Question:

What can I see in the Northern Territory?

Darwin

Darwin, city (1991 pop. 67,946), capital of the Northern Territory, N Australia, on Port Darwin, an inlet of the Timor Sea. Remotely situated on the sparsely settled north coast, Darwin has no rail connection with any of the major Australian cities. Australian military personnel and their dependents make up a large part of the population. Darwin is multicultural, with large Chinese and aboriginal populations. In World War II the city was heavily bombed by the Japanese; later a military airdrome, fuel-oil installations, and a wharf were built, and Darwin became a key Allied base. Originally called Palmerston, the town was renamed (1911) for Charles Darwin because its site had been a stop (1839) during a voyage of Darwin's ship, the Beagle. The city was almost completely destroyed by a hurricane in Dec., 1974. It was rebuilt and now attracts large numbers of tourists who visit nearby Kakadu National Park.

Darwin

Darwin
NT'S Australia's northernmost capital city, a melting pot of peoples and cultures where the sun shines fiercely during the Dry (roughly from April to September) and the roads outside the city, to the Outback regions of the Northern Territory, often become impassable in the Wet.
Darwin, capital of the largest Australian mainland territory, is named after the English evolutionist and naturalist Charles Darwin who has never been there but has been to Australia, of which continent he wrote: "Nothing but rather sharp necessity should compel me to emigrate."
The men who sailed on the HMS Beagle in 1839 into what was to become Darwin Harbour, which opens out into the Timor Sea, had been erstwhile shipmates of the naturalist, and they decided to name the area in his honor.

Aboriginal Rock Art

There are organised tours from Darwin or Jabiru which can lead you to Aboriginal rock art and awesome natural attractions.
It may seem unfortunate in non-Aboriginal eyes that not all of Arnhem Land is made more accessible for a better understanding of Aboriginal life and culture.
But this is their land, and it is their right to only invite those they please and only to a few selected sites.
In the north you can visit, with the necessary permit, Sandy Creek and Wunyo Beach, fishermen's haunts in a setting of pristine natural beauty, both able to be reached by four-wheel drive. Danger lurks here as well in the form of saltwater crocodiles, familiarly known as salties, which attack even when unprovoked. And no, you cannot kill them, they are a species protected by law.
On the Gove Peninsula, in the east, you can fly without a permit to the town of Nhulumbuy. But if you travel overland from Katherine, a permit will be required.

Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre: Getting there

Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre
The most accessible part of Arnhem Land is the Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre in Oenpelli (Gunbalanya), which you can reach from the road to Ubirr in the Kakadu National Park.
If you are on your own and in your own vehicle, you will need a permit from the Northern Land Council to visit Injalak. You will not be allowed to stop along the way, except in emergencies, nor in the town of Oenpelli itself.
A possibly more convenient way is to join a tour group, most often led by Aboriginal guides, which you can organise from Darwin or from Jabiru.

Arnhem Land

Arnhem Land, 37,100 sq mi (96,089 sq km), N Northern Territory, Australia, on a wide peninsula W of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The great majority of the region belongs to the Arnhem Land Aboriginal Reserve, the largest aboriginal reservation in Australia. Kakadu National Park adjoins the reservation and draws a large number of tourists to its natural beauty and remarkable collection of aboriginal rock art. To the S lies the Beswick Aboriginal Reserve. Bauxite is mined in the area.

Katherine

The town of Katherine lies 314 kilometres (195 miles) southeast of Darwin at the intersection of the Stuart and Victoria Highways. The Stuart Highway continues south to Alice Springs and into South Australia. The Victoria Highway meanders in a southwesterly direction into the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk) national park is 29 kilometres from Katherine. Those touring the Outback through South and Western Australia can reach Katherine through either the Stuart or Victoria Highway.

Katherine Gorge

Thirteen gorgeous gorges make up the major attraction of Katherine Gorge some 340 kilometres southeast of Darwin, capital of Australia's Northern Territory.

This is rugged Outback country with deep rainforests, rocky cliffs and escarpments, and the water habitat of unique birds and animals, with here and there the slither of a freshwater crocodile.

One hundred kilometres of walking tracks bring the visitor face to face with Nature in some of her wildest moods.

One of Australia's Northern Territory national parks, Katherine Gorge is the heart of Nitmiluk national park which is south of (and smaller than) Kakadu but larger than Litchfield which is close to the towns of Batchelor and Rum Jungle and closer to Darwin.

The Gove Peninsula

Arnhem Land

GOVE PENINSULA, NORTH EAST ARNHEM LAND
The Gove Peninsula, situated at the far north east end of Amhem Land, is one of the last true wildernesses with sandy beaches, great fishing and diving and an abundance of flora and fauna. The Gove Peninsula is an excellent bluewater sports and reef fishing location with over 30 different species of fish in the pristine water of the Arafura Sea.
Snorkelling and Scuba Diving are two very usual activities during the months of September to March in the many beautiful coral reefs which hosts an abundance of marine life.

Katherine Gorge Cruises

Gorge cruises
You can take a boat cruise through Katherine Gorge and there are short, medium and long cruises you can take during the Dry, the day-long ones to as far as the fifth gorge.
The waters of Katherine Gorge go wild in the Wet and canoeing and swimming may be out of the question. Only the shorter cruises are available but they also depend on the prevailing river conditions.
For fishing and camping at Katherine Gorge, there should be relevant and current information at the visitor centre at the end of Gorge Rd, the more popular access road of two to Katherine Gorge.

Arnham Land

ARNHEM LAND
Aboriginal Homeland
This is the Aboriginal homeland where the Dreamtime lives in song and dance, where legend, myth and history interweave with today's realities, where innumerable sacred sites are forever hidden from prying eyes, and where the white man (or any other non-Aboriginal person) is not allowed to enter.
This is no doubt a romanticised view of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory in Australia's Top End but it may be closer to reality than we think.

Yes, you can visit the peripheries of the land, and glimpse a vision of what may lie within, but if you are non-Aboriginal, this is where it ends, and the mysteries of Arnhem Land remain.
Surprisingly, this Aboriginal homeland still carries its European name (after a Dutch ship which made the first European sighting of this region in 1623). But among the people who live there are many Aboriginal place names which invoke their Aboriginality and their past..

About Arnhem Land

Arnhem Land
Visitors seeking a different wilderness holiday can catch a light aircraft from Darwin to Nhulunby on the Gove Peninsula or Seven Spirit Bay, a paradise on the Cobourg Peninsula in Arnhem Land.
Arnhem land covering 94,000 square kilometres , is home to around 16,000 people. Wildlife in Arnhem Land is abundant. During certain seasons the swamps and rivers ream with ducks and geese.

The Gove Peninsula: diving

Snorkelling and Scuba Diving are two very usual activities during the months of September to March in the many beautiful coral reefs which hosts an abundance of marine life.

Ownership of Katherine Gorge

Jawoyn owners

Nitmiluk, (Katherine Gorge)is owned by the Jawoyn Aborigines who manage it jointly with the Northern Territory government.
The gorges, with rapids and falls, follow the Katherine River, which begins in Kakadu, as it courses through the heart of the national park. Katherine River becomes the Daly as it heads out to the Timor Sea. During the Dry, roughly from April to October, the waters are placid in most spots and ideal for swimming and canoeing. There may be freshwater crocodiles in parts of the river but, unlike their saltwater cousins, they rarely attack unless cornered and provoked.
Only 75 canoes are allowed in Katherine Gorge at any one time, so if you plan to go canoeing, be sure to book in advance.

Statehood

In 1974, the commonwealth-appointed Legislative Council was replaced by a fully elected Legislative Assembly. In 1978, full self-goverment was granted to the Territory, and in the 1990s statehood became a prominent political issue. Also politically important in recent years has been the issue of the treatment of and opportunities for the aboriginal population. The Northern Territory elects a member with full voting rights to the Australian House of Representatives.

Exploring Katherine Gorge

Exploring Katherine Gorge
You can enjoy the Katherine Gorge waterscape and landscape in your rented canoe or on a boat cruise, or you can use a four-wheel-drive vehicle, or walk the kilometres of tracks in the national park.
There are also scenic flights from the Katherine airfield.
The area is rich in Aboriginal artefacts and you will find Aboriginal rock paintings up to 7000 years old.
A variety of flora and fauna lies ready to be discovered.
The Katherine Gorge attractions are very much a shutterbug's dream.

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