If you're looking for a unique Northern Territories holiday, look no further than Katherine. Just a few hours south of state capital, Darwin, Katherine is home to a multitude of Aboriginal cultural experiences, as well as some great places to swim in the hot weather.
Weather in Katherine
Lovers of hot weather will adore Katherine, as the average temperature high is above 30 degrees Celsius almost all year round. The summer months can bring with them some warm seasonal showers, but it is barely half as much as Darwin would get further north.
Visit nature near Katherine
Your first Katherine stop needs to be the Nitmiluk National Park - an entire holiday's worth of natural activities all in one place. Less than an hour away, this massive 292,800 hectare park is owned by the local Aboriginal people, though jointly managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service of NT. Start with a serene dip in the rock pools of Edith Falls, a fantastic location within the park consisting of numerous pools and waterfalls. This highly popular destination even has basic facilities such as a gas barbecue, camping ground, shaded picnic areas and toilets.
Alongside plenty of self-guided walking tracks, you can also book yourself into a tour of the park with Nitmiluk Tours. Canoes are available to hire for a relaxing trip along the waters of the park's first gorge, though you can also book into a cruise or helicopter tour.
Katherine Aboriginal culture
After your fill of nature, it's time to experience the local Aboriginal culture. Less than 10 minutes north from the town centre, along the Katherine River, is the Top Didj Cultural Experience and Art Gallery. Book into the cultural experience for a captivating two-hour talk about the local Aboriginal people and their history. You will even get some hands on experience learning how to start a fire with only sticks, as well as paint Aboriginal paintings and learn how to throw spears.
Every year you can also visit the Walking with Spirits Festival, which is hosted by the community of Beswick an hour to the east. Walking with Spirits is a chance for visitors and locals alike to witness the songs, stories, art and dance of numerous local Aboriginal communities alongside fire acts and films.
Accommodation in Katherine
To appreciate the town to the fullest, stay in a Katherine hotel that appreciates you. Located along the Stuart Highway for convenient access, the ibis Styles Katherine is a great family hotel that boasts 100 air-conditioned room, many of which are perfect for both adults and kids. With its own outdoor unheated swimming pool, glorious on those sweltering sunny days, the ibis Styles is also nearby numerous sporting facilities including tennis, golf, horse riding and bicycle hire.
Seasons Restaurant is also on-site for exquisite French-style food in a relaxed setting, accompanied by Rustys Bar for a cheeky cocktail or two.