Most visitors to this rugged area in the Northern Territory, 215 mi/350 km south of Darwin, head straight to Katherine Gorge National Park, which contains 13 sandstone gorges filled with Aboriginal paintings and wildlife (emus and dingoes). The gorges, which were carved by the Katherine River, are usually seen by boat, but there are also many trails. Highlights are the Swallows Cave, Butterfly Gorge and the Hanging Gardens (pretty ferns).
Also nearby is the Manyallaluk Aboriginal settlement, a wonderful opportunity to learn about Aboriginal culture, and the Cutta Cutta Caves, limestone caverns dating back 500 million years. Visitors to the park usually go through the town of Katherine, which has grown substantially since an air base opened there in 1988.