This article may contain affiliate links for which we may receive a small commission if purchases are made. Thank you for your support.
Discover Australia’s Northern Territory
The Northern Territory is one of the most unique destinations in Australia. Come with us to discover the essence of Australia’s Northern Territory.
Discover rich-red central desert country, explore tropical landscapes of the Top End. Marvel at our unique Territory wildlife as you learn about Aboriginal cultures through shared stories and spiritual traditions.
Make your visit to Australia’s Northern Territory, your most memorable adventure yet.
Australia’s Northern Territory is a unique part of Australia
Currently Australia’s total population stands at just over 25.5 million. The good news is that there are less than 250,000 people who call the Northern Territory, home.
So, if you want to experience wide open spaces, remote landscapes and glorious starry nights then, come visit. You will absolutely love the Northern Territory.
The Territory landscape changes dramatically from top to bottom
The Northern Territory is a place few travellers ever get to discover. Untouched wilderness areas, vast desert landscapes and unique wildlife. It’s a place of changing landscapes.
Top End ocean-scapes are stunning in the Territory’s northern-most capital city of Darwin. Discover spectacular waterfalls, refreshing waterholes and bushwalks in Litchfield National Park, or head to Katherine to cruise the Nitmuluk gorge or swim in the thermal springs.
Our 6 day itinerary of the Top End will give you an opportunity to immerse yourself in spectacular wetlands of Kakadu National Park and enjoy the ancient rock art and Aboriginal culture of this part of Australia.
As you head further south, explore Karlu Karlu, the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve. There’s so much to see in the Red Centre so absorb the vivid colours of these outback landscapes before heading to the ever-impressive landscapes of Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
For those who have the ‘explorer gene’, head out into the desert landscapes of the Great Sandy, Simpson and Tanami Deserts. They are an ever-changing desert landscape.
Learn about Aboriginal culture
Go deep into Arnhem Land or visit Kakadu National Park to learn about the Australian Aborigines, one of the world’s oldest living people.
Learn about the culture and history of our first Australians thought to have arrived in Australia over 65,000 years ago. The stories of the Aboriginal people are shared along the cliff-face galleries which are some of the oldest collections of rock art in the world.
Wander through the seemingly strewn Devils Marbles in Central Australia before visiting Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park to discover the central desert people’s deep and spiritual connection to the land.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The listing of two incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Northern Territory is significant for a number of reasons, least of all the historical and cultural importance to Australia’s Aboriginal people.
- Kakadu National Park – A spectacular place to view pristine wetlands, unique birds and wildlife and ancient Aboriginal rock art over 20,000 years old. Aboriginal people are thought to have arrived here over 65,000 years ago.
- Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park – Uluru, once known as Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuta formally known as the Olga’s. Historically and spiritually significant sites, sacred to the local Aboriginal people.
Amazing National Parks
The Northern Territory has many more national parks than the two World Heritage-listed parks as mentioned above. Here are just a few of my favourite national parks.
- Litchfield National Park is a great day trip from Darwin. Swim under the falls at Wangi and Florence Falls, go bushwalking the park trails and explore the Lost City.
- Go Kayaking in Katherine Gorge in the stunning Nitmiluk National Park or take a sunset cruise through the stunning landscape.
- Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Park is one of the most visually striking national parks in the Northern Territory.
- Watarrka National Park is otherwise known as Kings Canyon and best known for it’s spectacular views from the canyon rim.
Stunning waterholes and waterfalls
Australia is well-known for it’s stunning beaches, but in the Northern Territory we swim in the refreshing inland waterholes. Natural infinity pools high upon the tabletop walks, picturesque hot springs and palm tree lined waterfalls in crystal-clear waterways. Pure magic!
- Gunlom Plunge Pool in Kakadu National Park
- Tjaetaba Falls in Litchfield National Park
- Ormiston Gorge in West MacDonnell National Park
- Natural hot springs at Katherine, Bitter Springs and Mataranka – a warm 32 degrees all year round.
Australia’s Northern Territory has a number of unique wildlife experiences available for visitors. For a unique experience, make sure you
- Jumping Crocodile Cruises – One of the most exhilarating wildlife experiences whilst in the is to take a ‘jumping crocodiles’ cruise with Adelaide River Cruises.
- Corroboree Billabong Wetlands Cruises – The Mary River is home to the largest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the world. Enjoy viewing plenty of crocodiles plus a huge variety of birds and other local wildlife in their natural environment. Read more here.
- Turtle Tracks Tours – An experience of a lifetime: watching turtles dig their nests and lay their eggs, then following them back to the water. Read more here
- Heli-fishing Adventures – Taking you to the Top End’s most secluded and treasured fishing spots to suit both beginners and experienced anglers.
