Nitmiluk National Park
Around 270 kms south-east of Darwin, Nitmiluk National Park was originally proclaimed in 1962 as Katherine Gorge National Park. In 1989 the land was granted to its Jawoyn traditional owners and reproclaimed as Nitmiluk National Park. Like Kakadu, Nitmiluk National Park is jointly managed by its traditional owners and government officials. Nitmiluk means the cicada’s place in Jawoyn, the cicada being significant in traditional stories for the area.
The Katherine River rises high in the Arnhemland plateau and flows south-west towards the township of Katherine. At Nitmiluk it has carved a series of deep and spectacular gorges through the 1650 million year old Kambolgie sandstone. Watercourses followed joints and faults, weathering and eroding stretches of straight gorges at right angles to each other. From Katherine, the river flows north-east to join others in forming the Daly River, which empties into the Timor Sea at Anson Bay, south-west of Darwin.
Leliyn, also known as Edith Falls, is part of Nitmiluk National Park and lies 30 km north-east of Nitmiluk. It is known for its picturesque waterfalls and great swimming and bushwalking.
Nitmiluk is steeped in Jawoyn Aboriginal culture, which continues as Jawoyn people look after Nitmiluk’s diverse natural values and maintain their rich culture. The region is rich in Jawoyn rock art sites and includes some very ancient, as well as more recent, styles and motifs.
Nitmiluk National Park is 360 km by road from the visitor hub of Darwin. Northern Territory Indigenous Tours can develop a personalised itinerary for an unforgettable, multi-day private charter tour of Nitmiluk and its gorges, with accommodation at the newly opened, world class Cicada Lodge on the banks of the Katherine River.