Things To See and Do In Katherine

 

Katherine is set on the banks of the Katherine River, about 300 kilometres south of Darwin. The Katherine river flows through 13 separate gorges in the Arnhem Land Plateau. As can be imagined, the natural beauty of the area is its prime attractions for tourists. The best time to see Katherine gorge is between May and September as the river floods in the wet season. Katherine is a township of 10,000 servicing an area of 400,000 square kilometres - much the same size as France.

 

Katherine "Nitmiluk" Visitor Information Centre

The centre is located at the southern end of the town at the corner of the Stuart Highway and Lindsay Street. Discover this magical, diverse land and learn about the history of the Aboriginal inhabitants. Learn about the geology, the landscape, wildlife and native plants of the region. There is a unique children's play area in this centre plus a restaurant overlooking the Katherine River.

 

Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge)

The Nitmiluk Park is the cultural and spiritual area of the Jawoyn Aboriginal Tribe.

It covers 180,000 hectares of natural wonder and is located 32 kilometres from the town centre. There are a total of 13 gorges in the area but only 5 of them are accessible by organized boat tour or cruise. Canoes can be hired.

There are a variety of cruises to choose from and some include breakfast or dinner. Helicopter flights are also an option.

Within the gorge system can be seen fine examples of Aboriginal art on rocks, dating back for thousands of years.

 

Springvale Homestead

Springvale Homestead, near Katherine, is the oldest original homestead in the Northern Territory. It was established in 1878 and was managed by Alfred Giles of the Overland Telegraph fame. The homestead displays many photographs and much information on the early history of the property. Near the homestead are four huge Indian rain trees planted by Giles' wife, Augusta, for each of their children. The area around the homestead is home to abundant bird life and animals such as wallabies.

 


The O'Keefe Residence

This residence, built in 1943, was originally a recreation hut for army officers stationed in Katherine during World War Two. The building is made from Cypress pine and iron sheeting which were available locally. It is unusual in that it was built on site whereas most other military buildings were prefabricated elsewhere and then moved onto site. It is one of the few World War Two buildings that have survived. It is located in Riverbank Drive.

 

Katherine Outback Heritage Museum

The museum was originally constructed as an air terminal in World War Two. It contains an eclectic collection of artefacts, photographs, maps and other memorabilia. Of special interest is the Gypsy Moth plane flown by the first "Flying doctor", Dr. Clive Fenton. The museum is located at Knotts Crossing and is open daily from March - October.


Katherine School Of The Air

Located in Gorge Road, Katherine, the School Of The Air broadcasts to students over an area of 800,000 square kilometres. It has been doing so for over 35 years. Curriculum materials are delivered to students via high frequency radio, telephone and the internet and lessons are conducted online in a virtual classroom. Some lessons can be heard as far away as Germany and Antarctica. Visitors can observe the school work by watching and listening as the students participate.

 

Katherine Hot Springs

These natural thermal springs are situated five minutes (by car) from the centre of town on the banks of the Katherine River. Take a dip in the Springs which are at a constant temperature of 32 degrees Celsius. Lay back on the grassy banks under the shade of a tree. Then share a picnic. Access is from the Victoria Highway or from Riverbank Drive. Wheelchair access is available via Crocker Street , behind the Riverview Caravan Park, but a key has to be obtained from the council to unlock the boom gate to enter from this direction. The Katherine Hot Springs are open daily subject to weather.

 

Jatbula Trail Walking Track

This walking track is 66 kilometres long and is one of the most popular and challenging walks in the top end. The trail traverses a variety of landscapes from hot sandstone escarpment to wet paper bark forests and features waterfalls, cultural sites and deep sandstone gorges.

The Jatbula Trail starts at Katherine Gorge and finishes at Edith Falls. It takes about five days to walk the trail. Along the track are camp sites, natural swimming holes, waterfalls and wide rivers.

 

Leliyn (Edith Falls)

Located on the western boundary of the Nitmiluk National Park this area is safe for swimming most of the year. It is a natural pool at the base of the falls and is surrounded by pandanus and paper bark trees. The surrounding area is good for bush walking and it is the terminating point for the Jatbula Walking Trail.

 

Cutta Cutta Caves Nature Park

This park covers an area of 1500 hectares through limestone landscape and caves. Guided tours of the cave system are conducted throughout the day. these are the only tropical limestone caves that are publicly accessible in the northern Territory. The Park is 27 kilometres south of Katherine on the Stuart Highway. The area is open from 8.30 am - 4.30 p.m.

 

NT Rare Rocks

NT Rare rocks is a gem and rock shop and a manufacturer of stone products. Open from 7 am - 7 p.m. daily at 1089 Zimin Drive, Katherine.

 

Jurassic Cycad Gardens

These gardens have been created over a 23 year period by Josef and Karen Perner. It was planned as a conservation resource and now houses about 40,000 cycads. The centre is open daily from 7 am - 7 p.m. at 3128 Morris Road, Katherine.

 

Sabu Sing

This bronze statue was built in 2002. It was commissioned as an acknowledgement of our forefathers efforts on the land, as recognition of those who currently work on the land and as an encouragement to those who may choose to work the land in the future. The role model for the statue was Sabu Sing an

Aboriginal of the Wardaman tribe who represents all the courageous pioneers of the area. He was a well respected stockman and station manager in the Top End. He was tragically killed in a car accident on route to Katherine on March 5 1993.

The unveiling of the Sabu Sing statue was apparently an amazing site. There were road trains and brahman cattle. A 22 strong cattlemen and women team provided the guard of honour, and a fly over with the missing man salute, was performed with R22 helicopters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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