The Northern Territory (NT) is the kind of land where clichés are born. The vast Tanami Desert mocks polite attempts to penetrate it; Darwin and the tropical north is a wild, untameable place, with cyclones whipping the coast and dumps of rain that cut road access to many settlements and sights. And then there are all of those deadly animals poised to snap, sting and strike.
Though there’s access to the prolific natural areas like Kakadu National Park, the place has a particular edge. There really are wild crocodiles in the waterways of Arnhem Land, and another car might not come down the desert road for weeks. There are bottlenecks through which travellers are safely funnelled, but, equally, there are huge tracts of country that mightn’t have seen a person in decades. There are art galleries in the outback oasis of Alice Springs. And of course, there’s the mesmerising changing colours of the iconic Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Crossing this vast country on a legendary road trip, or on a slow train, provides the chance to watch for wildlife and admire art, to hike through rainforest and rocky gorges, to sleep in a swag and eat bush foods. Take in awesome displays of Northern Lights at midnight in autumn and winter. Choose a wilderness lodge where you can see the aurora right overhead. Fish for world class trophies on one of the super-sized lakes in the long days of northern summer. Or you could drive across the Arctic Circle to the amazing Mackenzie Delta, on the Dempster Highway.
Imagine hiking in a National Park at the top of the world, where caribou spend the summer. Canoe a wild northern river few have ever seen. Hop a bush plane and go flightseeing over the Nahanni, the Mackenzie Delta, or Great Slave Lake’s East Arm. Or relax aboard a jet boat, and travel a northern river to a secluded mountain lodge.
The Northern Territory offers spectacular vacation ideas in magnificent wilderness surroundings. Drive uncrowded roads and marvel at the wildlife. The roadside parks and campgrounds welcome you with scenic waterfalls. Wood bison, moose and bears can be spotted right from the road. And rare birds from across the Americas nest here each summer.
Darwin, the city’s capital, is a modern and stunning contrast of lush green and arid beauty of The Red Centre. Rich with the culture of the indigenous Aboriginal people who roamed the plains for thousands of years, this region is studded with natural monuments. The Katherine region is a treasure trove of attractions including Nitmiluk Gorge, the River Corridor and Hot Springs. The unspoilt landscapes and ancient land formations are unmissable on a Northern Territory holiday.