- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
Katherine is a medium sized town situated in the middle of the desert on theStuart Highway, between Alice Springs and Darwin.
I spent two days in Katherine and I remember it being an interesting town that seems to have sprung up in the heart of the desert, in a region so arid and hostile, it makes you wonder why people want to live here! For anyone fascinated by deserts, isolated areas and extreme conditions, Katherine could be a interesting stopover.
For everyone else, Katherine doesn't have much on offer. It does make a good base from which to explore natural reserves such as the south of Kakadu or the Cutta Cutta Caves National Park and it's an obligatory stop during a tour of Australia's Northern Territory.
Katherine is also home to an important military base as well as a large sedentary, Aboriginal population.
It is the main base camp for exploring Nitmiluk National Park. Apart from its environment and its Aboriginal heritage, this dusty little town held little interest for me.
Belonging to the Jawoyn people, Nitmiluk National Park has 13 gorges that you can visit by boat. The most well-known and impressive of these is the Katherine Gorge. The distinguishing features of the landscape are orangey-red cliffs, the savannah and arid vegetation.
Low Level Nature Park also has natural pools where you can swim, as well as shaded picnic areas. Watch out! There are crocodiles in the rapids and downstream from the Katherine River.
By following the Victoria Highway, you will find a green oasis around the Hot Springs. These translucent thermal pools have a temperature ranging between 25° and 32°. Not very refreshing, but it is a pleasant stopping place.