Fully indigenous owned and managed, the architecturally splendid Cicada Lodge is nestled in native bush and set on an escarpment overlooking age-old Jawoyn traditional lands. Nitmiluk National Park, which surrounds the property, is dotted with rust-coloured sandstone gullies inhabited by verdant endemic vegetation and criss-crossed by sparking waterways. Translated to mean “cicada place”, Nitmiluk’s crowning glory is the Katherine Gorge, which is really a succession of gorges punctuated by rapids and cascades.
There are 18 generously sized, contemporary rooms at Cicada Lodge, all air-conditioned but with full-length sliding glass doors to let in the fresh air, as well as all the sights and sounds of the surrounding bush. Vibrant indigenous artworks adorn the minimalist chocolate, white and tan interiors, and the gleaming ensuite bathrooms feature rain showers, quality bathrobes and delicate toiletries.
Stroll along the raised boardwalks that link your room to the low glass-and-steel main lodge. Drab greens and dusty greys help all man-made structures blend into nature. Wildlife including wild kangaroos, wallabies and birds are often seen around the lodge. Within the central complex, you will find a beautiful outdoor pool and licensed restaurant. Dining is an experience at Cicada Lodge, with a fresh menu featuring unique dishes created from seasonal local ingredients. Sunset drinks and tasty canapés are also served every evening on the expansive timber pool deck.
Popular activities include helicopter drop-offs at secret waterfalls, downriver canoeing, visits to remote rock art sites and flight-seeing – the best way to view the wildlife and stunning topography of Nitmiluk National Park. All tours have a cultural aspect, so visitors can learn about the stories and traditions of the Jawoyn people which are inextricably tied to this timeless land.