600-million-year-old sacred icons, tropical wonders and Australia’s LARGEST National Park: Why the Northern Territory is becoming Australia’s must-see destination
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Travel to Australia’s Top End and prepare to be awed by nature. In the Northern Territory, modern life slides into the background, humbled by the immensity of monolithic Uluru, the openness of the bush, and the raw beauty of this land of extremes.
Here you’ll encounter the wildlife of Alice Springs, the geographical centre of Australia. Gaze in wonder at ancient rock art in Kakadu National Park, the dual-listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore Aboriginal art dotted around this stunning and surprisingly accessible wilderness.
Australia’s Northern Territory is home to the wildlife of Alice Springs
Steeped in history, nature, and Aboriginal culture, the Northern Territory is the perfect playground to begin your Australian adventure.
Rich cultures and fusion food
Darwin has a distinctly South East Asian influence, often showing itself in the delicious cuisine
The capital of the Northern Territory is a buzzing melting pot of diverse cultures. Closer to Bali than it is to its fellow Australian cities, Darwin has a distinctly South East Asian influence, often showing itself in the delicious cuisine and cosmopolitan touches.
Darwin is also the perfect base to explore the wildlife of Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, or to take a ferry across to the Tiwi Islands for wonderful wildlife and a chance to meet the local Aboriginal communities.
You can learn about art, bush tucker and the history and culture of the Tiwi people
Within the city, discover vibrant bars and restaurants on central Mitchell Street, savour fabulous dishes with bush tucker ingredients, and visit Aboriginal art galleries to gain a deeper understanding of this unique region and its culture.
For the historically inclined, the Darwin Military Museum offers the chance to explore WW2 history, when Darwin suffered the country’s largest ever single attack, dubbed ‘Australia’s Pearl Harbor’.
Australia’s largest national park
Sunset from a view from the top of the rock at Ubirr in Kakadu National Park
Jim Jim Falls is an imposing 200 metre high waterfall in Kakadu National Park
A sprawling reserve the size of Wales, consisting of dense monsoon forest, fertile wetlands and rugged escarpments, immerse yourself in the abundant nature of Kakadu National Park, which is three hours southeast of vibrant Darwin.
Admire 20,000-year-old rock art at Ubirr and Nourlangie under the guidance of Aboriginal experts, spot the diverse migratory birds of the wetlands and hike past cascading waterfalls. You can even bathe in the pristine natural waterhole at Maguk.
Take a Yellow Water Billabong cruise for crocodiles, wallabies, buffalo, wild horses and birdlife including sea eagles, egrets and jacana.
Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu’s most famous wetland, is located at the end of Jim Jim Creek, a tributary of the South Alligator River, part of the largest in Kakadu National Park
With the billabong covered in a carpet of delicate pink and white waterlilies, the viewing platform is a great option for a Top End sunset moment. Or, head an hour north to Ubirr for a view from the top of the rock.
An evening at Uluru
Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock) stands at more than 1,000 feet tall in the heart of Australia’s Red Centre
The immense monolith in the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock) is a sacred place for the Aboriginal culture and an important piece of Australian history. Standing more than 1,000 feet tall, the 600-million-year-old rock towers over the ochre landscape. In Aboriginal culture, it is said to be the place where memories and Earth exist as one.
You can enjoy an al fresco wine and dine experience as the sunset paints the vast rock in ever-changing colours
Walk around the impressive base with an Anangu guide, one of the Traditional Owners of the land, or join a camel tour to get a full sense of the rock’s immensity. Take a scenic flight, or enjoy an al fresco wine and dine experience as the sunset paints the vast rock in ever-changing colours.
Sunrise at Kata Tjuta
The rocks glow at sunrise and sunset, and their beauty is best explored on a three-hour Valley of the Winds hike
Experiencing sunrise at Kata Tjuta is a must-do for anyone visiting the Northern Territory
Just 35 miles east of Uluru, a visit to Kata Tjuta (formerly known as The Olgas) can be combined on the same trip for a deeper experience. Another sacred site for the Anangu people, who have inhabited this land for some 22,000 years, these sandstone domes offer a chance to dig deeper into the unique culture and history of this region.
The rocks glow at sunrise and sunset, and their beauty is best explored on a three-hour Valley of the Winds hike. Leaving early in the morning, you’re likely to encounter kangaroos and other wildlife as you walk between two incredible viewpoints. After, listen to stories about Dreamtime told by the traditional owners of the land.
Gorges and hiking trails
hike the Jatbula Trail towards the bubbling Edith Falls
In the ancient land of Nitmiluk National Park, extreme weather conditions and roaring rivers have carved out 13 picturesque gorges, that combine to form one colossal gorge. Just 20 miles from the town of Katherine, set on the river of the same name, this region offers fantastic hiking opportunities and unforgettable views.
Canoe through the gorges for wildlife spotting, take a scenic heli flight, or enjoy a sunset dining cruise with Nitmiluk tours for delicious food and stunning sunsets. Get your heart pumping as you hike the Jatbula Trail towards the bubbling Edith Falls or head to the Top Didj Cultural Experience & Art Gallery. Here, Manuel will tell you stories of a childhood spent learning how to throw spears, make fire, and create intricate pieces of Aboriginal art.
Eden and the lost city
The spectacular Kings Canyon rim walk in Watarrka National Park contains the Garden of Eden
Set within the Watarrka National Park just 200 miles west of Alice Springs, Kings Canyon was formed some 400 million years ago. This is the home of Priscilla’s Crack, made famous by the film Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, a beautiful rock hole filled with rare plants known as the Garden of Eden, and the weather-beaten beehive rock formations lovingly nicknamed ‘the lost city’.
Follow the designated routes along the rim of the nearly 1,000-feet-high sandstone walls of this ancient and sacred site, bathe in the ancient pools and rest in the shade of the Garden of Eden’s indigenous plants.
How to get there
Singapore Airlines flies from Manchester and London Heathrow via Singapore to Darwin, the gateway to your Australian journey. Book an open-jaw flight and enter through Darwin then fly out of one of the many Singapore Airlines Australian gateways, such as Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns or Gold Coast.
A glimpse of authentic Australia, the Northern Territory offers experiences with the world’s oldest living continuous culture, jaw dropping landscapes, diverse wildlife and an exotic, cosmopolitan capital city. Hike among wallabies, cruise past sunbathing crocodiles or take to the skies to discover this spectacular part of Australia.
Find out more and book your holiday at audleytravel.com
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