Beyond the Gorge (Manyallaluk to Gorge) Trail – 5 Day Cultural Journey – Nitmiluk National Park
The next 5 days will be spent in the company of an NT Immersions Guide and a Jawoyn Guide as we walk you through country on a ‘traditional hunting trail’ used by the Jawoyn people. It covers highland escarpment and river country, hillsides dotted with dry land eucalypts and amazing gorges cut deep into the rocky landscape. Spend 4 days walking along the amazing Nitmiluk Gorge and enjoy amazing scenery, wildlife and ancient rock art.
The trail is in untracked, remote areas, with no ‘campgrounds’ and no other people. Each afternoon after arriving at camp you are free to relax, swim, read and enjoy the beauty of your surrounds. Each campsite has its own water source, thanks to the Katherine River which you will follow throughout your journey. Each afternoon brings about a different pool or spa to sit back and relax in.
Departures: Click here for departure dates
Tour Size: Minimum 4, Maximum 8
Cost: Option 1 – AUD$1795.00 (valid to 31 March 2018) – Per Person – Fully Guided, All Inclusive
Option 2 – Private Group Charter
Tour Code: EV5
Inclusions: Option 1 – All Inclusive – Click here to see what we provide
Suitable For: Fit and active people with some bushwalking experience – (no extended bushwalking experience is necessary)
This trip covers approximately 50 kilometres of stunning hiking. Wildlife encounters, self sufficient ‘backpack’ camping, fantastic service, – it all adds up to being a unique experience. A trip you may never forget. Beyond the Gorge (Old Eva Valley Station), is a ‘traditional hunting trail’ used by the Jawoyn people. It covers highland escarpment and river country, hillsides dotted with dry land eucalypts and amazing gorges cut deep into the rocky landscape. Spend 4 days hiking through Nitmiluk National Park along the amazing Katherine River and Nitmiluk Gorge.
Day 1 – L, D, Camping – Driving 2hrs and short walks around escarpment.
Your friendly guide will pick-up you up at 7 am approximately in a 4WD vehicle from your Katherine accommodation, where you will be transferred to the Gecko Depot to prepare. We then embark on a 4WD trip into Manyallaluk Aboriginal Land and spend the afternoon exploring the Eva Valley Escarpment and its springs and Rock-art galleriesHiking across the escarpment and down into the Eva Valley will take your breath away, amazing views of vast open country, only your small group sharing it with you. Rock paintings will be seen today as you hike along the trail to the top of the Katherine River, here you will set up camp and enjoy an afternoon swim, fish or just relax with a cup of tea or coffee and watch the sun set.
Day 2 – B. L, D, Camping – Hiking Approx 10kms. Today we hike down into the Eva Valley, sharing the views of the valley with only your small group and the ancestors of this land. As we trek across trackless bush we start to understand the links with the countrymen and their connection and understanding of the land. We may even see the majestic (but introduced) Water Buffalo as well as some of the specialist birdlife such as Gouldian Finches. We reach the River and set camp.
Day 3 – B, L, D, Camping – Hiking approx 11kms.
After starting early – always good to get going on sunup – we continue on our way to Nitmiluk Gorge. Today we will see more Rock paintings, sheltered by an amazing rock formation; we will spend Morning Tea, resting our backs and feet before moving onto our second camp on the Katherine River. More fishing will produce black bream for entrée and the kettle will be put on for a relaxing cup of tea for the afternoon.
Day 4 – B, L, D, Camping – Hiking approx 10kms.
Another early start gets us into Nitmiluk Gorge country, here we will notice the landscape starting to change, it will become much rockier underfoot, fault lines will be followed in order to get to our destinations and the campsite for the evening will be located at the 8th Gorge with views overlooking Nitmiluk and the Katherine River.
Day 5 – B, L, – Hiking approx 7kms.
Setting off at sunrise will give us time to get to the 3rd Gorge and the Lily Ponds Falls where we can relax in the cool shade of the Gorge walls to await our 2 hour Scenic Cruise which will return us to the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre. This cruise allows you to see the amazing Katherine Canyon (2nd Gorge) which really is a highlight of Nitmiluk with its sheer walls and beautiful colours. To finish off the walk, lunch will be provided at the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre, try a Buffalo Burger or the Barramundi.
Returning to Katherine in time to unpack and repack then return to your overnight accommodation where a warm shower and soft bed will be calling your name.
The Area (Katherine Region) Katherine is 324 kilometres south of Darwin, Northern Territory.
The Jatbula Trail is located within the boundaries of Nitmiluk National Park, following the Seventeen Mile Valley from Nitmiluk Gorge to Edith Falls. The local Flora and Fauna is prolific and the scenery is varied and beautiful. The Katherine River, Seventeen Mile Creek and the Edith River flow all year round and during the long drty-season, become the only water sources for all manner of wildlife. The Katherine Region is a terrific place to visit and base your Northern Territory experience from. We are close to The Kimberley, Gregory National Park, Elsey National Park, Manyallaluk, Kakadu Heritage Area and of course, right on our doorstep, is the magnificent Katherine/Flora/Daly River System.
Where We Stop
We are totally self sufficient giving us the luxury of being selective with our resting points, campsites however are designated due to the status of the National Park. There’s plenty of time to relax, swim, bird watch, encounter wildlife and appreciate the scenery. We regularly access these sites with group sizes of 2-8, ensuring that we have minimal impact on the environment. On the trail we are sharing sites with other hikers, numbers on the trail are generally small allowing groups to spread out and have their own area.
How Far, How Long, When?
The 4 day hike covers approximately 50km between the Manyallaluk Aboriginal Community and Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge). Tours operate during the ‘TOP END’ dry season, April to October. The temperature ranges from 24 C to 39 C, but the nights from June to August can be cool, dropping to 5 degrees Celsius.
We are fully self-sustained while on the trail. While hiking we stop at designated camping sites. You are supplied with:
A screen tent – for those who wish to sleep inside – you can still see the stars
A 3⁄4 length ‘Thermarest’ self inflating mattress
A sleeping bag which can be fully opened
A liner (or sheet) and pillow, a torch, mosquito repellent
While we are on the hiking tour we forgo chairs and tables along with grills and camp ovens. We cook with small fuel burning stoves allowing us to have hot meals and hot drinks throughout the tour.
Breakfasts consist of cereals/porridge/oatmeal
Dinners are typical light weight meals cooked on a fuel stove
Lunches are ‘sandwich’ or ‘wrap’ style (normally crisp breads)
Tea, Coffee and Hot chocolate are available at camp
The guide will do the washing up (unless you really want to help)
What You Need to Bring
We recommend that you pack lightly and limit the space required. A packing list will be provided for you. For your personal gear we provide;
A 75 litre backpack, (ruck sack), or you may wish to use your own. You will only need minimal clothing – you can rinse items out daily. Keep things as
light and small as possible to compensate for food & water.
The Group Size
We travel with no more than 10 people on tour including the Guide/s, (unless it is a specific group booking).
Getting to Katherine
Catch the Ghan train
Catch the Greyhound bus
Hire/drive a car or,
Book a 1 day tour with Travel North through the popular Litchfield National Park
Getting back to Darwin
Why not try this; An all inclusive 2 day adventure through the famous ‘Kakadu World Heritage Park’. Travel North will show you some of the top spots in the park whilst accommodating you comfortably in their semi permanent tented camp.