Plan a trip to Umbrawarra

NATURAL BEAUTY: The red sandstone walls, clear, still pools and rich array of plant and animal life make Umbrawarra Gorge a fascinating place to visit.

NATURAL BEAUTY: The red sandstone walls, clear, still pools and rich array of plant and animal life make Umbrawarra Gorge a fascinating place to visit.

The months are flying by and the end of the wet season is in sight. The storms are slowing, and dust will soon stain the evening sky with bands of apricot and violet.

It’s time to start planning the next dry season adventure.

Umbrawarra Gorge Nature Park is a tiny pocket handkerchief of a park protecting the very beautiful Umbrawarra Gorge.

Located 22 kilometres down a rough and dusty road that turns off the Stuart Highway just on the Katherine side of Pine Creek, this isolated spot can be difficult to reach at times.

Floodways fill in the wet season, and corrugations and sudden rocks make travel difficult for small or low set cars in the dry.

Once the road is passable, the beautiful red sandstone walls, clear, still pools and rich array of plant and animal life make Umbrawarra a fascinating place to visit.

It’s time to start planning the next dry season adventure.

The small campground is fairly basic and you will need to bring everything with you, including all drinking and washing water.

A traditional long drop loo will make your camping experience a memorable one and low picnic tables serve as the only site designations.

The minimal camp fees are collected by the ‘Iron Ranger’ camp fee money box at the entrance to the campground, so make sure you have a bit of cash on hand.

There is plenty to keep you busy and occupied at Umbrawarra once you get there.

Many birds and animals are dependent on the small permanent pools in the gorge, making the area ideal for birdwatching in the early morning and late afternoon.

You can often spot Mertens Water Monitors, sunning themselves on a warm rock on the edge of their pool in the heat of the day, and Northern Brown Bandicoots are common around the campground at night.

All you need to do is select a shady spot on a sandy bank and sit quietly with your binoculars and camera at the ready.

The creek flowing through the gorge slows to a trickle, and stops altogether by the end of July. If you’d like a croc-free swim in your own personal waterhole, make sure you get there by the middle of the dry season.

The deeper pools are further down the gorge so you’ll need to be prepared to rock-hop a bit.

The main walking track stops not far from the entrance to the gorge but the good stuff just keeps on going.

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