Three Sisters, Blue Mountains, NSW

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Three Sisters, Blue Mountains, NSW

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Groote Eylandt Northern Territory

Groote Eylandt

Northern Territory

Groote Eylandt means ‘big island’ in Dutch, and is indeed the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Dutch were the first Europeans to record the existence of the island, located 630 kilometres by air from Darwin off the east coast of Arnhem Land. Ownership today has been returned to the Anindilyakwa people. To visit it is mandatory to obtain a permit by contacting the Anindilyakwa Land Council. The Groote Eylandt landscape is typical of the Top End, light woodland savannah country fringed by mangroves on the coast. Alyangula is the main town with a population of 670 and most residents are non-Aboriginal miners, with manganese being mined since 1966. Groote Eylandt is a fantastic spot for fishing, while facilities for visitors are limited, safaris can be organised for anglers and accommodation is available at the Dugong Beach Resort.

Darwin Area - Northern Territory

Darwin Area

Northern Territory

Darwin, the Northern Territory’s vibrant capital, is a city with influences that are as much Asian as they are western. A city with dozens of nationalities sharing an easy-going lifestyle, Darwin is located on a peninsular with the sea on three sides. It is a place unvisited by winter where the weather can usually be described as either balmy or sultry. Darwin is well appointed, possessing most of the amenities expected of a much larger city. Watching sunsets and storms are something of a local pastime, and after a cleansing rain shower you can almost hear things growing. An hour south of Darwin is Berry Springs Nature Park, a swimming and recreational area and the popular Territory Wildlife Park is just next door. Operating on the nearby Adelaide River, regular jumping crocodile cruises provide the chance to see saltwater crocodiles propel themselves from the water. Further south along the Stuart Highway is Litchfield National Park, a great place to cool off beneath cascading waterfalls and view attractions such as unique magnetic termite mounds, monsoonal rainforests and tumbling rocky waterholes. To the north of Darwin are the Tiwi Islands where visitors can share in the culture of the Tiwi people. Take an organised tour and purchase some local art and crafts, chat with some of the local Tiwi ladies over a pot of billy tea, or fish the clear waters surrounding the islands.

Noonamah Northern Territory

Noonamah

Northern Territory

Noonamah is a small town just 46 kilometres from Darwin. Noonamah was first settled during World War II when the army set up a series of airstrips and depots in the area. Despite being bombed by the Japanese, the airstrips still remain to this day. Travellers can read about the significance of the airstrips at a memorial site located near Noonamah. The Noonamah Tourist Park and Tavern offers motel rooms, powered caravan sites and camping sites.

Watarrka (Kings Canyon) Area Northern Territory

Watarrka (Kings Canyon) Area

Northern Territory

Watarrka National Park and its most famous landmark, Kings Canyon, is located 330 kilometres south west of Alice Springs in the Uluru / Kata Tjuta region of the Northern Territory. The park encompasses the western end of the George Gill Range and is home to a variety of unique native flora and fauna, including over 600 different plant species. Commercial accommodation can be found within the park at the Kings Canyon Resort and Kings Creek Station. The area has also been home to Luritja Aboriginal people for the last 20,000 years. The word Watarrka refers to the umbrella bush that proliferates in this area. Watarrka can be reached via the gravel Mereenie Loop Road (Red Centre Way) or via the sealed Luritja Road running off the Lasseter Highway.

Dundee Beach Northern Territory

Dundee Beach

Northern Territory

Dundee Beach is a relaxed coastal town and popular fishing spot 120 kilometres south-west of Darwin. Situated on the shores of Fog Bay, this tiny settlement is a popular weekend destination for Darwin locals, where many own a ‘beach shack’. Fishing is popular at the nearby Perron Islands, Point Blaze, Finniss River and Bynoe Harbour. Hang out at the popular Dundee Beach Trailer Boat Club that holds monthly barbecues and theme nights. Cooking facilities are available, as are campsites and showers for club members.

Tennant Creek area Northern Territory

Tennant Creek Area

Northern Territory

Tennant Creek is known for its gold mining history. The surrounding region, the Barkly Tablelands, is characterised by wide plains and vast skies, and with a population of 3,000, Tennant Creek is the main service centre for the area. Located 507 kilometres north of Alice Springs and around 1,000 kilometres south of Darwin, the town has a diverse history, shaped by Aboriginal culture, pastoralism and gold mining. The site of Australia’s last major gold rush in the 1930s, Tennant Creek’s rich mining history can be explored in the Battery Hill Mining Centre. The Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre is an award winning museum and gallery showcasing the culture of the traditional Aboriginal owners of the area, the Warumungu people. Travellers can stop at a character filled outback pub or roadhouse for an insight into a unique lifestyle shaped by isolation. Enjoy a swim in Tingkkarli / Lake Mary Ann, explore the historic Overland Telegraph Line, built in 1872, and spend a couple of star filled nights in Tennant Creek area for a truly unique Territory experience. The mysterious rock spheres of the nearby Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, located 100 kilometres south of Tennant Creek, are one of the Outback’s iconic attractions.

