Nitmiluk National Park


Nitmiluk National Park
Nitmiluk National Park
IUCN Category II (National Park)
Nearest town/city Katherine
Coordinates 14°18′44″S 132°25′23″E / 14.31222°S 132.42306°E / -14.31222; 132.42306
Area 2,920.99 km²
Established 1989
Managing authorities Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory
Aboriginal traditional land owners (the Jawoyn people)

Nitmiluk National Park which is in the Northern Territory of Australia, 244 km southeast of Darwin, has been established around a series of gorges on the Katherine River and Edith Falls. Previously named Katherine Gorge National Park, its northern edge borders Kakadu National Park.

These gorges and the surrounding landscape have great ceremonial significance to the local Jawoyn people, who are custodians of Nitmiluk National Park.

In Jawoyn, Nitmiluk means place of the cicada dreaming.

The gorges can be explored by canoe and flat bottomed boat. In the dry season the gorges become separated as the level of the river falls. They are interconnected in the wet.

There is a visitor centre located at the Katherine Gorge, about 30 km east of the town of Katherine. Information displays are set up that explain the geology, landscape and aboriginal history of the National Park. Tours can be booked at the centre or at the visitor centre in the town.

Contents

Katherine Gorge

Katherine Gorge, a deep gorge carved through ancient sandstone by the Katherine River, is the central attraction of the park. Katherine Gorge is made up of thirteen gorges, with rapids and falls, and follow the Katherine River, which begins in Kakadu.

During the Dry, roughly from April to October, the Katherine Gorge waters are placid in most spots and ideal for swimming and canoeing. There may be freshwater crocodiles in most parts of the river, as they nest along the banks, but they are harmless to humans. Saltwater crocodiles regularly enter the river during the Wet season, when the water levels are very high, and are subsequently removed and returned to the lower levels when the Dry season begins. Thus, swimming in Wet season is prohibited. Cruises of various lengths go as far as the fifth gorge.

Panorama of Katherine Gorge

Jatbula Trail

Wildlife

Freshwater Crocodiles are widely distributed along the river year-round and, ONLY during the wet season, Saltwater Crocodiles occasionally enter the gorge due to the rise in water levels (after which they are caught and relocated to lower levels when the dry season begins.) Bird species that can be seen include Osprey, Red Tailed Black-Cockatoo, Great Bowerbird, White Gaped Honeyeater and Red Winged Parrot.

See also

  • Protected areas of the Northern Territory (Australia)

External links


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