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).