Posted by Georgina Golling on 14 October 2019 | Comments

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Whether you’re looking for a relaxing cultural holiday or something more adventurous, the Northern Territory’s Katherine region is a traveller’s dream destination. Full of breathtaking gorges, misty waterfalls, thermal springs, sparkling rapids and monsoon forests, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, and so many different ways do it.

Cooinda Lodge Hidden Gems 9

Photo Credit: Cooinda Lodge Kakadu

One of the best parts of the Katherine region is that most of its natural attractions are located just on the outskirts of town. So, it’s incredibly easy for visitors to find their way around and immerse themselves in the history, rugged beauty and culture of this majestic region. And just to make things even easier, there are some pretty amazing ecotourism businesses in the area who will help make your experiences as fun, unique and unforgettable as possible.

If laid-back is what you’re after, why not hop on a cruise and take in the serenity and intimacy of the Katherine and Daly Rivers - observing the crocodiles, turtles and other wildlife that inhabit the region’s river environments? If you’re looking for something a little bolder, jump in a canoe and get up close and personal to the mesmerising Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge.

Perhaps you’re looking to explore the cultural and natural landscapes of the Nitmiluk and Kakadu National Parks in a little more detail. How about joining one of our operators on a guided tour or hike? Not only are these an incredible opportunity to take in the region’s spectacular scenery – as you’ll be walking over rock plateaus, through woodlands and camping in areas where very few people have camped before – but they’re also a great way to learn about the fascinating history of region, its local wildlife, traditional bushfoods and the Aboriginal people’s special ancestral connection to this country.

Sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it? Check out the list at the end of this article for all of our ECO certified experiences in this majestic region or read on if you’d like a little more inspiration.


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Photo Credit: Gecko Canoeing and Trekking

Gecko Canoeing and Trekking

Enjoy sleeping under a blanket of stars and waking up to a chorus of birds (and a hot cup of coffee)? With Gecko Canoeing and Trekking, you’ll get to experience the Katherine River, Nitmiluk Gorge and Kakadu National Park at their best, with comfortable ‘downstream’ touring, incredible wildlife ‘close ups’ and some really wild walks all on offer. This passionate team runs single or multi-day river tours and trekking adventures. To find out more about their tours and how to book, check out their website now – and get even more inspired by their fantastic video gallery!


Nitmiluk Tours Hidden Gems Article 10

Photo Credit: Nitmiluk Tours

Nitmiluk Tours

Nitmiluk Tours offer a great variety of experiences, including cultural safari tours, gorge cruises, canoeing trips and helicopter flights that allow visitors to experience all the natural beauty, vastness and historical treasures of the Nitmiluk region. They’ve also got accommodation in the form of caravan and camping sites and even chalets - perfect for those wanting to settle in for a couple of nights and kick back after their daily adventures. So, if you’re looking for an authentic and unforgettable holiday experience, head on over to their website for more information on all their Australian Outback Tours.


Cicada Lodge Hidden Gems Article

Photo Credit: Cicada Lodge

Cicada Lodge

If you’re a sophisticated traveller looking for an authentic Indigenous and natural Australian experience of a lifetime in the heart of northern Australia’s ‘Timeless North’, you can’t go past Cicada Lodge: a sanctuary of elegant comfort, just 29kms from the historic township of Katherine. The lodge boasts a level of excellence in accommodation, service and dining and provides training programs and employment to the local Jawoyn people, safeguarding and ensuring their future and celebrating their culture. For more information on the rooms, exclusive tours, services and amenities on offer, check out their website – and be sure to check out all their exclusive accommodation packages.


Mt Nancar Hidden Gems Article 1

Photo Credit: Mount Nancar Wilderness Retreat

Mount Nancar Wilderness Retreat

Mount Nancar Wilderness Retreat offers an outback experience for adventurous travellers seeking to immerse themselves in the Northern Territory’s’ Top End Bush. Only a short distance away from your camp, under a thousand stars, there’s an abundance of wildlife and natural habitats just waiting to be discovered! With guided bush walking, bird watching and boat tours available as part of your wilderness experience, you can do your best to spot them all. And for all those anglers out there, there’s barramundi just waiting to be caught from the river bank. So, don’t miss out on the sights, sounds and aromas of the top end Northern Territory, check out their website for more information on how to book your next stay.


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Photo Credit: Cooinda Lodge Kakadu

Cooinda Lodge Kakadu

Cooinda Lodge Kakadu’s village style accommodation is located beneath a canopy of trees beside Yellow Water Billabong, where crocodiles and birds are seen on the flood plain amongst paperbark, pandanus and fresh water mangroves. Within its oasis-style atmosphere, Cooinda Lodge offers an inviting shaded swimming pool, bistro-style dining, bars, a petrol station and a store that offers locally-made crafts as well a wide range of essentials for touring. Click here to find out more about the newly refurbished rooms available and fantastic facilities on offer at Cooinda Lodge.


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Photo Credit: Ayal Aboriginal Tours Kakadu

Ayal Aboriginal Tours Kakadu

If you’re looking to get out and explore the area from a unique perspective, Ayal Aboriginal Tours Kakadu will take you on an exclusive tour of a rarely seen area of Kakadu. Learn about the fascinating history of buffalo hunting and take a walk around the Gabarlgu Billabong and South Alligator mangrove forest to discover more about the local wildlife, traditional bushfoods and our special ancestral connection to this country. For more information on all their tours and additional services on offer, follow this link to the Ayal Aboriginal Tours website, and start planning your next trip now.

A note of caution: remember the seasons!

While you’re planning your trip to the Katherine region, it’s important to note that there is very distinct seasonal diversity. Both the peak of its dramatic wet season and the most comfortable moments of its sunny dry season transform the region from one holiday oasis to another, providing two utterly unique adventures. So, you might actually want to plan two trips…

If you’ve only got one shot, then nothing beats the shoulder season, from August through to September (the end of the dry season). You’ll get the best of the dry season’s blue skies, but with smaller crowds, making it the best time to comfortably explore the region’s many hidden gems.

For more information on all our certified operators in the area, click on the following link to check out our Green Travel Guide and search for either of the following ‘Katherine’ or ‘Northern Territory’.

And don’t forget to check out some of our Top End and Darwin-based operators:

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