair assessment of what is available in the town.
For me the highlight was Edith Falls, part of the Katherine Gorge complex but a long way from where the main tourist area is.
If you want information on the multi-day Jatbula Trail, then may I kindly suggest fellow VTer 1+1's excellent travelogue on that expedition.
Katherine - Cross Roads of the North
Katherine, located 317 km south of Darwin on the Stuart Highway is one of the territory's larger towns (the 3rd Largest). With a population of 11 000 people it is the gateway to the spectagular Katherine Gorge.
Also referred to as the 'Crossroads of the North' the first people to the area were the indegenous Jawoyn & Dagomen people. The first European to pass through the country was Ludwig Leichhardt in 1844 but it was John McDouall Stewart who named the river "Katherine" after the second daughter of James Chambers in 1862.
The town was settled by Europeans with the completion of the Overland Telegraph line at Knott's crossing, & has moved twice until finally establishing in its current location. The town boast all the moder facilities & services & draws many tourists every year mainly of course to see the gorge.
Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge's Aboriginal name is Nitmiluk) is located 29km from Katherine & consists of thirteen natural gorges carved through sandstone by the river. You can hire a canoe or take a boat cruise through the gorge. There is also a croc safe swimming hole for a cool off in the territory heat. Scenic flights are available over the area or even fixed wing. The park has over 100 km of marked walking trails which lead to lookouts and falls.
Other spectacular sights & things to do in the area surrounding Katherine include Leliyn (Edith Falls), Cutta Cutta Caves, Flora River Nature Park, Katherine Hot Springs, Katherine Museum. O'Keeffe House, The Railway Station Museum and Springvale Homestead.
The most spectacur & visited sight of course is the Gorge itself. Its simply gorgeous (can't help the pun) and well worth a stop. One of the most amazingly beautiful things that you can see in the territory, and smack bang in a state in the middle of nowhere. Thats one of the things I love most about the territory. Its so vast & open. And every now and then you come along these amazing massive sights of nature that blow your mind. Well worth the drive!
Popular Hotels in Katherine