Limmen national park
In order to protect the natural and cultural values of the Gulf region and to provide access to tourism sites for visitors travelling the gulf track between Queensland and the Northern Territory, the Northern Territory Government has established a National Park in the Region.
The Parks and Wildlife Commission presently manages a large area of three former pastoral properties for weed, fire and feral animal control. Visitor facilities are planned for development in the future.
The Park is very isolated. Much of the area is rugged with spectacular weathered sandstone formations and intervening alluvial valleys. While the Park has significant opportunities for recreation and conservation, access can be difficult. This has contributed to the isolated and wild character of the area.
How to get there
The Park is located approximately 475km southeast of Katherine and 182km northwest of Borroloola. The proposed park can be accessed from Katherine by leaving the Stuart Highway about 10km south of Mataranka and following the gravel road east past Roper Bar. From Borroloola follow the Carpentaria Highway for 32km before heading north along the gravel road for another 150km.
Although the road is a good quality gravel road, it may be impassable for long periods between December and May. Check with Parks and Wildlife offices in Katherine (08 8973 8888) or Nathan River (08 8975 9940) before travelling.
What to see & do
The erosion of the sandstone escarpment has led to the formation of numerous, large sandstone spires and rounded domes sometimes called "lost cities".
Several of the more accessible sites have been identified as suitable for public visitation in the future. Due to the sandy nature of the tracks and the numerous creek crossings access is currently by 4wd only.
Visitors wishing to visit these spectacular sites should contact the Rangers at Nathan River on 08 8975 9940.
>>Scenic and Cultural Features
>>Fuel, accommodation, food, post and EFTPOS facilities are available at Borroloola 182km to the south.
>>Fuel, food and accommodation are available at Roper Bar store, 192km to the north.
>>Observe park safety signs
>>Carry and drink plenty of water
>>Wear a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent
>>Carry a first aid kit
>>Avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day
>>Put your rubbish in the bin or take it away with you
>>All cultural items and wildlife are protected
>>Climatically the Gulf region is in a transition zone between the wet tropics and the drier arid zone.
Average rainfall is approximately 800mm with most falling between December and April. Dry season conditions are generally cool with the influence of a southeasterly breeze.
In the build up to the wet season from September onwards, conditions can be very hot with temperatures reaching into the 40's. Visitors should be prepared for extreme temperatures.
Whilst there are no established camping areas within the Park, the nearby Limmen Bight Fishing Camp has camping and basic facilities. For those who are after a more remote experience, camping is permitted along the rivers in several locations.
The tidal rivers that flow into the Gulf are excellent localities for fishing.
Scenic & cultural features
The Park is extremely rich in Aboriginal culture and numerous art and other significant cultural sites are located in the area.
European occupation commenced with the exploration by Ludwig Leichhardt in 1845 and later in the 1880's with the taking up of the pastoral lease, 'Valley of the Springs' by John Costello.
The Gulf Track stock route which traversed the area was used for droving herds of cattle from the eastern states of Australia to the Top End and the Kimberley's. Through this stock route the Gulf Region played an important role in the 'opening up' of Northern Australia.
Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of The Parks and Wildlife Service NT