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The top end’s cultural jewel

The top end’s cultural jewel

Unearth Katherine’s vivid art, culture and heritage through its world-renowned galleries and peerless Aboriginal art experiences.

Marked by gorges, ancient Aboriginal rock paintings and plunging waterfalls, it’s no surprise that art and culture are such integral parts of Katherine, adding to its outback magnetism.

If you’re looking to expand your cultural horizons, then look no further than Katherine. Dive headfirst into Katherine’s regional culture at Top Didj Cultural Experience and Art Gallery, where you can meet Indigenous artist Manuel Pamkal, who will share stories about his traditional upbringing and life today. Learn how to paint a rarrk (cross-hatching) painting using a reed brush (jalk) from Pamkal’s homeland in the Northern Territory. Try your hand at lighting a fire and throwing a spear using a woomera, and have some close encounters with wallabies.

Explore the Katherine Territory Art Trail, which comprises galleries that showcase the region’s diverse art styles, artists and communities of the Jawoyn, Warlpiri and Dagoman peoples. Next, head to Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre (GYRAC) – it’s the place to go for drama, dance, workshops and exhibitions. You can catch a performance here, and browse K Space, which is dedicated to showcasing the best of the region’s art.

After you’ve perused GYRAC’s ethically stocked shop, visit Mimi Aboriginal Art and Craft, the only Katherine-based, fully Aboriginal-owned and controlled art cooperative. The centre also offers basket-weaving and painting courses, and visitors can explore its native bush garden to learn more about the area.

Fancy a movie in the outback? Katherine Regional Arts also has a solar cinema available for hire, which can be brought right to you – or you can check the Katherine Regional Arts website for upcoming screenings.

Dive into the unique history of the Katherine Region at the Katherine Museum, which is housed in a historical building that used to be the passenger terminal and air-radio building for the Katherine Aerodrome. It’s now home to a collection of historic objects and documents, including early Indigenous artefacts, the Clyde Fenton Gipsy Moth aeroplane and archived photography collections.

See art in the open air by visiting Judbarra/Gregory National Park and meandering down the Escarpment and Nawulbinbin walks, which both have interpretative signs telling the Indigenous stories of the landscape. See the Nganalam Art Site at Keep River National Park, which has rock art in the styles of the Miriwoong and Gadgerong peoples, or drop by Umbrawarra Gorge Nature Park to see ancient Wagiman art in its full glory. Explore Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge by cruise – drift across the water, and keep your eyes peeled for rock art and wildlife darting through the rugged landscapes.

Be sure to check out Caravanning Australia Summer 2021-2022 for more!

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