Embark on the Nature’s Way loop adventure, from Darwin all the way down to Katherine, with stops at the state’s big three national parks: Kakadu, Nitmiluk and Litchfield.
Kakadu National Park
Kakadu’s 20,000 square kilometres of remote landscapes are ancient and untouched, and are World Heritage–listed for both their cultural and natural assets. There are waterfalls, gorges, ancient rock paintings and abundant wildlife, all of which can keep you enthralled for a week or more.
The Mamukala Wetlands Walk features a hidden observation platform near the billabong where you can hide and watch birds, including magpie geese, cormorants, finches, kingfishers, purple swamp hens and kites. During spring, these wetlands are chock-full of honking magpie geese actively digging for water chestnuts, or taking to the sky in their thousands.
Archaeologists have discovered thousands of years of human occupation in Kakadu by the Bininj people, and this history, as well as different environmental changes over the years, are reflected in the park’s rock art. Burrungkuy (Nourlangie), Kunwarddewardde Lookout and Anbangbang Rock Shelter are the three main rock art locations, and each offers a unique perspective into the area’s history.
Nitmiluk National Park
Upon arrival in the national park, the sheer size and abundant beauty of Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge will take some time to sink in. There are, in fact, 13 sandstone gorges in total, which you can explore by foot, on the water or by helicopter, and you can take your time, with several accommodation options available within the park.
The 62-kilometre Jatbula Trail is one for the fit and adventurous visitor. This five- or six-day one-way hike will take you from Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge to Leliyn (Edith Falls). The Jatbula Trail offers adventure and memorable experiences, including the Ampitheatre – a U-shaped gorge of monsoon rainforest surrounded by red rock formations. Here, you will find clear rock pools, moss-covered boulders, and Jawoyn and Dagoman rock art.
Litchfield National Park
In Adelaide River, you’re right on the doorstep of Litchfield National Park, aka the Northern Territory’s best-kept secret.
Florence Falls is also a wonderful swimming spot. The clear and crocodile-free waters of this hidden plunge pool, secreted away within a beautiful rainforest, are home to healthy populations of fish that won’t mind too much if you join in. Trek up to the lookout for a view of the area. There is also, as the name would suggest, a stunning waterfall that will provide you with some excellent photo opportunities.
For more sights to see on this route, read the Caravanning Australia spring 2021 issue!