Where to stay
After floating your worries away at Bitter Springs, it’s time to head back to Katherine and check-in to your digs for the night. Thankfully, Knotts Crossing Resort has you covered. The resort offers generous suites and cabins along with camping and caravan sites.
The Savannah Bar and Restaurant is a hearty choice for an Aussie-inspired dinner. The menu features crocodile spring rolls, barramundi and pork in sherry sauce. Enjoy your meal and a cold drink all while ensconced in lush green vegetation. It’s been a day packed with outdoor action, so best get a good sleep in preparation for a pre-dawn start.
Head off early to catch sunrise at Nitimiluk (Katherine) Gorge. At first blush, the deep ochres appear understated and muted – a stark contrast to the vibrant vermillion and bright reds that emerge as the day grows older.
Locals' tip: For the best viewpoints and photos, visit Pat's Lookout or Baruwei Lookout.
While you're in the area, experience the must-see 13 gorges of Nitmiluk (otherwise known as Katherine Gorge) with Nitmiluk Tours. The significance goes far beyond its natural beauty, as the gorges and surrounding landscape have great ceremonial significance to the local Jawyon people.
Nitmiluk National Park is a quick and easy 30-minute drive north from Knotts Crossing Resort. Its gorges, dramatic scenery and magical wildlife give visitors a chance to learn about a beautiful part of Australia and its people.
After you’ve soaked up new colours and sights, it’s time to visit Katherine Hot Springs. The drive from the gorge to the springs will take you back through the township of Katherine, where you can collect some picnic goodies to take for lunch.
Located a short drive away, on the southern side of the Stuart Highway, these springs pump from deep within the earth at an energising 25-30 degrees celsius.
The pools have received some much needed upgrades in recent years, with the revamp respecting the natural feel of the area. Perhaps the best addition was a viewing platform, which offers an opportunity to see the source of the spring water.
While a little bit cooler in temperature than Bitter Springs, taking a dip in Katherine Hot Springs is like indulging in a refreshing and sprawling bath. Again, don’t forget to bring your pool noodle along to help you float and watch the world go by.
Comprised of a series of clear pools, the sparkling blue springs are framed by native vegetation. There is also a walking track that takes you from the springs to a nature reserve. The grassed surrounds offer shady spots aplenty – just right for a picnic.