In order to protect the natural and cultural values of the Gulf region and to provide access to tourism sites for visitors travelling the Savannah Way between Queensland and the Northern Territory, the Northern Territory Government has established a National Park in the Region.
The Parks and Wildlife Service presently manages a large area of land, (12,300Km/Sq) for weed, fire and feral animal control. Some visitor facilities are provided with more planned for development in the future.
The Park is very isolated. Much of the area is rugged with spectacular weathered sandstone formations and intervening alluvial valleys. While the Park has significant opportunities for recreation and conservation, access can be difficult. This has contributed to the isolated and wild character of the area.
The Park is located approximately 305km southeast of Katherine and 76km northwest of Borroloola. The proposed park can be accessed from Katherine by leaving the Stuart Highway about 10km south of Mataranka and following the Roper Highway east to the Pt Roper Road, (turn-off 3km before Roper Bar). From Borroloola follow the Carpentaria Highway for 32km before heading north along the gravel road for another 44km.
Although the road is a good quality gravel road, it may be impassable for long periods between December and May. Check with Parks and Wildlife offices in Katherine (08 8973 8888) or Nathan River (08 8975 9940) before travelling.
The erosion of the sandstone escarpment has led to the formation of numerous, large sandstone spires and rounded domes sometimes called "lost cities".
Two of the more accessible sites have been identified as suitable for public visitation. The Southern Lost City is 4km off the Nathan River road and has camping facilities, toilet block and a 2.5km walking track. Nathan (Western) Lost City is 28km off the Nathan River road, is day visitation only and requires a key (available at Nathan River Ranger Station) to access the track. Visitors wishing to visit the Nathan Lost City should contact the Rangers at Nathan River on 08 8975 9940.
Fuel, accommodation, food, post and EFTPOS facilities are available at Borroloola 182km to the south of the Ranger Station.
Fuel, food and accommodation are available at Roper Bar store, 192km to the north of the Ranger Station.
- Observe park safety signs
- Camp only in designated camping grounds
- Carry and drink plenty of water
- Wear a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent
- Carry a first aid kit
- Avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day
- Put your rubbish in the bin or take it away with you
- All cultural items and wildlife are protected
Climatically the Gulf region is in a transition zone between the wet tropics and the drier arid zone.
Average rainfall is approximately 800mm with most falling between December and April. Dry season conditions are generally cool with the influence of a southeasterly breeze.
In the build up to the wet season from September onwards, conditions can be very hot with temperatures reaching into the 40's. Visitors should be prepared for extreme temperatures.
- Limmen National Park Factsheet (pdf 1Mb)
- Limmen National Park - Our cultural and biodiversity values (pdf 122Kb)
- Camping Permitted
- Southern Lost City campground – toilets, bbq’s, picnic tables, walking track
- Butterfly Springs campground – toilets, bbq’s, picnic tables, swimming
- Limmen Crossing campground – toilets, bbq’s, picnic tables
- Towns River campground – toilets, bbq’s, boat ramp
- Tomato Island campground – boat ramp
- The tidal rivers that flow into the Gulf are excellent localities for fishing
- The Limmen Bight Fishing Camp - has camping, basic facilities, limited fuel
- Lorella Springs Wilderness Park – camping and basic facilities
The Park is extremely rich in Aboriginal culture and numerous art and other significant cultural sites are located in the area.
European occupation commenced with the exploration by Ludwig Leichhardt in 1845 and later in the 1880's with the taking up of the pastoral lease, 'Valley of the Springs' by John Costello.
The Gulf Track stock route which traversed the area was used for droving herds of cattle from the eastern states of Australia to the Top End and the Kimberley's. Through this stock route the Gulf Region played an important role in the 'opening up' of Northern Australia.
The Territory Government declared Limmen National Park on 17 July 2012. This followed public consultation on the proposed Limmen National Park and Limmen Bight Marine Park, with over 60 submissions received.
The area has important natural, recreational and tourism, commercial and historical values, and the Government has recognised this with the declaration of each Park. National Parks that connect oceans to the land are special and world class.
The public will continue to be consulted throughout the management planning process for the Park.
- Limmen National Park Frequently Asked Questions
- Map of Limmen National Park
- Map of Munbillia (Tomato Island) camping area
- Limmen National Park Information Report