The Magic of Australia's Northern Territory
From the cool coastal capital of Darwin to the desert town of Alice Springs and the stirring ochre-hued landscapes of Uluru, Australia’s Northern Territory is vast and thriving and incredible – and there’s no place quite like anywhere in the world. Our Grand Tour of Australia, The Best of Australia, Highlights of Australia and Grand Antipodean Odyssey itineraries take in some of the best bits, so you know you won’t miss a thing. Tick off a sunset viewing at Uluru; wander through 50,000 years of Aboriginal cultural heritage at Kakadu National Park; clap your eyes on the towering gorges along the Katherine river; tour Australia's only tropical capital, Darwin; and explore little Alice Springs. And that's just scratching the surface.
When to visit the Northern Territory?
Australia’s Northern Territory is vast; it covers two climate zones, so there’s not ‘one’ time to visit weather-wise. The most northerly section is tropical and humid and does have a rainy season between December - April (which gives way to the luscious landscapes). Meanwhile, the Red Centre is a swirl of orange, red and pink all year round. The months of May – October are a great time to visit, when the Red Centre is at its coolest and Darwin at its driest. But really, there is no ‘bad time’ to see this incredible part of Australia.
Uluru (Ayers Rock)
The Outback is an endless, desert-like landscape flecked with the odd sand dune and not much else for miles and miles. Until you arrive at Uluru. As far as iconic landmarks go, Uluru (or Ayers Rock) is up there with the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon and Iguazu Falls. It is thought the Rock started forming some 550 million years ago and the sense of ‘realness’ and eternity you feel when staring at this spectacular monolith is utterly humbling.
On our tours, you’ll learn all about the cultural significance of Uluru to the Aboriginal people who now officially own the National Park in which it stands. Our itineraries ensure you get both a sunset (with a glass of something bubbly…) and a sunrise viewing of this icon.
The Field of Light is a light-based installation that illuminates a fantasy garden of 50,000 spindles of multicoloured lights surrounding Uluru after nightfall. It was originally intended as a limited exhibition by celebrated British artist Bruce Munro, but is now a permanent installation.
Alice Springs is the gateway to some of central Australia’s most bewildering landscapes. It’s a four hour drive from Uluru and the MacDonnell Ranges stretch to the east and west. But despite its remoteness, ‘Alice’ is the beating heart of the Red Centre. Here, you’ll find a city full of arts, events and culture. There’s a lot to be learnt about Australia’s Aboriginal history, its present-day challenges and its future. There are excellent museums, a fine wildlife park and outstanding galleries of Indigenous art.
Darwin is Australia’s only tropical capital city and being closer to Bali than Bondi, it feels removed from the rest of Aus. And that’s all part of the appeal. It’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that; admire the galleries of rich Indigenous art, wander the Asian-inspired night markets and sample tasty street food, clap eyes on wild crocodiles or rest them on the poignant sunsets. Balmy night and colourful characters – and that’s just the city centre.
Venture to the city’s surrounds and you’ll be delighted by the incredible landscapes and unique wildlife. The enormous, bio diverse Kakdau National Park is practically the city’s back garden, filled with ancient rock art (dating back 25,000 years), tumbling waterfalls and more.
Feeling inspired? Order your copy of our Worldwide brochure for more information on our Australia holidays, or contact us for more information
Article published on: 2nd October, 2020
From the coffee-clad highlands of Colombia to getting up-close-and-personal with elephants in Thailand and the exploring the sprawling winelands of South Africa, Natalie is a wannabe-adventurer and finds it hard to pick favourites when it comes to travel destinations. She has a weakness for wildlife and good wine, so her escapades are usually in pursuit of one or the other.
As well as writing for The Scenic Route, Natalie also manages our social media channels. Be sure to follow Titan on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest news.