Find yourself lavishly alone in Nitmiluk
Travelers on Australia tours in the north central region may be expecting little more of the long expanses of reddened earth so characteristic of the Australian Outback. For a step into one of the country's more lush landscapes, guests can find all they want in Nitmiluk National Park.
Located near the rowdy town of Katherine, visitors to Nitmiluk will find themselves nearly alone in the natural playground of this national park. The park's most outstanding features are its 13 gorges, which provide the perfect spot for hikes and daredevilish rock climbs. Walks in the park's southern half often run along the rim of a gorge, providing panoramic views of the breathtaking natural surroundings. One of the best is Lookout Loop, which starts off as a steep climb, as it near the edge of the gorge, yet evens out into a nice leisurely path during the second half.
The park's monsoon forest is well-showcased through the Butterfly Gorge Walk, which leads visitors through dense woodlands up the side of the gorge.
Observant travelers making their way up, around and across the park's gorges may notice a range of rock art in the park created by Aborigines. Some date back more than 10,000 years and provide little more than faint red images, yet others have had their scenes repeatedly painted over. The oldest, the East Gallery, features a woman in a headdress flanked by a black wallaroo.
Nitmiluk's waterways, however, offer another great set of "trails." Canoes provide a comfortable vehicle to navigate the Katherine River. Riverside views up the sides of the gorge offer quite a different perspective, and guests often appreciate the cooler temperatures of the river as well.