The Northern Territory is known for its striking gorges and natural rock formations, and the rugged Butterfly Gorge is one of the great daytrips that can be taken out of Darwin.
The gorge is tucked away at the base of a sandstone plateau featuring sheer rock faces and edged in by dense bushland.
The gorge is protected by a nature park and is located nearby to the Tjuwaliyn Hot Springs Park, around 200km out of Darwin, with access via the Old Stuart Highway scenic route.
It is only possible to visit the park during the dry season, as it is closed for the wet season each year due to heavy rains.
Access is only possible via 4WD vehicle, and there are a number of swimming holes and walking trails accessible to visitors.
STUFF TO DO
4WDING: The track to enter the park is heavily corrugated and only accessible for 4WDs. Entry is closed during the dry season due to heavy rain.
SWIMMING: A swim across the main pool and through the narrow gorge leads to the peaceful upper pools.
HIKING: The gorge is a ten-minute walk from the carpark. Climb further to the top of the gorge for a view of the rockpools. The Lookout Walk offers a 30-minute walk through open woodland, offering views of the gorge, before descending down to the main pool.
LOCATION: Approximately 130km from Darwin and 200km from Katherine, accessed via the old Stuart Highway scenic route.
CAMPING: Unfortunately you cannot camp within the park itself, but camping is available at the nearby Tjuwaliyn Hot Springs Park as well as at the Douglas River Esplanade Conservation area.
FUEL is available at Darwin and Katherine.
MORE INFO is available at www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au