You can lose and find yourself in the Northern Territory, a place rich in Aboriginal history and rugged, natural beauty. Immerse yourself in Darwin’s melting pot of cuisines and cultures and explore the rainforest and Aboriginal rock art of World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Stay in the Red Centre town of Alice Springs, then visit the iconic wonders of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa and Kings Canyon. Cruise down vast Katherine Gorge and pan for gold at Tennant Creek. The Northern Territory also offers a huge array of wildlife, colourful outback characters and landscapes for outdoor adventure.
Soak up Darwin’s balmy weather and the melting pot of food and cultures in the city’s many outdoor festivals and markets. Then explore the region’s dramatic history – from World Way II air raids to Cyclone Tracey – in the museums and galleries. Sail Darwin harbour at sunset, cruise next to crocodiles and bushwalk through monsoon forest. Do a day trip to Litchfield National Park, where you can swim in crystal-clear waterholes and see thousands of tall termite mounds. Or visit the Tiwi Islands, where you can watch traditional weaving and painting or immerse yourself in the noise and excitement of a local football game.
See wildlife, waterfalls and one of the world’s largest areas of accessible rock art World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Bushwalk, spot rare and spectacular wildlife and plunge into sparkling waterholes. Explore the many rich and detailed Aboriginal rock art galleries. See Namarrgon, the Lightning Man at Nourlangie Rock and some of the world’s finest examples of X-ray art at Ubirr Rock in Kakadu’s north-east. North in wholly Aboriginal-owned Arnhem Land, you can fish off the spectacular beaches of the Gove Peninsula and in the creeks, reefs and ocean of the Cobourg Peninsula. Explore the eco systems of Mt Borrodaile with an Aboriginal guide and watch Aboriginal artists at work in the traditional community of Oenpelli.
Pan for gold and explore an underground mine in the Battery Hill Mining Centre. Visit the Telegraph Station built in 1872 to link Australia to the outside world. See the huge, precariously balanced boulders known as the Devils Marbles in the plains south of Tennant Creek. You can learn about their cultural significance to traditional owners the Warumungu people at the Nyinkka Nyunyu Culture Centre. Buy Aboriginal art in the tiny township of Ti Tree and visit Australia’s UFO capital of Wycliffe Well. Stay on huge cattle stations north of town and in the vast Barkly Tablelands to the east.
Explore the historic pioneering township of Katherine and see ancient Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park. Sink into the hot springs of Daly River and fish in the remote waterways of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Spot rare wildlife and wander gorges in Gregory National Park, in the Victoria River region, and relax in Mataranka’s sandy-bottomed thermal pool. Katherine’s rugged and ancient landscapes - which stretch from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the West Australian border - also invite you to canoe, bushwalk, bird watch, camp and four-wheel drive.
Stay in the famous outback town of Alice Springs, which sits in Australia’s red heart just 200 kilometres south of its geographic centre. From here you can bushwalk, four wheel drive or join a camel trek across the rolling sand dunes of the Simpson Desert. Trek through Ormiston Gorge and Pound, visit breathtaking Glen Helen Gorge and see rock wallabies at Simpsons Gap, all in the nearby East and West MacDonnell Ranges. Bike ride to Simpsons Gap at dawn, discover different Aboriginal art styles along the Tanami Track and explore the rock art, artefacts and ceremonial sites near the small Aboriginal community of St Teresa.
Lose your breath at Uluṟu, which rises 348 metres from the desert and matches the light and weather with shades so vivid they upstage the sunset. Learn about Uluṟu’s cultural significance as you walk around its base with an Aboriginal Aṉangu guide. Get up close to the grandeur of nearby Kata Tjuṯa - sacred russet domes formed through millions of years of erosion - on the Valley of the Winds Walk.In Watarrka National Park, you can trek to the rim of Kings Canyon and swim in a waterhole in the lush valley of the Garden of Eden. Walk to Kathleen Springs, drive the Mereenie Loop or soar over the canyon on a helicopter.