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AUSTRALIA

Holidays to Northern Territory

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Northern Territory? Tick.

Six times bigger than the UK, the Northern Territory, or the NT, is well worth exploring. A flight from the UK to Darwin is likely to stop over in popular Asian destinations like Singapore or Bali, making a visit to the Northern Territory an ideal multi-centre holiday, if you want to visit contrasting places. 

Of all the options in Australia, a holiday to the Northern Territory gives you fantastic access to Aboriginal culture. You can discover rock art, galleries, and traditional music and storytelling. Even bush food is showcased throughout the region. And you can expect to discover unique, otherworldly landscapes. There’s plenty to see, from towering termite mounds in Litchfield National Park, to the sprawling wetlands of Kakadu, to the ever-changing colours of Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock.

The geography of the Territory can be most easily subdivided into two regions. There’s the Top End in the north – home to the tropical and multi-cultural capital, Darwin, which is the gateway to the spectacular National Parks of Kakadu, Litchfield and Nitmiluk – home to memorable vistas characterised by towering escarpments, waterholes and pristine wetlands. And there’s the Red Centre in the south, which is home to iconic Alice Springs and Uluru.

The Top End is connected to the Red Centre by the legendary Stuart Highway and by The Ghan Railway, so on a holiday to the Northern Territory it's easy to explore. The NT is certainly big, but many of its attractions are grouped relatively close together, making it ideal for a three or four-day stint in the Top End, before heading down to Uluru and Alice Springs. Cruise Darwin harbour, take a scenic flight over Kakadu’s vast wetlands or float across the Red Centre in a hot air balloon, there are so many things to do and experience here.

Uluru and The Outback

Things to do

Darwin

Best time to go

Uluru and The Outback

You can begin your Outback adventure in iconic Alice Springs, with direct flights from Darwin and other major Australian cities. The town is famous for its amazing vistas and sunsets, strong aboriginal culture with plenty of cultural events and its relative proximity to Uluru, or Ayers Rock. 

With a wide variety of lodging, there is plenty to do in Alice itself. You can visit Aboriginal art galleries, explore the desert astride a camel, swim in a waterhole, visit the famous Royal Flying Doctor Service Centre, or taking a sunrise hot air balloon trip. 

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You can fly from Alice to Uluru in just 45 minutes or it’s a scenic five-hour drive by car, where you can expect to see far more than simply endless desert plains. Uluru deserves at least two days – this will give you enough time to see the magical rock at different times of day, when its colour changes.

Uluru is undoubtedly the icon of the 'NT' and from your base at Ayers Rock Resort you can explore the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in your own vehicle or on numerous organised excursions. For an unforgettable experience book A Night At Field of Light, an under the stars, outback dining experience in the shadow of Ayers Rock followed by entry to the magical Field of Light art installation.

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Things to do in Northern Australia

With the highest Aboriginal population in Australia, the Northern Territory is the best place in which to immerse yourself in this fascinating culture, with a plethora of art galleries and museums throughout the territory. 

Go on a specialised territory art trail to learn more, eat bush tucker – including the infamous witchetty grubs – or even travel by boat just 2.5 hours north of Darwin to visit the Tiwi Islands. With such a varied topography including desert, savannah woodlands, sandstone plateaus, wetlands, and mangrove and monsoon forests home to over 400 species of birds, it’s a rich and diverse land. On the water, you can try kayaking through towering gorges, sail through mangroves to spot dugongs, river dolphins or take a cruise to spot salt-water crocs. 

 

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Another iconic way to see the Northern Territory is to jump aboard The Ghan to embark upon one of the world's greatest railway journeys. Departing from Darwin, travel coast to coast through the fiery red centre, experiencing Australia at its dramatic best.

Those who love an adventure will adore their Northern Territory holiday.

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Show Less

Darwin and the ‘Top End’

Darwin has a very different feel from other Australian cities. Its history and heritage are captivating, with a strong South Asian element reflected in a vibrant food culture and outdoor markets such as the Mindil Beach Sunset food markets. 

Darwin is flanked by two incredible national parks, just a short drive away. Litchfield has an abundance of spring-fed water pools and waterfalls. Mary River National Park is further away, 150 kilometres east of Darwin, with rivers and billabongs that offer a variety of cruises for wildlife spotting. 

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Further east, only three hours from Darwin, is Kakadu National Park, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Bininj/Mungguy people have called Kakadu home for some 65,000 years, and the area is filled with 5,000 Aboriginal rock art sites. Here, you can learn about this ancient culture and the region’s dramatic seasons.

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Show Less

Best time to visit the Northern Territory

There are two distinct climatic zones in the Northern Territory – the tropical Top End’ which has wet and dry seasons, and the semi-arid Red Centre which has a drier desert like climate. The wet season is from November to March, when you can expect occasional monsoon rains, higher humidity and peak temperatures of at 33oC. But many locals say ‘the wet’ is their favourite season with waterfalls in full flow and abundant wildlife. While some roads can occasionally become impassable during your Northern Territory trip at this time, you can always take a scenic flight to see the country at its greenest – you’ll spot thundering waterfalls and stunning sunsets.

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Show Less

April to October is known as ‘the dry.’ Temperatures remain around 33oC, but with no humidity. It’s sunnier too and Darwin has a packed calendar of events during this period. Further south in the Red Centre, winter (June-August) temperatures may reach 20oC during the day, with temperatures falling to a few degrees at night. September to November averages 25oC. 

