Cicada Lodge
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Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge
Cicada Lodge is run by the native Jawoyn people and is the only luxury accommodation in Australia’s awe-inspiring Nitmiluk National Park, roughly four and a half hours from Darwin. The word Nitmiluk (pronounced nit-me-look) means “cicada place” and refers to an Aboriginal creation myth where a Jawoyn man hears the sound of cicadas from deep within a gorge. That’s only the beginning of the indigenous influence here. Aboriginal dot paintings hang on bedroom walls; unheard-of ingredients flavor the foods; and indigenous stories and traditions enliven tours that local guides lead throughout the park’s 13 gorges. The wood-paneled restaurant and pool deck, connected by glass doors, form the centerpiece of the lodge. They serve as the communal gathering place for meals, sunset drinks, and leisurely downtime. In 2014, the lodge won the prestigious Gold Plate award for its modern twist on “bush tucker” (indigenous food).
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Neighborhood Vibe
Cicada Lodge is located inside Nitmiluk National Park upstream from Katherine Gorge, whose sandstone plateau was sculpted by the Katherine River over millennia. Today, more than 200 bird species, including red-collared lorikeets, red-winged parrots, northern rosellas, red-tailed black cockatoos, and blue-winged kookaburras reside in the area. There are also flying foxes (bats), freshwater crocodiles, turtles, monitor lizards, wallabies, wallaroos, and the occasional dingo. And the park is near other wildlife epicenters like the Mary River Wetlands, home to the world’s largest concentration of saltwater crocodiles. In addition to wildlife viewing, Katherine Gorge is an adventure playground where travelers can hike, canoe, and swim. Owned and operated by the native Jawoyn people, the park offers countless opportunities to connect with the indigenous culture. Travelers can choose tours that focus on traditional food gathering and hunting techniques, bush medicine skills, rock art, or Dreamtime (creation) stories. The park also has a great visitor center attached to the equally great Sugarbag Café.
Need to Know
Rooms: 18 rooms. From $598, including a welcome glass of champagne, breakfast, and free canapés and drinks on the pool deck at sunset.
Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 10 a.m.
Dining options: Native Australian ingredients such as river mint, Kakadu plums, pepper berries, bush bananas, and freshwater prawns star in the seasonal menus and nightly Chef’s Table, which features dishes like crocodile tail cooked on paperbark and saltbush. Guests can also book the Nabilil Dinner Cruise to eat under the stars surrounded by the red walls of Nitmiluk Gorge lit up in the moonlight.
Spa and gym details:There’s no spa or gym in the wilderness, but there’s ample hiking and canoeing as well as swimming in the gorges and in the lodge pool.
Insider Tips
Cicada Lodge is located inside Nitmiluk National Park upstream from Katherine Gorge, whose sandstone plateau was sculpted by the Katherine River over millennia. Today, more than 200 bird species, including red-collared lorikeets, red-winged parrots, northern rosellas, red-tailed black cockatoos, and blue-winged kookaburras reside in the area. There are also flying foxes (bats), freshwater crocodiles, turtles, monitor lizards, wallabies, wallaroos, and the occasional dingo. And the park is near other wildlife epicenters like the Mary River Wetlands, home to the world’s largest concentration of saltwater crocodiles. In addition to wildlife viewing, Katherine Gorge is an adventure playground where travelers can hike, canoe, and swim. Owned and operated by the native Jawoyn people, the park offers countless opportunities to connect with the indigenous culture. Travelers can choose tours that focus on traditional food gathering and hunting techniques, bush medicine skills, rock art, or Dreamtime (creation) stories. The park also has a great visitor center attached to the equally great Sugarbag Café.
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