Things to do, Katherine & Surrounds, Northern Territory, Australia

Overnight walks, Katherine & surrounds

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Hiking, Jatbula Trail, Nitmiluk National Park, Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia

If you have time on your hands, enjoy sleeping outdoors, and are keen to get physical, you'll find plenty of opportunities to explore Nitmuluk National Park. With more than 100km of walking trails, the park is home to a range of overnight hikes and multiday treks, including the famous Jatbula Trail.

Take a few days

Test your quad muscles on the 58km Jatbula Trail. A challenging four-to-five day walk, this famous trail leads you through diverse and dramatic scenery. Start from Katherine Gorge and head north to the final section in popular Leliyn (Edith Falls). The trail is well marked and not technically difficult, though it does require a good level of fitness and stamina.

Along the Jatbula Trail

Head off and walk through a wide variety of terrain, from rainforests, grasslands, and volcanic rocks to sandstone gorges, creeks and waterfalls. Pass through Northern Rockhole and the Amphitheatre, take in the spectacular Biddlecombe Cascade, Crystal Falls and 17 Mile Falls, and stop for relaxation at Sandy Camp Pool and Sweetwater Pool. Swim beneath cascades and in shady pools, discover Aboriginal rock art and unroll your swag on sandy river banks.

The southern walks

Overnight walks on the southern side of the gorge are equally rewarding. Spread the 23.6km hike to Smitt's Rock over a couple of days, or tackle the 33.2km wilderness trail to Eighth Gorge and set up camp near rock pools and cascades. Tack on an extra few kilometres to Jawoyn Valley to see Aboriginal art sites.

Be prepared

Carrying your gear for several days can be exhausting, especially in hot weather. Make sure you're in good physical shape. Overnight walkers must carry a topographical map and register at the Nitmuluk Vistors Centre. Don't forget to take, and drink, plenty of water, slap on sunscreen, and wear a hat and sturdy footwear.

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