Keep River National Park – Best Hikes & Things to Do

Discover the best things to do in Keep River National Park with this in-depth guide, which highlights the park’s best activities and scenic vistas. We’ve provided everything you need to plan an adventure in one of the Northern Territory’s most iconic national parks. 

Did you know Keep River is home to some of the largest boabs in the world? These strange, bulbous trees can be found dotting the landscape of the park and are a defining feature of the Australian landscape. We’ve detailed the best places to find boab trees in Keep River National Park, how to protect and conserve these beauties, and what makes them so special. 

Top Things to Do in Keep River National Park

scenic walking trails with blue skies
Keep River National Park by @littleearthstories

Keep River National Park offers visitors a stunning landscape filled with rugged cliffs, deep gorges, and ancient Aboriginal rock art. Here are some of the top things to do in Keep River National Park:

Hiking – The park is a hiker’s paradise with numerous trails winding through its stunning landscapes.

  • Jarnem Loop Walk: This moderate loop trail takes you on a scenic journey through Keep River. Starting from the Jarnem Picnic Area, the trail winds its way through rocky terrain, past ancient rock art sites, and along the banks of the Keep River. 
  • Gurrandalng Walk: For a shorter hike, the Gurrandalng Walk offers panoramic views of the park’s picturesque landscape. Beginning near the park entrance, this easy trail meanders through open woodlands and past towering sandstone formations, providing opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. 
  • Homestead Valley Walk: This challenging trail takes you through Homestead Valley, a rugged and remote section of Keep River National Park. Starting from the Homestead Valley Campground, the trail leads through rocky terrain, past hidden waterholes, and along the base of towering cliffs. Hikers can expect steep ascents and descents.
  • Lanjan Lookout Walk: For panoramic views of Keep River National Park and beyond, the Lanjan Lookout Walk is a must-do. This moderately challenging trail begins near the park entrance and ascends to a rocky outcrop overlooking the park. 

Outdoor Activities in Keep River

Birdwatching – You can also spend time bird-watching or searching for wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies, dingoes, crocodiles and other animals.

Canoeing & Fishing –There are even opportunities for canoeing and fishing if you bring the right gear for these activities.

Scenic Drives: Take a scenic drive along the Keep River Road, which winds through the park and offers stunning views of the rugged terrain. Be sure to stop at designated viewpoints along the way to take in the scenery.

Camping: Spend the night under the stars at one of the park’s designated camping areas. Camping facilities vary, ranging from basic bush campsites to more developed campgrounds with amenities such as toilets and fire pits.

Sunset Viewing: Experience the magic of a Keep River sunset as the sky is painted with hues of orange, pink, and purple. Find a scenic vantage point overlooking the park and watch as the sun dips below the horizon.

Photo by @stephen_harman
zoom in of bird at Keep River National Park
Keep River National Park by @mrsupertramp

Best Time to Visit Keep River National Park

If you’re looking to observe its majestic boabs in full bloom, it’s suggested that you visit during the wet season (November to April).

During these months, you’ll witness an impressive spectacle as the boab trees turn bright yellow and orange, displaying their vibrant foliage.

Due to its position in the Top End’s dry season, temperatures remain comfortable, and there’s no risk of intense rainfall or irritating bugs. 

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landscape with boab trees at Keep River National Park
Keep River National Park by @nicole_hodgson

Boab Trees in Keep River

Standing tall and proud amidst the rugged landscape of Keep River National Park, seeing the park’s iconic boab trees should be at the top of your to do list.

These ancient giants, with their distinctive bulbous trunks and sprawling branches, are among the largest in the world! 

Boabs can range in size from small shrubs to massive 30-metre-tall trees weighing up to 50 tons! They get their name from the Aboriginal word “baa,” which means “grandfather.”

Boabs are essential to Aboriginal culture, and many Aboriginal stories and legends surround these unusual trees. They have a deep connection to the land and its natural resources.  

Where Can You Find the Boabs?

While you can spot boabs throughout Keep River National Park, there are a few special spots to explore.

Cathedral Boabs: Near the entrance of Keep River National Park, you’ll find a cluster of impressive boab trees known as the Cathedral Boabs. These majestic specimens, with their massive trunks and spreading branches, create a striking contrast against the backdrop of the surrounding sandstone cliffs. 

Boab Bend: As you explore the park’s network of hiking trails, stop at Boab Bend. Located along the Keep River Road, this picturesque spot offers panoramic views of the landscape, with several prominent boab trees dotting the scene. 

Boab Bluff: For a more immersive boab tree experience, venture deeper into the park to discover Boab Bluff. This area features a concentration of boab trees nestled amidst the rocky outcrops and lush vegetation. 

Boabs in Keep River National Park
Boabs in Keep River National Park by @beary006
trees and landscapes of Keep River National Park
Keep River National Park by @nicole_hodgson

Protect The Boabs in Keep River National Park

You can be part of the effort to conserve and protect the boabs in Keep River National Park. Follow the park’s rules, such as:

  • Don’t pick or damage the flowers or leaves of any plant.
  • Don’t litter.
  • Stay on the marked paths to avoid disturbing the animals and plants.
  • Help keep our water clean by correctly disposing of your waste.
  • Take only photos and leave only footprints!


The boabs take their nutrients from the soil, so we must limit human interference with their environment.

From scenic hikes to encounters with ancient rock art, and the mesmerizing presence of towering boab trees – these are the top things to do in Keep River National Park.

Have you visited this national park? Comment below with some of your favourite spots to explore!

*Cover image by @nicole_hodgson

If you love exploring National Parks, Norther has got you covered, get your daily fix of the Northern Territory’s beauty courtesy of Norther® by following @KeepRiverNational Park and @northerhq. You can also check out more Northern Territory content by following Norther and Keep River National Park on Facebook. Please sign up here to join our newsletter list to be the first to get hints and local recommendations for anything awesome in Keep River National Park and the Northern Territory.

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