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Wonders Of Katherine

The Magestic Katherine Gorge
The Magestic Katherine Gorge
Known for majestic Katherine Gorge, Katherine can be found in central Northern Territory and is the third largest city in the state. Tourists come to see the region surrounding the town for its unbelievable beauty, and it is a great base for travel to the attractions further out especially by campervan. You can travel up north to the Adelaide River and on to Darwin, or down to Mataranka, with miles of sunburnt country in between.

One of the most entrancing aspects of the gorge, which is located in the Nitmiluk National Park, are its majestic cliffs that soar to the sky as you glide along in the river below. Depending on what time of year you visit, you can take between two to five hours to cross the gorges. In the dryer seasons the main gorge takes about two hours. The more extreme adventurers carry their canoes between gorges as the water drops so there is only a rock crevice in between. Another option is to jump on one of the helicopter flights which is more expensive but the views are hard to describe and you are guaranteed to see the gorge from a completely different perspective.

The Gorge is where you will find most tourists in the area, attracted by the spectacular scenery and scenery. Try to avoid visiting between November and March as the waters rise rapidly. Bring your togs as swimming is permitted at the gorge, and it you will enjoy a chance to cool off surrounded by some of Australia's most captivating scenery.

During my trip to Katherine Gorge I was stunned by the vastness of the entire gorge system. It is an oasis that remains relatively untouched by civilisation. The boat cruise is worth taking especially since you have made such an effort to get this far, just don't forget your camera to capture the views.

There are also a number of walking trails which stretch through the park. Some take five days to complete, and there are also camping sites along the trails for those who want to take their time. Not far from the entrance to Katherine Gorge is a road which takes you to Edith Falls. Make sure you visit here to experience the pool surrounded by pandanus plants which will be a refreshing end or beginning to your experience at the gorge. There are a number of walking trails in the park which are for all levels of fitness with some beautiful views.

South of Katherine you will find the Cutta Cutta caves. Put this attraction on your 'must see' list as they are not only close enough to visit but feature a 'Tropical Wonderland' walk. These limestone caves are incredible, with the unique Orange Horseshoe Bats an added bonus. Another well known natural attraction are the Katherine Hot Springs. You will more than likely arrive hot and sweaty, park your car looking for anything that resembles an oasis, or any type of pool but all you see is dirt tracks and thick tropical vegetation. After a walk that winds through the palms, all of a sudden you see the crystal clear steaming pools, which stretch long enough to give you some room to yourself to enjoy the wonderful therapeutic waters.

My experience of these springs was heavenly. It is a place everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime to indulge in the ultimate spa, sauna and pool in one. Make sure you visit this unique part of the territory even if it to dip your feet in the pools and enjoy the steam. A campervan hire Darwin will make all your adventures here easy.

Closer to town, there is plenty to do. Head to the Katherine Museum to learn more about the aviation and war history of the region, especially since it is housed in the old aerodrome buildings. Spend an afternoon at the Springvale Homestead which is owns the title of the most ancient original homestead in the Territory. There is a café and barbeque facilities, plus a photo gallery covering the history of the area.

Katherine is remarkably untouched and is an enjoyable town to visit. There is still great diversity here, with present and past mixing to bring a richer cultural insight into the area. Plan to stay a while to enjoy the freedom your campervan brings you and prepare for long stretches of outback landscape without a glimpse of humanity. The perfect escape campervan hire holiday.

Jenny Brewer 2007

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