NORTHERN TERRITORY – WHY GO?
Walk into the desert in search of bush tucker with an Aboriginal guide and you’ll get a pretty good picture of the essence of Northern Territory. You’ll experience a land full of contrasts; colours from bright blues to burnt orange, emotions from hope to harsh reality and climates from tropical in the Top End to desert in the Red Centre.
MUST SEE, MUST DO
Darwin is the laid-back capital of the Northern Territory: take a walk along the esplanade amongst the tropical flowers and squawking exotic birds, then head into town to pick up lunch at one of the many Asian inspired restaurants. On a Thursday or Saturday night head to Mindil Beach for a sunset market, or pull up a pew at the Deckchair Cinema down on Fort Hill Wharf. Grab some barramundi and chips at Stokes Hill Wharf and eat your dinner overlooking the fishing boats while the sun sets over the city beach.
Kakadu National Park
Pretend you’re Crocodile Dundee and take a dip (checking for crocs first) in one of Kakadu’s refreshing waterfalls or plunge pools – visit the Aboriginal rock art sites at Ubirr and learn more about Aboriginal culture at the Bowali Visitor Centre. Look out for sunbathing crocs when you go bird watching at Mary River Wetlands. Even non-twitchers will be impressed by the thousands of egrets, storks and other colourful birdlife that strut around the billabongs.
Litchfield National Park
See the impressive cathedral-like termite mounds in Litchfield National Park – set amongst scrubby bushland and monsoonal rainforest, these insect houses tower over even the tallest human and the eerie magnetic mounds are lined up like flat tombstones, facing north-south in order to get the best weather conditions for the little critters inside.
The red centre is the beating spiritual heart of Australia. Don’t miss the sunset at Uluru (Ayers Rock), and splash out on a scenic flight over the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, for exhilarating views of stunning rock formations such as Uluru, Kata Tjuta, the Olgas and the surrounding red desert.
MAKE A DATE
Alice Springs Cup – cheer on horses in the middle of the desert at these popular races.
Since 1974 Darwinians have been building boats out of beer cans and racing them every year at the Beer Can Regatta.
NORTHERN TERRITORY ROMANCE
Find a spot to watch Uluru glow red in the sunset as night falls on the Red Centre.