Events and Excitement
The Northern Territory has a reputation as the place for extreme fun!
- Visit the Finke Desert Race – This is an off road, multi terrain race for bikes, cars, buggies and quads through the Alice Springs desert country. It’s reputed as one of the most difficult off-road courses in one of the most remote places in the world.
- Million Dollar Barramundi – Every year the Northern Territory releases tagged fish up to One Million Dollars into Top End Waters. It could be your lucky day!
- Darwin’s Beer Can Regatta – An iconic annual family fun event. Design a vessel from cans as well as plastic bottle or milk carton as long as it floats.
- Rotary Henley on Todd – A fun, quirky and eclectic ‘boat’ race held each year on the dry sandy bed of the Todd River in Alice Springs, Australia – it’s the only dry river boating Regatta in the world.
Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory
The capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, Darwin is a vibrant tropical city and popular for the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, Crocosaurus Cove or go bushwalking in Litchfield National Park just an hour out of the city.
How to get to Darwin
- By Air – Darwin is an international airport and has daily flights to other domestic ports around Australia. Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar regularly fly into Darwin, and when our international airways re-open, flights from Darwin will be resumed into Asia. Check with your preferred airline for their current schedule.
- Road Trip – Australia’s Northern Territory is one of the great road trips. Drive from Darwin to Adelaide for the trip of a lifetime but there are so many others!
- By Train – Travelling from Darwin to Adelaide (or vice versa) on the Ghan stopping at Katherine, Alice Springs and Coober Pedy.
Accommodation in Darwin
Darwin city has a range of accommodation to suit every budget. We normally choose to stay at the Double Tree on the Esplanade or Mindil Beach Casino & Resort, both are mid budget, centrally located and are nearby restaurants and facilities. Check our list for other accommodation options.
Read more: Top Things to do in Darwin
Alice Springs is a beautiful desert oasis in the Red Centre of Australia. Famous for its beautiful desert landscapes, vibrant sunsets and clear blue skies, visiting Alice Springs is an opportunity for adventure.
Desert camel tours, hot air ballooning, and the Alice Springs Desert Park for an insight into the animals of the central Australian desert. Alice Springs host extraordinary events and festivals such as the Camel Cup, Finke Desert race and the Henley on Todd – a bottomless boat race in the waterless Todd River. Known for it’s rich Aboriginal culture you will find Central Australia’s Festival of Light Parrtjima a magnificent example of music and art. Aboriginal Art plays a big part in desert culture.
How to get to Alice Springs
- By Air – Daily flights fly Alice Springs and Uluru from domestic ports around Australia. Check with your preferred airline for their current schedule.
- Road Trip – Take one of Australia’s Northern Territory best road trips! Travel from Adelaide to Alice Springs and Uluru or drive from Darwin to Adelaide for the trip of a lifetime but there are so many others!
- By Train – Travelling the Ghan is another way to travel through the Northern Territory and one of the world’s greatest train trips.
Accommodation in Alice Springs
Alice Springs has a range of accommodation to suit every budget. We normally choose to stay at the Hilton by Double Tree or Lasseters Crowne Plaza, both are mid budget and have great restaurants and facilities. Check for other accommodation options.
Read more: Things to do in Alice Springs
When to visit the Northern Territory
The Northern Territory stretches approximately 1600 km from top to bottom covering two distinct climate zones. A warm, tropical Top End and a dry, semi-arid Red Centre.
Tropical weather in the Top End
The Top End, which includes Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu and Arnhem Land, has a tropical climate with two seasons – the Dry and the Wet. Each season lasts for about six months.
The dry season in the Top End runs from May to October and is the best time to visit Darwin and the Top End of Australia. Many travellers find this time of year the most comfortable for activities such as bushwalking, hiking, camping and cycling.
- Temperatures range from 21°C to 32°C (70°F to 90°F) – expect lower humidity around 20 to 35% and little to no rain. The days are sunny and the nights are mild.
Cool winters of Central Australia
The Red Centre, including Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and the Uluru region, can often can be frosty. There are four distinct seasons in the Red Centre:
- Summer: (December–February). Average temperatures range between 20°C and 35°C (68°F and 95°F).
- Autumn: (March–May) is considered one of the best times to visit Alice Springs. Average temperatures range from 12–27°C (54–81°F).
- Winter: (June–August). The average temperature range is 3–20°C (37–68°F). Temperatures can drop below freezing overnight, sometimes with a thick frost.
- Spring: (September–November). Spring starts to warm things up again with average temperatures between 13–31°C (57–87°F).
Pin these for later.
Read more about the Northern Territory
Have you been to Australia’s Northern Territory yet? What are you waiting for? There is so much to see and do while you’re here. You will love it!