Katherine, NT


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Welcome to Katherine



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Katherine, Manyallaluk
At the bottom of the Top End, Katherine is largest town on the monstrous 1500 kilometre trek between Darwin and Alice Springs. Also at the junction where the barren Victoria Highway branches west towards Western Australia and the Kimberley, this important stopping point has been a welcome sight to travellers for over a century. With a rapidly growing population, Katherine boasts all the comforts and facilities of a small, modern city. There's an excellent assortment of budget to top end accommodation and places to eat, as well as a full range of shopping and specialist services. A number of historic sites, museums, galleries, and nearby national park and wilderness areas only add to Katherine's appeal.

Mimi Aboriginal Art and Craft in the shopping centre on Lindsay Street sells a wide array of work sourced from all over the Territory. Other impressive Aboriginal galleries include Katherine Didjeridoos and the Banyan Art Gallery, both on First Street. Around the corner on Railway Terrace, Katherine Railway Station was the headquarters for the North Australian Railway during the war on the track called the "Never Never Line". Owned by the National Trust, the building now houses an interesting display of railway memorabilia.

Nitmiluk Katherine's best known attraction lies less than 30 kilometres north- east of town in the magnificent Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park. The famous Nitmiluk is actually a spectacular series of thirteen deep canyons carved out of the rugged terrain by the permanently flowing Katherine River. The rocky cliffs which rise dramatically from the river to the lips of the Arnham Land sandstone plateau are surrounded by a variety of spectacular landscapes and ecosystems, each explorable via a range of marked walking trails. To explore the gorges themselves, a canoe is the ideal way, and these can be hired at the boat ramp by the park's main carpark. No more than 75 canoes are allowed out on the water at any one time, so it's not a bad idea to book ahead. Another sensational way to experience the gorges from the inside is by embarking on a river cruise. Also based at the jetty, two, four or eight hour cruises are available, departing at various times of the day. If planning a trip to the Territory, make sure Nitmiluk is down as a must see!

Aboriginal Art Abutting the eastern side of Nitmiluk National Park, Manyallaluk is a former 3000 square kilometre cattle station converted into one of the most vibrant Aboriginal Tourism enterprises in Australia. Now owned by the Jawoyn and Mayali people, a day trips from Katherine includes transport, lunch, billy tea and damper as well as a most memorable cultural experience. Visitors are encouraged to participate in a range of different Aboriginal activities, from playing a didgeridoo and spear throwing to learning about traditional bush tucker and medicines. An extended stay in Manyallaluk's expansive natural parklands is also an option, as the community boasts excellent camping amenities and a well stocked general store. The store also sells the work from a number of revered artists in the area, at very reasonable prices.

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