Ready to become a modern-day explorer in the Australian wilderness? Katherine is one of the major towns in the Northern Territory
’s "Top End". It might be smaller in size and population than Darwin
and Palmerston, but it’s the centre of activity in the Katherine region, which stretches over 480,000 square kilometres. The Territory itself is a huge place – Katherine is 320km south of Darwin – and we’ve got a choice collection of Katherine accommodation options so you can explore it all for yourself.
In 1862, European explorer John McDouall Stuart came across the river that flows through town and named it after expedition leader James Chambers’ second daughter. The town itself took its name from the river and voilà – Katherine was born. Now it’s your turn to do some exploring.
Why not begin your trip by soaking away your worries at Katherine Hot Springs, a series of clear pools surrounded by rock walls and native plants. Swim in the warm water then wander along the walking paths or take some time out at one of the shady picnic areas. If you really want to experience nature, make sure you visit Katherine Gorge. The Gorge is part of Nitmiluk National Park and with 12 kilometres of 70-metre high rock walls, it’s a wonder to behold. You can take a guided tour or go your own way and canoe, camp or bushwalk your way through Nitmiluk.
Cutta Cutta Caves Nature Park is 27km south of Katherine and stretches out over 1,499 hectares of land. This is where you can take a guided tour below the earth and explore a maze of limestone caves full of endangered ghost bats, an experience that’s truly unique to Australia. While you’re in the Territory, you might as well check out the rest of the Top End. About four hours away is Kakadu
, the country’s biggest national park, which features the largest collection of Aboriginal rock art in the world. Litchfield National Park is also worth a visit for its swimming holes and to see the magnificent waterfalls cascading from the top of the Tabletop Range.
Closer to town, the Katherine Historical Museum is dedicated to preserving Katherine’s past. It showcases historical photos, Indigenous artifacts and the Gypsy Moth plane of Clyde Fenton, Katherine’s first "flying doctor". Katherine also has five art galleries including Djilipin Art Gallery and Mimi Aboriginal Arts & Crafts. If you need get a bite to eat or want to do some shopping, Katherine’s city centre has restaurants, cafes, fast food and a 5 Star Supermarket, as well as a Centro shopping centre with a Woolworths and other speciality stores.
With all the exploring there is to do in the NT, you’ll definitely need somewhere to stay so you can rest up for the next day. Check out our range of Katherine hotels and start planning your Top End adventure today.
Image credit thinboyfatter
under Creative Commons