Nitmiluk National Park
This 292,008 hectare National Park is owned by the Jawoyn Aboriginal people and jointly managed with the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory. Some of the parks features include spectacular dissected sandstone country, broad valleys and numerous, significant cultural sites.
The deep gorge carved through ancient sandstone by the Katherine River is the central attraction to the park.
Access The park's main entrance is located 30 kilometres northeast of Katherine via a sealed road.
When to Visit The most comfortable time to visit the park is from May to September. During the wet season, flooding of the Katherine River may restrict the range of activities available and in some cases prevent access to the park.
What to see and Do Boat Tours Nitmiluk Tours operate a variety of boat tours in the Gorge system ranging from the popular two hour cruise, to half day and full day safaris. Tours depart from the boat ramp and can be booked at the Nimiluk Centre
Flying - A helicopter ride is an excellent way to see the gorge system. Flights of 12 minutes and longer are available and provide magnificent views of the Arnhem Land Plateau and gorge system. Trips are available for up to three passengers with a minimum of two people.
Walking - There are numerous walking tracks in the park offering a variety of experience from riverbank strolls to spectacular overnight walks up to 65 Kilometres in length. Overnight walkers are required to register with rangers at the Nitmiluk Centre.
Some of the features of the many walks include the fascinating geology of the sandstone escarpment, spectacular waterfalls and a large variety of wildlife.
Aboriginal art can be seen along the base of the sandstone escarpment in the gorge system. Other evidence of Jawoyn activities are located throughout the park.
More detailed information is available in the Nitmiluk Centre or in the Guide to Nitmiluk National Park walking map.
Canoeing - Canoes can be hired at the gorge by the hours, half day, full day or overnight. Private canoes can be used in the gorge but only after registering and paying a small fee at the Nitmiluk Centre first. The upper gorges are accessible to canoes, but portage can be quite strenuous as canoes and equipment must be carried over the rock bars between each gorge.
There are several designated camping areas for canoeists. Numbers are restricted and registration is required.
Camping - There are two options for campers; either use one of the well serviced sites at the gorge or Leliyn (Edith Falls) or for canoeists and walkers bush camping sites can be utilised. Bush campers are charged a small fee and should check at the Nitmiluk Centre for the availability of drinking water and location of toilets.
Fires are permitted only at bush camping sites away from the gorge system. No open fires are permitted in the gorge system.
Boating - Private powered vessels are prohibited from the gorge system from 1 June to 31 August. At other times, unless the river is closed due to the wet season, private vessels are restricted to the first gorge.
Vessels must maintain a speed of under seven nautical miles per hour and be under four metres in length, with a motor smaller than 10 hp. Normal waterway rules apply. All private vessels must be registered at the Nitmiluk Centre prior to launching. Fee's apply.
Fishing - Fishing is a popular pastime for many visitors to the gorge. Normal barramundi fishing controls apply. No bait fishing is permitted, use lures only.
Visitor Facilities Park facilities at the gorge include:
>> a picnic area with gas barbecues, tables and toilets
>> a fully serviced campground with powered sites
>> the Nitmiluk Centre with interpretive displays, a cafeteria, souvenir shop and tour booking desk
>> the launch tour boat jetty and canoe hire. These facilities are located adjacent to the boat ramp and have a public swimming area nearby
Leliyn (Edith Falls) This picturesque waterhole is a favoured stopping point for visitors traveling northwards. Leliyn is accessed by driving 40 kilometres north from Katherine and then following the sealed access road for 20 kilometres.
Park Facilities at Leliyn (Edith Falls) include:
>> a fully serviced campground with toilet and shower facilities. Un-powered sites only
>> a picnic ground with gas barbecues and tables
Please collect your firewood before entering the park.
>> Observe park safety signs
>> Swim only where recommended, observe warning signs
>> Carry and drink plenty of water
>> Wear a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent
>> Wear suitable clothing and footwear
>> Carry a first aid kit
>> Avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day
>> Put your rubbish in the bins or take it away with you.
>> Keep to designated roads and tracks
>> All cultural items and wildlife are protected. Do not touch the aboriginal artsites
>> Pets are not permitted in the park
>> Nets, traps and firearms are not permitted
>> Avoid using soaps and detergent in or near waterways
>> Take care with fire. Light fires only in fireplaces provided
>> Camp only in designated camping areas
>> Generators are not permitted in the park
>> Observe all fishing regulations. There is no fishing permitted at Edith Falls.