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Top free things to do in Katherine & surrounds

Katherine is where the tropics meet the outback of Australia, access is via a sealed road, about four hours’ drive (300km) south of Darwin. The perfect destination for a road trip with plenty of free activities throughout the region!

First stop – Katherine Visitor Information Centre

Walk inside to be greeted by the friendly staff and take away some local advice to plan your time while visiting the Katherine region.

Whether you’re spending a few days visiting Nitmiluk National Park or stopping in town for a short break while travelling along the Explorers Way - the Katherine Visitor Information Centre will help you make the most of your outback adventure.

Free WiFi available. Open 7 days - check opening hours.

Take a dip in the Katherine Hot Springs

While in town visit the Katherine Hot Springs located 2km from the Katherine CBD, a short turn off from the Victoria Highway. Relax and swim through the clear water surrounded by pandanus trees. Enjoy a picnic next to the hot springs or visit one of the pop up food vans during the dry season to grab a bite to eat and a coffee.

Explore Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge)

Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, the jewel of Nitmiluk National Park, brings life to the region through a series of waterways home to ancient rock art sites and a wide diversity of local wildlife. For spectacular views, take the Baruwei Loop and stop at the Baruwei Lookout to witness a breathtaking view into the gorge. Check out the Display Centre and Heritage Museum where you’ll find graphic displays and illustrations of the flora, fauna and rock formations found throughout the park.

Head to the west of the park and swim at Edith Falls

Feel like a swim? Visit Leliyn (Edith Falls) in Nitmiluk National Park to jump into picturesque plunge pools, surrounded by the earthy colours of the escarpment. To get there, follow the Stuart Highway north from Katherine for 40 km then take another sealed road for 20 km. Take your own picnic or visit the kiosk for a burger or homemade sausage rolls. Camping facilities are also available.

Experience the natural baths of Bitter Springs and Mataranka in Elsey National Park

The tranquil setting of Bitter Springs is a beautiful spot for a picnic and paddle in crystal clear thermal pools fringed with flora. Located 106km south of Katherine, inside Elsey National Park, take Martin Road from the Stuart Highway to get there. For another natural spa experience, visit the Mataranka Thermal Pools on Homestead Road. Remember to check signage and swim only in designated areas.

Try your luck for a fish in the Katherine River

Bring your fishing line and stop at one of the hot spots, possibly to catch an elusive world-famous Barramundi! For fishing close to town, visit Knotts Crossing, Donkey Camp or the low level bridge. Ask a local to point you in the right direction!

Check out the local art galleries

Take a closer look and learn about the Aboriginal artists in the area at the Katherine Art Gallery and Mimi Aboriginal Arts and Crafts. These galleries may be free to peruse but you'll likely spot a piece that’s worth the investment! Visit Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre (GYRACC) for a unique cultural experience including visual arts exhibitions, dance performances and workshops.

Katherine Community Markets

Katherine's markets are held every Saturday morning at the Lindsay Street Complex - behind the Katherine Visitor Information Centre. Sit back and enjoy live entertainment, with a variety of arts and crafts, food stalls and fresh local produce. Entry is free.

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