Are you looking for a unique travel experience? Look no further than Australia’s very own Northern Territory! Here, you can explore a road less travelled and discover landscapes far removed from the city streets of Melbourne. Your taste buds will be tantalised by the local delicacies and your eyes will be dazzled by the otherworldly landscapes.
Here is a list of travel inspo to remind you what the Northern Territory has to offer and also to help get you thinking of your next escape.
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The town of Alice Springs is located about halfway between Darwin and Adelaide. And it is so much more than just the backdrop for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Alice Springs is the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, a region that is known for its natural beauty and rich Aboriginal culture.
If you’re looking for something to do in Alice Springs, there are plenty of things to keep you busy! Surrounded by the MacDonnell Ranges, this town is the perfect intersection between natural landscapes and cultural activities.
Some of the top to-dos in Alice Springs would be to explore the MacDonnell mountains, which are parallel ridges running 600-odd kilometres to the east and west of Alice Springs. The mountain range contains many impressive and jaw-dropping gaps and gorges as well as places of deep Aboriginal significance. Go for a walk, take a dip, or pitch a tent to stay for a little while longer. No matter what you decide to do, a visit to the MacDonnell Ranges is a must.
For those of us who are more culturally inclined, you can also find a variety of incredible local and Aboriginal art galleries, and Alice Springs is known as the Aboriginal Art capital of Central Australia.
We are still in Australia, so no trip would be complete without a peek at some wildlife. Alice has a good selection, from kangaroos to red pandas and everything in between! You can even go on some unique tours like getting up close with crocodiles, taking a camel ride into the desert, or hopping onto one of the many hot air balloons that are available.
Alice Springs is also the perfect place from which to take a day trip to our next destination, Uluru.
Perched in the arid desert landscape of the Northern Territory, Uluru is one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks.
The formation has been recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site and although it is 450km from the nearest town, it draws a host of visitors each year. The fiery red of the sandstone seems to glow at different times of the day, changing from orange to deep ochre from sunrise to sunset.
Besides just being a magnificent sight to behold, it also has great cultural importance to the Aboriginal people of the area, known as the Aṉangu. To them, it is a sacred place, and this belief has been held for thousands of years.
There are many ways to view Uluru, with walking tours, tours on a camel, organised sunset dinners or driving up yourself. Even though this landmark is open and welcome to be viewed by the public, always remember to remain respectful as it is a sacred place.
A city of endless summer, Darwin is a coastal town that always feels like a holiday. It is one of the most multicultural cities in Australia with over 30% of its population born overseas.
This town is any foodies paradise. Due to this melting pot of people, Darwin has a great variety of food markets and restaurants all around the city. A popular market that is definitely worth the visit, specifically around meal times, is the Mindil Beach Sunset Market which has over 200 food stalls.
The beaches in Darwin are also great, but unfortunately, swimming isn’t recommended unless you want to get into a bit of a scuffle with one of the saltwater crocodiles of the region. But don’t worry, if reptiles are your thing, you won’t be asked to avoid these salty crocs completely. A really popular activity to do in Darwin is to go on a cruise down the Adelaide River and watch the crocodiles jump out of the water.
In all honesty, if I saw a crocodile jump out of the water my soul would jump out of my body. But different strokes for different okes.
If you’re wondering about how people cool off when the ocean is off-limits, you’ll be relieved to hear about the Darwin City Lagoon. The lagoon is the perfect place to relax on a warm day. It continuously gets fed fresh seawater from the ocean through a fine mesh screen and is on par with being at the beach.
From Darwin you can also head out on a variety of day trips, some popular picks being Kakadu National Park and Litchfield National Park.
Kakadu National Park
This world heritage site covers over 20 000 square kilometres and offers some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Australia.
Kakadu is considered a living cultural landscape, and the traditional owners Bininj Mungguy have lived in and cared for this country for more than 50,000 years. The park has over 5,000 Aboriginal rock art sites, and there is no better place to learn more about the oldest civilisation on earth.
You can enter the park as a day trip, or for longer stays you can make use of one of the many accommodation options such as hotels, cabins or campsites. Do however keep in mind that the campsites follow the seasonal cycle of the Aboriginal people and due to cultural significance certain parts of the park are closed at different times of the year.
The park is any nature lover’s bread and butter, with hikes, waterfalls, bird watching, wildlife, fishing and many other activities available.
Litchfield National Park
Keeping to the theme of outdoor adventures, our next pick is Litchfield National Park. Located just an hour’s drive from Darwin, this picturesque park offers stunning waterfalls, clear pools for swimming and plenty of hikes to explore.
Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts will be delighted by all the different species of birds, reptiles, and mammals that can be found in this park. It is also known for its giant termite mounds, which can reach up to 6 feet high!
Litchfield has more to offer than just picturesque views – it’s also home to an array of cultural traditions and fascinating history. Aboriginal people have lived throughout the area for thousands of years. It is important to the Koongurrukun, Mak Mak Marranunggu, Werat and Warray Aboriginal people, who have managed and cared for the land following their culture and beliefs.
Whether it’s a day trip or a weekend getaway, Litchfield National Park is sure to provide an unforgettable experience!
Have you ever wanted to experience a place where the outback meets the tropics? Then you should visit Katherine, Australia!
This charming town offers a unique combination of natural beauty and outdoor activities. From exploring the Nitmiluk National Park to soaking in a series of natural thermal springs. You could even spend hours just gazing at the incredible scenery.
If idling about isn’t your cup of tea, then might we suggest the Jatbula Trail? This 58km trail is divided over five days of hiking and starts at the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre, ending at Edith Falls. Along the way, you’ll experience stunning gorges, cascading waterfalls and panoramic views of Katherine Gorge.
While the region of the Northern Territory is not exactly easy to get to, it is well worth visiting. Take time to travel off the beaten track and discover its hidden gems, drifting along the waterways or hiking the dense vine forests. Beauty surrounds you in the Northern Territory; for those willing to take a step back from the norm and look deeper, its myriad of hidden treasures will keep you coming back for more.