Third to Darwin and Alice Springs, Katherine is the Northern Territory’s third largest town. While the town has an estimated population of 6,000, there is also an RAAF base nearby, which was built in 1942.
Prior to settlement, the Katherine region was the traditional land of the Jawoyan, Walpiri, Dagaman and Wardiman Aboriginal people. In 1862, John McDouall Stuart passed through the region, which he noted in a diary bestowing of the name Katherine in honour of the second daughter of James Chambers Esq.
What is there to do in Katherine? The Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge is made up of 13 separate gorges in the Nitmiluk National Park. Visitors to the area have the option of canoeing down the waterways, jumping aboard a river cruise or speedboat, or taking to the skies in a helicopter tour of the gorge. You can also take on the 5-day 58km Jatbula Trail, which takes you past waterfalls, rainforests and ancient Aboriginal rock art.
To truly appreciate the Katherine lifestyle, taking part in the Katherine Outback Experience is an absolute must. You can watch two-time Golden Guitar winner Tom Curtain work with cattle dogs and untrained horses, and even catch a tune or two. Kids are encouraged to interact with station animals, and there’s always something new to experience.
In the Katherine region, you’re never short of sights to see. A journey through the Cutta Cutta caves showcases breathtaking rock formations and flowstones, while a trip 62km north of Katherine brings you to spring-fed Edith Falls.
If you’re stopping off in Katherine, you’ll be able to find plenty of affordable motels, motor inns and resorts to fit the whole family.