Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park by NASA Goddard Photo and Video is licensed under CC-BY 2.0

Top Outback Experiences You’ll Love in Northern Territory

The West MacDonnell Ranges, stretching 161 kilometers west of Alice Springs, is the perfect backdrop to explore the scenic beauty and history of the area. Take a short walk on one of the well-marked walking tracks or tackle the challenging 223 kilometers of the Larapinta Trail. Cool off with a refreshing dip in a watering hole such as Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, or Glen Helen Gorge, and go in search of rare plants and wildlife. This beautiful part of the Northern Territory is not to be missed.

Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park

Journey to the spiritual heart of Australia and discover Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Measuring almost 10 kilometers around the base, there are so many ways to experience the magic of Uluru. Walk the circumference, take a camel ride, ride a bike or Segway, or take a scenic helicopter flight. The 36 domes of Kata Tjuta are roughly a 45-minute drive west of Uluru. Join a guided sunrise or sunset tour and explore the rugged Valley of the Winds and Walpa Gorge walking tracks. 

Alice Springs & Darwin

Not only the gateways to everything that makes the Northern Territory unique, Alice Springs and Darwin are fascinating cities with so much to offer. Visit the base of the iconic Royal Flying Doctor Service and see the largest classroom in Australia at the School of the Air in Alice Springs. Take a cruise on the Darwin harbor, swim with crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove and brush up on your military knowledge at the historic sites hit by Japanese air raids in 1942. Darwin encapsulates a laidback atmosphere and multiculturalism unique to the Northern Territory. 

Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park

Swim under plunging waterfalls, wander through towering termite mounds, and discover native wildlife – all only a 90-minute drive from Darwin. Take a short walk through cypress pines to the Tolmer Falls viewing platform, soak in the three-tiered watering hole at Buley Rockhole and cool off in the water beneath the spring-fed waterfalls of Florence and Wangi. Jump in a four-wheel drive to explore the sandstone relics of the Lost City and see the fascinating two-meter tall magnetic termite mounds. It’s easy to see why Litchfield National Park is a favorite with the locals. 

Nitmiluk National Park

Cruise into paradise and discover the abundant waterways and cascading waterfalls of the 13 stunning gorges that make up Katherine Gorge in the Nitmiluk National Park. Hire a canoe and paddle along the gorges to see waterfalls, Aboriginal rock art, and wildlife, join a gorge cruise and maybe walk the 58-kilometer Jatbula Trail. Cool off in a secluded and tranquil swimming hole at Sweetwater Pool or the pandanus-fringed plunge pool at Edith Falls. With remote and dramatic scenery, Nitmiluk National Park forms the crossroads between the outback and the tropics. 

Barramundi Gorge, Kakadu National Park, NT
Barramundi Gorge, Kakadu National Park, NT 

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu is Australia’s largest national park. 

Measuring over 20,000 square kilometers you’ll find rugged landscapes, Aboriginal rock art sites, thundering waterfalls, lush wetlands, and abundant wildlife. Walk to the top of Gunlom for views over the national park and take a refreshing swim at the plunge pool. Go in search of crocodiles, jabirus, and other native wildlife on board and learn about Aboriginal culture at the Warradjan Cultural Centre. See the imposing 200-meter high waterfall at Jim Jim Falls and take a dip in its plunge pool. 

Mindil Beach Markets

Reflect on another memorable Top End day as the sun slowly sinks into the ocean at the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets in Darwin. With over 100 stalls to browse through, shop for uniquely Territorian arts and crafts, homewares, clothing, and jewelry. Taste the world as you wander through the 50+ food outlets. Enjoy the Top End’s glorious dry season in true Darwin style with a picnic dinner on the beach watching a spectacular tropical sunset. 

Field of Light (Photo credit: Tourism Australia)
Field of Light (Photo credit: Tourism Australia)

Field of Light

Don’t miss the chance to see acclaimed international artist, Bruce Munro’s Field of Light. As darkness falls and Uluru is thrown into silhouette, Field of Light illuminates. As far as the eye can see, more than 50,000 stems crowned with deep violet, blue, and gentle white frosted-glass bloom over Australia’s spiritual heartland. The exhibition is Munro’s largest work to date and covers more than seven football fields. Take a self-guided walk with the Field of Light Pass or indulge with A Night at Field of Light which includes sunset drinks and canapes, buffet dinner, and plenty of time to wander through the exhibition. 

King Canyon

Surround yourself with 100-meter high sandstone walls and palm-filled crevices as you step deep into the heart of Kings Canyon. Start early in the day before it gets too hot and takes in the breathtaking views as you walk along the red rock cliffs on the Kings Canyon Rim Walk. Continue your journey through Priscilla’s Crack, made famous by the classic Australian movie, Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert. For an easier hike, the Kings Creek trail follows a track between two soaring canyon walls to a lookout point. Be welcomed by spectacular views of the sheer cliff face at the far end of the canyon. 

Photo credit: Tourism Australia

Arnhem Land

Be inspired by one of the Top End’s most spectacular natural destinations, Arnhem Land. Rugged coastlines, remote islands, rivers teeming with fish, lush rainforest, and towering escarpments combine to create a timeless wonderland. This vast area is one of Australia’s last strongholds of traditional Aboriginal culture. Join a cultural tour at Injalak Hill to see ancient rock art and hear Dreamtime stories, visit some of the art and craft centers or take part in an interpretative walking trail. Every visitor to Arnhem Land requires a permit, so we suggest that you join a guided tour. 

*photo credits: Tourism Australia


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