December to February is the hottest period in the Centre maxing out at 35oC. March to May is widely regarded as the best time to be in Alice Springs, when the days are warm and evenings cool. 

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Show Less

Uluru and The Outback

Uluru and The Outback

You can begin your Outback adventure in iconic Alice Springs, with direct flights from Darwin and other major Australian cities. The town is famous for its amazing vistas and sunsets, strong aboriginal culture with plenty of cultural events and its relative proximity to Uluru, or Ayers Rock. 

With a wide variety of lodging, there is plenty to do in Alice itself. You can visit Aboriginal art galleries, explore the desert astride a camel, swim in a waterhole, visit the famous Royal Flying Doctor Service Centre, or taking a sunrise hot air balloon trip. 

Show More
Show Less

You can fly from Alice to Uluru in just 45 minutes or it’s a scenic five-hour drive by car, where you can expect to see far more than simply endless desert plains. Uluru deserves at least two days – this will give you enough time to see the magical rock at different times of day, when its colour changes.

Uluru is undoubtedly the icon of the 'NT' and from your base at Ayers Rock Resort you can explore the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in your own vehicle or on numerous organised excursions. For an unforgettable experience book A Night At Field of Light, an under the stars, outback dining experience in the shadow of Ayers Rock followed by entry to the magical Field of Light art installation.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Northern Australia

With the highest Aboriginal population in Australia, the Northern Territory is the best place in which to immerse yourself in this fascinating culture, with a plethora of art galleries and museums throughout the territory. 

Go on a specialised territory art trail to learn more, eat bush tucker – including the infamous witchetty grubs – or even travel by boat just 2.5 hours north of Darwin to visit the Tiwi Islands. With such a varied topography including desert, savannah woodlands, sandstone plateaus, wetlands, and mangrove and monsoon forests home to over 400 species of birds, it’s a rich and diverse land. On the water, you can try kayaking through towering gorges, sail through mangroves to spot dugongs, river dolphins or take a cruise to spot salt-water crocs. 

 

Show More
Show Less

Another iconic way to see the Northern Territory is to jump aboard The Ghan to embark upon one of the world's greatest railway journeys. Departing from Darwin, travel coast to coast through the fiery red centre, experiencing Australia at its dramatic best.

Those who love an adventure will adore their Northern Territory holiday.

Show More
Show Less

Darwin

Darwin and the ‘Top End’

Darwin has a very different feel from other Australian cities. Its history and heritage are captivating, with a strong South Asian element reflected in a vibrant food culture and outdoor markets such as the Mindil Beach Sunset food markets. 

Darwin is flanked by two incredible national parks, just a short drive away. Litchfield has an abundance of spring-fed water pools and waterfalls. Mary River National Park is further away, 150 kilometres east of Darwin, with rivers and billabongs that offer a variety of cruises for wildlife spotting. 

Show More
Show Less

Further east, only three hours from Darwin, is Kakadu National Park, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Bininj/Mungguy people have called Kakadu home for some 65,000 years, and the area is filled with 5,000 Aboriginal rock art sites. Here, you can learn about this ancient culture and the region’s dramatic seasons.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit the Northern Territory

There are two distinct climatic zones in the Northern Territory – the tropical Top End’ which has wet and dry seasons, and the semi-arid Red Centre which has a drier desert like climate. The wet season is from November to March, when you can expect occasional monsoon rains, higher humidity and peak temperatures of at 33oC. But many locals say ‘the wet’ is their favourite season with waterfalls in full flow and abundant wildlife. While some roads can occasionally become impassable during your Northern Territory trip at this time, you can always take a scenic flight to see the country at its greenest – you’ll spot thundering waterfalls and stunning sunsets.

Show More
Show Less

April to October is known as ‘the dry.’ Temperatures remain around 33oC, but with no humidity. It’s sunnier too and Darwin has a packed calendar of events during this period. Further south in the Red Centre, winter (June-August) temperatures may reach 20oC during the day, with temperatures falling to a few degrees at night. September to November averages 25oC. 

December to February is the hottest period in the Centre maxing out at 35oC. March to May is widely regarded as the best time to be in Alice Springs, when the days are warm and evenings cool. 

Show More
Show Less

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We Recommend

Kakadu National Park

Combining natural wonders with Aboriginal rock art and culture, Kakadu is a not to be missed. It’s a highlight not just of the Northern Territory, but the whole of Australia.

We Recommend

Uluru

Factor in a minimum of 48 hours to truly experience this awe-inspiring outcrop in all its different shades of colour. Go on a camel trek and witness this wonder at sunset.

We Recommend

Alice Springs

With a unique vibe, Alice Springs is the place to learn about Aboriginal culture, go on a real bushtucker trip, and take a sunrise balloon ride over the desert.

We Recommend

Nitmiluk National Park and Katherine Gorge

Less than four hours drive South of Darwin, these 13 impressive gorges can be explore on foot, in a canoe, by boat or even in a helicopter.

We Recommend

Cultural events

There are some real oddball events – like Darwin’s annual Lions Beer Can Regatta, held every August at beautiful Mindil Beach. Boats are constructed out of beer cans, milk cartons or anything that floats.

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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

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