Limmen National Park

overview | how to get there | when to visit | what to see & do | visitor facilities |
please remember | fact sheets | recreational activities | cultural features

 

Limmen National Park Plan of Management

Limmen was declared a national park on 17 July 2012 and a Plan of Management is now being drafted to guide management of the Park over the next ten to fifteen years. Public involvement in how Limmen National Park should be managed is important and you are invited to provide your thoughts and ideas. Take a look at the Have Your Say brochure which details the Parks values as well as some ideas for future management of the Park.

Overview

Lost City formations
‘Lost city’ formations

Featuring a vast and rugged landscape, this 960,846 hectare national park lies in the heart of northern Australia’s tropical savannah country.

The Park includes striking sandstone ‘lost city’ formations, permanent tidal rivers and wetlands, a considerable collection of Indigenous and European historic sites and an abundance of wildlife including nesting Flatback Turtles on the shores of Maria Island.

The Park is very isolated. While there are significant opportunities for recreation and conservation, access can be difficult. This allows properly equipped visitors to enjoy a sense of remote adventure.

How to Get There

Limmen National Park is located in the Gulf of Carpentaria in Australia's Northern Territory and is approximately 305 km southeast of Katherine and 76 km northwest of Borroloola. The Park can be accessed from Katherine by leaving the Stuart Highway about 10 km south of Mataranka and following the Roper Highway east to the Pt Roper Road, (turn-off 3 km before Roper Bar). From Borroloola follow the Carpentaria Highway for 32 km before heading north along the gravel road for another 44 km.

Although the gravel Nathan River Road is generally of reasonable quality, it may be impassable for long periods between December and May. Check with the Parks and Wildlife office in Katherine (08 8973 8888) or the Nathan River Ranger Station (08 8975 9940) before travelling.

When to Visit

The Gulf region sits between the wet tropics and the arid zone. South-easterly breezes keep temperatures comfortable between April and August, however from September to January temperatures can reach the 40’s. Most of the 800 mm average rain falls between December and April, causing flooding and road closures throughout the region.

What to See and Do

Fishing the Limmen Bight River
Fishing the Limmen Bight River

With a small yet steadily increasing number of visitors each year, Limmen National Park is enjoyed by recreational angles, remote campers, and those with an interest in wildlife watching, photography and short walks around the intriguing sandstone pillars of the Southern and Western Lost City’s.

  • Recreational Activities
  • Scenic and Cultural Features
  • Plants & Animals

Visitor Facilities

There are five camping areas within the Park: Munbililla, Towns River, Butterfly Falls, Limmen Bight River and Southern Lost City Campgrounds. Camping facilities include picnic tables, barbecues and toilets.

The Limmen Bight Fishing Camp and Lorella Springs Wilderness Park, located adjacent to the Park, provide camping and basic facilities on private properties.

Boat ramps are located at Towns River Campground and Munbililla Campground as well as at Limmen Bight Fishing Camp.

Fuel, accommodation, food, post and EFTPOS facilities are available at Borroloola 182 km to the south of the Nathan River Ranger Station.

Fuel, food and accommodation are available at Roper Bar store, 192 km to the north of the Nathan River Ranger Station.

Please Remember

  • Observe park safety signs
  • Do not swim in any of the rivers or creeks in the Park – the natural pool at Butterfly Falls is the only place in the Park considered safe for swimming
  • Carry and drink plenty of water
  • Camp only in designated camping grounds - camping fees apply.
  • Keep to designated roads and tracks
  • Nets, traps and firearms are not permitted
  • 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, plants and animals are protected

Fact Sheets

Recreational Activities

Camping

Visitors relaxing at Munbililla Campground
Visitors relaxing at Munbililla Campground

  • The recently upgraded Munbililla Campground includes 55 non-powered informal grassed sites suitable for caravans and tent camping, taps, gas and wood barbeques, hot showers, flushing toilets and rubbish bins. There is also a boatramp and fish cleaning facilities available.
    *NP Three new ‘bush camping’ sites are currently being established along the Roper River corridor downstream of Munbililla with ten campsites, a drop toilet, wood barbeques and picnic tables at each location.
  • Towns River Campground has bush camping with compost toilets, wood barbeques and a natural boat ramp.
  • Butterfly Falls Campground has bush camping with compost toilets, wood barbeques, picnic tables and swimming at the base of the falls in the naturally formed pool.
  • Limmen Bight River Campground has bush camping with compost toilets, wood barbeques and picnic tables.
  • Southern Lost City campground has bush camping with compost toilets, wood barbeques, picnic tables and a walking track.

Fishing

  • The tidal rivers of the Roper, Towns and Limmen Bight flow into the Gulf of Carpentaria to the east and provide excellent opportunities for fishing. A natural boatramp is located at the Towns River Campground and there is an excellent boatramp established at Munbililla Campground.
  • The Limmen Bight Fishing Camp has camping, basic facilities and limited fuel.
  • Lorella Springs Wilderness Park has camping and basic facilities.

Sightseeing and Walking Tracks

  • There are many lagoons located close to the Nathan River Road, providing a bird watchers delight.
  • The Southern Lost City has a 2.5 km walking track that takes you amongst the rock formations.
  • The Western Lost City formations are only accessible by 4WD vehicle and a key from the Nathan River Ranger Station is required to unlock the gate at the start of the 28 km track. It is recommended that you call the Ranger Station prior to your visit to organise pick up of the key.

Swimming

  • Butterfly Falls is a pleasant place to enjoy a cooling dip and is the only location considered safe for a swim in the Park. Swimming at the Falls is not suitable towards the end of the Dry season when the pool becomes stagnant. Please do not swim or wade in any of the rivers or creeks within the Park. Saltwater crocodiles are known to inhabit these waters.

Cultural Features


Hand stencils at Western Lost City
Hand stencils at Western Lost City

Limmen National Park boasts an abundant and diverse array of cultural and historical sites. From Indigenous culture to Macassan trepangers, foreign seafarers, European explorers and pastoral pioneers, the culture and history of the Park is of national significance.

There are a diversity of language groups affiliated with the area, including Mara, Alawa, Wandarang, Ngalakan, Garawa, Yanyuwa, Kurdanji and Binbinga. The Park is extremely rich in Indigenous culture and numerous art and other significant cultural sites are located within the Park.

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.

Park Declaration

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.

Park Sites Access Comments Forecast Opening
Limmen National Park Open
Pt Roper Road Open
4WD High Clearance Only
With Caution
Water over road in some areas, high clearance 4WD needed. Edit
Nathan River Open Weight restrictions apply Edit
Ryan Bend Road Open
4WD High Clearance Only
Weight restrictions apply; No Trailers Edit
Butterfly Springs Open Edit
Southern Lost City Open Edit
Western Lost City Open Edit
Munbililla - Tomato Island Open Edit
Towns River Public Boat Ramp (c/o The Savannah Way) Open Edit