Nitmiluk National Park

The deep gorge carved through ancient sandstone by the Katherine River is the central attraction of Nitmiluk National Park. From its source in Kakadu National Park, the Katherine River cuts through the Arnhem Land Plateau, incising 13 spectacular gorges. Clattering cascades or thundering rapids separate each of the gorges, but carrying your kayak around these natural barriers allows you to paddle all the way up to the ninth gorge. The portages become more difficult as you continue upstream and sometimes it’s necessary to drag your kayak over rock bars. However, reaching the fourth gorge or beyond gives you the option to camp overnight on sandy banks. There is a particularly impressive campsite near Smitt Rock, past the fourth gorge, as well as designated campsites at the fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth gorges. If you don’t wish to camp in the gorges, a more manageable feat is to paddle up to the spectacular Vortex Holes at the top of the third gorge and back to the main camping area.

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