Away from the big draws of the east coast and magical Ayers rock, the Top End of Australia, aka The Northern Territory, is often overlooked by visitors searching for the perfect beach or a slice of big city life.
But when you’re diving into rock pools, exploring ancient Aboriginal sites, coming face to face with Crocosaurus and sleeping out under endless stars, we guarantee you won’t miss the crowds.
Sunset on Mindil Beach, Darwin.
Here are our top tips for Australia’s Top End
Darwin is easily the biggest city in Northern Territory – but with a population around the same as Cambridge it’s small enough to feel friendly. With a harbour bigger than Sydney’s, beautiful national parks nearby, weekly food and craft markets, the Cage of Death (seriously), and dozens of brilliant bars and clubs, you may never want to leave!
However, if you are tempted to do a bit of hopping, Darwin is the Aussie gateway to Asia and Bali is less than a 3 hour flight away…
Breathe in the fresh air of Kakadu
One of the most beautiful parks in a country known for beautiful parks, Kakadu is a must for any visitor to the top end. At almost 20,000Km2 it’s also Australia’s largest park and has huge waterfalls, azure blue lakes covered in red lilies and some pretty spectacular wildlife.
Take a tour with an Aboriginal guide before sleeping out in a swag for an unforgettable Aussie experience.
Katkadu National Park.
Learn about Aboriginal Culture
The Aboriginal culture in the Top End is so diverse and far reaching that it permeates every level of society. There’s so much to explore from the aboriginal owned national parks to art centres to guided walks to ancient rock painting sights.
Whether it’s a day tour from Darwin, an interpretive trek through the bush or sitting around the campfire listening to ancient dreamtime stories, don’t miss this chance to discover a fascinating culture first hand.
Examples of Aboriginal art.
Enjoy the outdoor lifestyle in Katherine
Now known as Nitmiluk National Park, this park is a maze-like oasis in the middle of the desert. Here you can trek along orange cliffs, shower under waterfalls and kayak through the gorges – just keep an eye out for the crocs (seriously). Visit in the dry season (May to September) to avoid flooding blocking your access and spoiling your swimming time.
Katherine, or Nitmiluk National Park as it now known.
Get a taste of the ‘real’ Australia in Daly Waters
A stop on the long road between Alice Springs and Darwin, Daly waters is now a tourist attraction in its own right. The pub here may well have you thinking you’ve stepped inside Crocodile Dundee and you can leave your mark on the Australian Thong tree (snigger). For a bit of activity why not try Outback bowling… in the middle of the main street!