Smitt Rock: A Scenic Nitmiluk Campground with The Best Views

If you’re planning a camping trip in Nitmiluk National Park, we’ve got the best spot for you! The Smitt Rock campground is one of the most scenic Nitmiluk campground options for travellers.

Just imagine yourself at the rim of a magnificent gorge, where towering sandstone cliffs rise like sentinels and their orange tones tinged with golden sunlight. The symphony of nature’s melodies fills the air with the gentle rustle of leaves and the chorus of birds bidding farewell to the day. As you set up your tent beneath a blanket of stars, calm and tranquillity overtake you. The night sky transforms into a celestial landscape dotted with innumerable constellations that seem to be whispering stories of legendary wonders. This is what you can experience at Smitt Rock.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about camping at Smitt Rock campground at Nitmiluk National Park.

View from the cliff above the Nitmiluk campground at Nitmiluk National Park
View from the cliff above the campsite, spot the yellow tent of @jemma_rk on the Left sandbank

What to See at This Top Nitmiluk Campground

Nitmiluk Gorge on Jawoyn country carves its way through 12km of the sheer rockface along 13 sections of gorges, each with its own set of natural and historic features, including waterfalls, lookouts and rock art sites. Located 30km northeast of Katherine, Nitmiluk Gorge has a range of activities from cruises, helicopter tours, canoeing, hiking, including the start of the Jatbula, and biking. The Gorge is best visited in the Jawoyn dry seasons of Pankarrang, Malapparr and Jungalk (between May to September) for these activities.

A stay at Smitt Rock, or 5th Gorge, is an excellent way to skip the crowds and experience the beauty of Nitmiluk during peak tourist season. It’s considered one of the most beautiful Nitmiluk campground sites for a reason.

How to Access Smitt Rock

Smitt Rock is accessed on foot via 23.8km along the Yambi and Gurumal trail or by Kayak through the gorges. Kayak Hire is available at the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre for a range of hire length and sized kayaks. For an overnight stay at 5th, 6th or 8th gorge, the Barrak Barrak 2 day adventure will cost $164 and requires an advanced level of fitness. 

This includes a ferry up 1st gorge into 2nd,  a safety brief, life jacket and canoe or kayak hire and access to the deeper sections of the gorge. You will also need to book a campsite through the National Parks website Northern Territory – Northern Territory Parks Booking System, which will cost $10 per adult.

Top view of Nitmiluk National Park
Gorgeous view of Nitmiluk National Park by @jemma_rk on IG
Picture of canoe in Nitmiluk National Park
Caneo nestled between majestic gorges in Nitmiluk National Park image by @jemma_rk on IG

A Top Nitmiluk Campground for Adventurers

Take your time paddling, swimming to cool off, spotting freshwater crocodiles, and hopping out to enjoy side trips like Butterfly Gorge, lily ponds, and the many marked or unmarked rock art sites. Although this sounds like a lovely relaxing journey, to get between each of the gorges up to Smitt Rock, adventurers will need to portage belongings and kayaks through the exposed rocks at varying distances according to the water level.

Some sections will be up to 90m of slippery, uneven and unstable rocks. But don’t worry; you can cool off with a refreshing dip (or several if you fall in) and be rewarded with the pristine and stunning Smitt Rock camping area.

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Smitt Rock Campsite

Smitt Rock campsite is on a sandy bank, with the luxury of a long drop toilet. If you are up to it, there are other 6, 8, and 9 campsites. Set up a tent, swim, float, kayak further up, or sit in to relax. The weather is very reliable in this area, and if no rain is forecast, leave your tent fly-off and watch the light show as the sunset paints the Gorge with shades of red, orange, and yellow until they fade into blues as the skies light up with an unpolluted view of the milky way.

The next day will reverse what you have already experienced, only having to make it back to the 2nd Gorge at 1700. Take your time to soak it all in, and most of all, have fun.


A woman standing on a rock in Nitmiluk National Park
A picture of @jemma_rk on IG taking all in the view of Nitmiluk National Park

Have you packed your bags? Get pumped up because you already know it’s going to be great! Comment below if you’ve been to Nitmiluk National Park or camped at Smitt Rock Campsite and share your experiences.

Norther would like to invite you to explore more about the beauty of Nitmiluk National Park here. And… as always, you can get more inspiration for other National Parks & Destinations to visit by following @northerhq or get your Nitmiluk National Park daily fix @nitmiluknationalpark

*Cover image is by @jemma_rk on IG.

Picture of Jemma


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