Larrimah Northern Territory

Larrimah

Northern Territory

The historic township of Larrimah, 250 kilometres south of Katherine, is a pleasant stop along the Stuart Highway. Its traditional owners are the Yangman Aboriginal people, whose descendants live today in the nearby community of Wubuluwan and in other communities around the region. The Yangman people believe Dreaming tracks of the Storm Bird (a channel bill cuckoo) helped create the surrounding landscape. John McDouall Stuart explored this area in the early 1860s but the township of Larrimah didn’t spring up until 1940, when Gorrie Airfield was constructed to service the war effort. Larrimah means ‘meeting place’ in the Yangman language and the town enjoyed a brief post war boom as a railhead and service provider to surrounding cattle stations. Visitors to Larrimah should stop in at the local hotel that was built using materials from the dismantled Birdum Hotel. It houses the highest bar in the Northern Territory, and is immediately recognisable thanks to the Pink Panther sitting outside. Budget hotel rooms, caravan sites and camping sites, meals and beverages are available. For traditional country fare, drop in to Fran’s Devonshire Teahouse after exploring the Old Police Station Museum.

Barkly Tablelands, Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, Australia

Barkly Tablelands Area

Northern Territory

The vast Barkly Tablelands stretch east of Tennant Creek into Queensland and, at more than 280,000 square kilometres, cover about 20 per cent of the Territory's land mass. The Barkly is known for its golden grasslands and wide blue skies that give it that distinctive sense of the space and freedom of the outback. Vast cattle stations are located on the Tablelands, some as large as European countries, and this region is well known for the epic cattle drives of yesteryear that passed through en route to Queensland. One of the biggest events on this region's calendar is the Brunette Downs Races, a bush race meet held in June on a station 350 kilometres north east of Tennant Creek. Visitors fly in from all over Australia for the four-day bush race meet that has a distinct outback flavour. The Barkly Homestead at the junction of the Barkly and Tablelands highways is the only service centre in the tablelands and provides a welcome respite on the long drive to or from Queensland.

Arnhem Land Area Northern Territory

Arnhem Land Area

Northern Territory

Arnhem Land is made up of 91,000 square kilometres of unspoiled wilderness bordered by Kakadu National Park, the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Travellers wishing to visit Arnhem Land must obtain a permit in advance from the Northern Land Council. Alternatively, many organised tours visit the region, and in these cases a permit is usually organised by the tour operator. Arnhem Land is rich in culture and features a diverse landscape characterised by wild coastlines, towering escarpments, savannah woodlands and wetlands teeming with wildlife. The park protects wetlands of international importance and provides a habitat for abundant wildlife, including crocodiles, dugongs, nesting turtles and migratory birds. The town of Maningrida, on the north coast of Arnhem Land, is famous for its indigenous art. Gunbalanya, one of the first stops east of Kakadu National Park, is an Aboriginal community where indigenous artists gather at the Injalak Art and Craft Centre. An open day is held in Gunbalanya usually during July, when travellers can visit freely and enjoy the cultural activities without a permit. The town of Nhulunbuy is located on the Gove Peninsula, approximately 600 kilometres east of Darwin. It is a major service centre, providing accommodation and supplies, and offers spectacular beaches and great fishing. There are many areas of historic significance including the ruins of an early European colony at Victoria Settlement in Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on the secluded Coburg Peninsula and the Black Point Cultural Centre which displays Aboriginal, Macassan and European histories of the area.

Katherine Northern Territory

Katherine

Northern Territory

Katherine is the third-largest town in the Northern Territory, with a population of around 8,000 and is located 300 kilometres south of Darwin. The town was named by the explorer John McDouall Stuart, after Catherine, the daughter of his benefactor. The region is home to the Jawoyn Aboriginal people. Katherine is often described as a place where ‘the outback meets the tropics’ and is well equipped with a range of accommodation and facilities. Travellers visiting Katherine may like to browse the Katherine Railway Museum, view the fine collection of Aboriginal art at Katherine Art Gallery, relax in the Katherine Hot Springs or gain an insight into the workings of a cattle station with a visit to the historic Springvale Homestead, built in 1878.

Information provided by the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse