Out and about in Australia’s Northern Territory
Even in a country as vast, beautiful and ethereal as Australia, Northern Territory stands tall. This is Crocodile Dundee country, Australia in the raw, where mythical giants like Uluru and Kata Tjuta meet magical settings like Katherine Gorge and Kakadu, and where Dreamtime stories and sacred sights weave a colourful, spiritual tapestry unlike anywhere else on earth.
Read on for our top tips for visiting Australia’s Northern Territory, including when to go and what to see and do while you’re there.
What and where is Australia’s Northern Territory?
The Northern Territory covers a vast area of northern and central Australia, from Darwin in the Top End to Uluru in the Red Centre. And while every state in Australia boasts great swathes of ancient, untouched land (sometimes the size of a small country) NT has more than its share. If you want to experience real ‘outback’ Australia this is the place to come, from hearing ancient stories around flickering campfires to exploring sacred sites or perhaps tasting real Aussie bushtucker like kangaroo, wild watermelon or – not for the fainthearted – a witchetty grub.
When’s the best time to go?
Australia spans two climate zones and – being south of the equator – it has opposite seasons to ours in the UK. So heading to Oz in the British winter can reward you with warm sunshine and high temperatures - a tempting prospect when it’s grey and cold at home. If you don’t like it too hot or humid, aim to be in Northern Territory between May and October. You’ll find slightly cooler temperatures in the Red Centre and remember there is a rainy season in the tropical far north from December to April each year. You might feel unlucky to be caught under a cloudburst at Uluru, but the sight of countless silvery waterfalls cascading down its sides, and its flat top shrouded in cloud, is one you won’t easily forget.
What are the Northern Territory’s must-see sights?
From Darwin on the north coast to Alice Springs in the centre, the Northern Territory offers some of Australia’s most iconic and extraordinary sights and experiences. No visit to NT (arguably no visit to Australia) would be complete without seeing Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, in the Red Centre. Although Uluru is spellbinding at any time of day, it is best viewed at sun rise or sun set, as the red sandstone shifts through colours from terracotta red to dusky pinks, deep purples and inky black.
… and must-do experiences?
Hearing Dreamtime stories told in the shade of a ghost gum tree, catching sight of a saltwater croc in Kakadu National Park, walking through Bruce Munro’s Field of Light at Uluru… the Northern Territory exudes true Aussie spirit and brings out the adventurer in us all. Why not experience it for yourself on one of our Australia tours?
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Although Sophie’s most memorable travel experiences include swimming with horses in the sea off Cape Tribulation, nearly driving off the edge of the Grand Canyon and bungee jumping out of a helicopter over Queenstown, her holidays are a little less adrenalin-fuelled now, often revolving around dog walks and surfing with her family and two dachshunds in Cornwall.
Sophie | About the author
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