Katherine Where the Outback meets the tropics
Kick off your Katherine adventure in the NT’s third-largest town. Try a spot of caving, join a river cruise, or fly over the stunning Katherine Gorge.
Katherine is on the banks of the Katherine River, which flows from the nearby world-renowned Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk National Park).
Gateway to nature & adventure
The Katherine region extends from the Gulf of Carpentaria near the Queensland border towards the Kimberley in the west. Base yourself in Katherine to explore the five distinctive areas within this vast region.
Cruise, canoe, bushwalk or fly over magnificent Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park, soak in Mataranka’s thermal pool and visit the setting of the famous novel We of the Never Never in Elsey National Park.
Land a barramundi in the Daly River region, touch the explorer’s 1856 inscription carved on a boab tree in Gregory National Park or survey the Gulf region’s ‘Lost City’ from the air.
Things to see & do in Katherine
A rich local history
Wander through Katherine’s museums for an insight into its heritage. See the ‘Gypsy Moth’, the original aeroplane flown by the first Royal Flying Doctor. Learn about the region’s World War II, pastoralist, railway and Overland Telegraph Line histories.
Visit Springvale Homestead, the oldest original station homestead in the Territory, which was built in 1879 by Overland Telegraph linesman Alfred Giles. Rest in the shade of four towering South American Rain Trees planted by Giles’ wife.
Explore the region
Follow the winding boardwalk through the limestone Cutta Cutta Caves, or relax in the Katherine Hot Springs 5 minutes from town. Listen to a lesson being broadcast out to a classroom spread over 800,000km2 classroom at the Katherine School of the Air. Meet local Aboriginal artists and purchase their work at the town’s art and craft galleries.
- Scenic Drives
Can Katherine be done as a day trip?
If you wake up early enough, you could make it to Katherine and back from Darwin in a day, but the best option is to stay a few nights, giving you plenty of time to explore the town and its surrounds.
Do I need any passes or permits to visit Katherine?
Passes or permits are not required in Katherine.
How do I get around Katherine?
In the town itself, you can walk, ride a bike, catch a taxi, or hire a car. To get to the main sights out of town – Nitmiluk National Park and Nitmiluk Gorge – guided tours are available, or you can drive yourself.
How do I get to Katherine?
From Darwin, the drive to Katherine is 3 hours (317km). We recommend you take a few days and drive the Nature’s Way scenic route via Kakadu National Park. There are also tour options from Darwin. The Ghan train passes through each week, or you can fly from Darwin or Alice Springs with Air North.
How far is Katherine from Darwin?
Driving from Katherine to Darwin will take approximately 3.5 hours (317km). Stop in at Edith Falls or Litchfield National Park on the way.
What are the major attractions at Katherine?
There are heaps of things to do in Katherine. The Katherine Hot Springs are right in the centre of town, while the Katherine Outback Experience provides a glimpse of life on the land in outback Australia. Learn more about the region’s culture and history at the Katherine Museum, the Top Didj Cultural Experience and their Art Gallery or the Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre.
What should I bring with me to Katherine?
Be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and plenty of drinking water. Bring your bathers and a towel to take a dip in one of the many refreshing swimming holes.
When is the best time to visit Katherine?
From May to October the weather is dry and warm in the day and cool in the evenings, the perfect backdrop to explore the surrounding attractions. If you visit between November and April, there’s a greater chance of rainfall. A tropical Top End storm is truly something to behold from the comfort of your Katherine lodgings.
Where should I go next from Katherine?
One of the best ways to experience the Top End is via the Nature’s Way scenic route, a loop that takes you from Darwin through Kakadu National Park to Katherine, then back again via Litchfield National Park and Berry Springs. An hour south west of Katherine you’ll find Mataranka and Bitter Springs, the perfect places for a dip.