Nitmiluk is the traditional home of the Jawoyn people, who jointly manage the 292,008ha Nitmiluk National Park with the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission, as well as owning and operating Nitmiluk Tours. Choose from two or three-hour cruises, dawn cruises or sunset dinner cruises. Most trips include some walking and rock-hopping between gorges so remember to wear comfortable and sturdy walking shoes and pack plenty of sunscreen.
Hire a canoe from the visitors centre in the national park and go at your own pace – you should reach the third gorge in a day. From this perspective the cliffs look even more dramatic and you might spot wallabies and water monitors along the banks as you paddle by, with time to stop for a swim, walk or picnic.
Walking tracks abound in Nitmiluk National Park – each one offers differing views of the gorge from lookouts, the escarpment and along the banks. There are shorter walks from one to six hours, or adventurers can take a five-day hike along part of the epic Jatbula Trail, a 62km-long walk following an ancient Jawoyn songline. Swim in crystal pools, fall asleep to the sound of teeming birdlife and have an all-round life-altering experience.
We highly recommend topping off your Katherine stay with a helicopter flight. Nitmiluk Tours and Heli Spirit both offers flights above the gorge. A 12-minute flight will take you as far as the sixth gorge and 25-minute flights include the whole gorge system. Seeing the landscape from above gives you a sense of how vast this Jawoyn-owned land is.