Spotlight on the Stops: Katherine
20 Aug 2019
On the first day of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the teams will all set off from the heart of Darwin and commence the all-important first day, heading straight to Katherine.
The tropics meets the outback in Katherine, about a four hours’ drive south of Darwin on the Katherine River. While it may be a small town – with a population of around 6,000 people – the Katherine region features natural wonders, incredible Aboriginal cultural experiences, and plenty of opportunities to experience the Australian Outback.
Katherine began as an outpost established with the Australian Overland Telegraph Line, on the North-South transport route between Darwin and Adelaide. Many of the locals work in defence and mining, but the area is particularly known for its many tourism attractions, as well as being the gateway to stunning National Parks.
Whether you’re an outback adventurer, or looking for a little bit of luxury, these are just some of the highlights of Katherine and its surrounds
Explore Nitmiluk National Park
The world-famous Nitmiluk (pronounced Nit-me-look) Gorge in the Nitmiluk National Park is a beauty you have to see to believe! You can canoe up the gorge, exploring hidden waterfalls, Aboriginal rock art and wildlife. Maybe you'll swim between the cliffs, and have an overnight adventure campy on freshwater beaches.
The Nitmiluk Visitor Centre is great for information on the Nitmiluk Gorge's signifance for the Jawoyn Aboriginal people - there's a lot to know about the incredible 13-gorge system!
Image via Tourism NT / Mitch Cox
Chill Out in the Hot Springs
One of the NT's most iconic experiences is of course, the relaxation-inducing Hot Springs.
Just outside the Katherine Township you can wash the day away and relax in the Katherine Hot Springs, settling into the average 32 degrees spring water - ideal! It's the perfect place to pack a picnic, head out on a walk and enjoy swimming in the pools. Sounds ideal to us!
Head Underground at the Cutta Cutta Caves
There are only a handful of tropical limestone cave systems in Australia, and this is one of them!
The Cutta Cutta caves are a short drive from Katherine, and you can see some incredible stalactites of all sizes sprouting from the ceiligns of these underground wonders - you might even spot some bats! Get a guided one-tour, which run daily.
Image via Tourism NT / Shaana McNaught
Soak Up Some History
History buff or not, you'll love the Katherine Museum, which houses an eclectic collection of Aboriginal artefacts, photographers, tool and pioneer memorabilia. Through both outdoor and indoor displays, the museum showcases the resilience, resourcefulness and adventurous spirit of the people who live, and have lived in the region.
From pieces of the Overland Telgraph, to early Indigenous artefacts, World War II objects and historical documents, some of Australia's early history is housed here, so this is one not to miss!
Kilometres Travelled on the BWSC: 323
Header image via Tourism NT / Jonathon Clayton