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Katherine & Surrounds

Map showing the Katherine and Surrounds region in the NT

Come to where the Outback meets the tropics and discover a region full of gorges and misty waterfalls, thermal springs and ancient cultures.

Nature comes alive at Katherine Gorge as you cruise, canoe or fly along the Gorge by helicopter. Take a more challenging route and hike the Jatbula Trail, or soak it up in luxury at Cicada Lodge.

Learn from the land at Tom Curtain’s Katherine Outback Experience or get a hands-on perspective of indigenous culture with the Top Didj Aboriginal Cultural Experience; both just minutes from the centre of Katherine.

Things to see & do around Katherine

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The outback meets the tropics in #Katherine, a big country town three hours drive south of #Darwin on the mighty Katherine River. The jewel of this area is Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, an ancient 13 gorge system that winds it way through the sandstone country. The walks around the gorge are one of the best ways to explore the region, ranging from easy 1-5 kilometre trails to serious full day and overnight hikes. They take you to stunning lookouts, secluded swimming holes, through palm filled valleys and over rocky escarpments. As @mooski_adventures discovered, the 8.4 kilometre return Windolf walk is well worth your while, offering sweeping views of the first gorge from Pat's Lookout, along with seasonal swimming at Southern Rockhole down below. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, Amy and Sarah! ​#SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd #NitmilukNT #VisitKatherine

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Soaking in the sandy spring-fed thermal pools of Elsey National Park is the stuff of fantasies, NT-style! Though nearby Mataranka Thermal Pool gets more hype, the lesser-known Bitter Springs has it all: tropical woodlands, a jungle-like stream and crystal clear water 💦🤩 Bring along a tube or noodle and float with the current from one end to the other - there's ladders for easy access! Just an hour south of #Katherine and moments from the small township of #Mataranka, this little piece of paradise is only a five minute walk from the car park. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @jade_elise_collins! ​#SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd #VisitKatherine

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​Turn back the clock as you paddle your way through Nitmiluk (#Katherine) Gorge. Destination: 40,000 years ago... 🙌 Whether you're looking for an easy day trip or an overnighter, you can't beat hitting the river for an up-close view of the region. All canoe adventures begin with a scenic journey by boat through the first gorge before canoeists take to the waters to explore the second gorge and beyond. With dramatic cliffs extending more than 70 metres high in some parts, it's hard not to be blown away by this magnificent maze of waterways 😍 ​Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @terrible.kids! ​#SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd #NitmilukNT

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This is the photo you send to everyone down south as they suffer through that thing called 'winter'! 🌴☀️ Surrounded by tropical bliss, #Katherine Hot Springs is the perfect place to unwind over the dry season (May-September). This series of crystal clear pools is like one big bath that heats to between 25-30 degrees celsius. Just a three-hour drive south of #Darwin, #Katherine is a small town with big attractions. #Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, Edith Falls (Leliyn) and so much more! Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @jonny.melon. ​#SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd #VisitKatherine

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Water you up to this weekend? 💦 We'll be following @jade_elise_collins' example and heading to #Mataranka Thermal Pool. Not only do these springs look incredible but rumour has it that they have the power to soothe aches and pains 😉 The small town of Mataranka is only an hour south of #Katherine and is well known for its sandy-bottomed thermal pools, pastoral history and most importantly, as an essential stop along the Stuart Highway when road-tripping in the Top End! Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, Jade. #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd #VisitKatherine

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As far as rail journeys go, they don't get much better than #TheGhan! A unique and awe-inspiring experience, you'll explore the wonders of the country's diverse interior in style and comfort on a 2,979 kilometre journey from #Darwin to Adelaide. Known for its iconic place in Australian history and strong connection to the vast landscape, The Ghan is currently celebrating 90 years of outback adventure 🤠 Having been in operation since 1929, its conception and construction is an epic tale of pioneering endurance. At this time of year, @journeybeyondrail runs The Ghan Expedition over three nights (as opposed to the usual two) with excursions in #Katherine, #AliceSprings and Coober Pedy. @jarradseng and @thehatchling recently embarked on the southbound journey - check out our story to see more of the highlights! #NTaustralia #JourneyBeyond

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Don’t let the name Bitter Springs fool you, this place is pretty darn sweet! 💦 These crystal clear hot springs are located in Elsey National Park, just two kilometres from #Mataranka and a one-hour drive south of #Katherine. The colours of this spot are almost edible, with decadent turquoise blues from the springs set against the alluring green foliage of surrounding tropical woodlands. Feel like a float? Bring your noodle then walk up from the first entry point to enjoy a short and relaxing natural ride down the stream. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @amyrcooper! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd #VisitKatherine

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Sit back and relax...it's time to take in the afternoon show 😎 The top pick of the short walks from the Nitmiluk (#Katherine) Gorge visitor centre, Baruwei follows the path of a dragonlike Jawoyn Creation Ancestor. There are two options: the 1.8km trail to the lookout for glorious views, or the longer 4.8km loop. Starting with a short, steep climb, the entire loop provides beautiful views over the Katherine River. There are lots of ways to explore this ancient gorge system, located 3.5 hours' from #Darwin, including by kayak, helicopter or boat cruise 👌 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @jonny.melon! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd #NitmilukNT

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There is nothing quite like the unique sound of a didgeridoo... even this little fella had to come over to get a better listen! If you're planning to visit the #Katherine region, a cultural tour at @topdidj is an absolute must. This amazing experience is led by local artist and guide Manuel, from the Dalabon tribe, who will give you an insight into his culture in a 2.5-hour workshop unlike any other! Manuel will teach you about the significance of his painting style, weapons used and how he lived off the land. The highlight of the tour and what sets it apart from other cultural experiences, is the painting style which is demonstrated by Manuel. You'll even be able to paint your own piece of artwork to take home as their souvenir! Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @geoffreidnz! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd

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