Straight to the Top (End) – your cheat sheet to the NT
A visit to the NT should be on the bucket list of every Australian.
Breathtaking nature, mind-boggling history, and a unique culture are all hallmarks of this massive territory.
The NT is fascinating and dramatic, beautiful and brilliant, iconic and memorable. And it provides some of the most incredible experiences imaginable.
Do you want to get to know the Top End in a short amount of time? Then you’ll love this handy cheat sheet to the NT.
I’ve heard the NT is renowned for its national parks? Could you recommend a few?
There are dozens of spectacular national parks in the NT, but you can’t miss at least one of these beauties…
Kakadu: Australia’s largest national park; World Heritage status. Highlights abound: incredibly diverse landscapes dotted with waterfalls, wetlands, and gorges as well as ancient rock art.
Location: Approx. 250km from Darwin and 300km from Katherine.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta: World Heritage listed also. Uluru makes for a breathtaking sight that postcards can’t do justice, and the domed rocks known as Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) are just as spectacular. Viewing opportunities abound.
Location: Approx. 460km from Alice Springs.
Litchfield: Notable for its gorgeous waterfalls and funky termite mounds. Historic ruins contrast with the many natural features.
Location: Approx. 120km from Darwin.
Nitmiluk: Dominated by imposing sandstone gorges, including Katherine Gorge, and teeming with watering holes, rainforest, and Aboriginal rock art.
Location: Approx. 30km from Katherine.
West MacDonnell Ranges: Swimming holes, gorges, ochre pits, and famous formations like Simpsons Gap are among its wealth of treasure.
Location: Starting from just 10km from Alice Springs.
What about something else on the nature trail?
You’ll be blown away by the underground awesomeness that is Cutta Cutta Caves Nature Park, 25km from Katherine. The park is filled with ancient limestone caves, boasts five species of bats, and is rich with bird life and Aboriginal culture. Not to be missed.
What are the best photo ops?
If you have any memory on the camera or phone after visiting those treasure-filled national parks, point the lens towards Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles, a collection of granite boulders located 100km south of Tennant Creek.
Some Red Centre locals will tell you that Kings Canyon, 320km from Alice Springs, is more impressive than Uluru, and the towering sandstone walls of this iconic creation are simply jaw-dropping.
Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve is filled with sandstone bluffs and cliffs that change colour with the sunlight. Best reached with a 4WD, it’s 100km from Alice Springs.
Or simply head to the top of Anzac Hill in Alice Springs and enjoy panoramic views of the town and its surrounds.
Is there anywhere to take a refreshing dip?
Berry Springs Nature Park is hard to beat. It’s an easy drive from Darwin (and even easier from BIG4 Howard Springs) and features incredibly inviting swimming pools in tranquil, shaded surrounds. What’s more, the park has a series of prized walking tracks and fascinating World War II relics.
What about something quirky?
You haven’t experienced the NT until you’ve visited one of its iconic pubs. The Humpty Doo Hotel near BIG4 Howard Springs teems with character, and its menu is as interesting as they come.
Daly Waters Historic Pub is legendary and has all sorts of memorabilia and other items to check out over a cool drink, such as a collection of bras that hang from the rafters.
Can I get up close to wildlife?
You sure can! The NT is crammed with a host of unforgettable wildlife attractions and experiences.
In Darwin, Crocodylus Park and Crocosaurus Cove provide thrilling encounters with imposing saltwater crocodiles. The latter features a Cage of Death attraction that is both terrifying and exhilarating.
Further south, jumping-crocodile cruises at Adelaide River allow for more ‘intimate’ interaction with these engrossing marine reptiles.
Territory Wildlife Park at Berry Springs is packed with a wide assortment of creatures great and small and includes a superb aquarium.
Without doubt, one of the premier attractions in the Red Centre is Alice Springs Desert Park. It showcases a massive variety of animal life, and the free-flying bird show is not to be missed. Or be amazed by the colourful collection of creatures at Alice Springs Reptile Centre.
I’d love to explore the past, maybe a bit of culture. Where should I go?
The Top End has a cluster of gripping cultural attractions led by the must-visit Defence of Darwin Experience, which details the NT’s role in World War II through a series of interactive displays.
A wide range of thought-provoking themes are covered at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, while there are yarns aplenty to uncover within the walls of Fannie Bay Gaol.
Katherine Museum is a little gem with a diverse collection that includes old aircraft. While in town, check out Top Didj & Art Gallery, which provides a great insight into Aboriginal culture and is home to the Katherine Art Gallery.
Araluen Cultural Precinct in Alice Springs has a host of absorbing attractions that include the Museum of Central Australia and a comprehensive art gallery.
While in Alice, the John Flynn Trail celebrates the life of the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s founder and incorporates various first-class historical attractions. Or take a wander through the arid zone Olive Pink Botanic Gardens.
Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, and Barrow Creek all have telegraph station historical reserves that delve into an interesting era of communication in Australia.
Where would you recommend grabbing a bite to eat?
The Darwin Waterfront is the place to go with its collection of seaside cafes, restaurants, and bars. Families will find even more appeal in its wave pool and recreation lagoon.
If you’re after a tasty beer, Six Tanks Brewing Co. has quickly emerged as the place to go for a refreshing ale or two.
The famous Sunday morning pancake breakfast at BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park will start your day on the right note. Outside of Sundays, head to Todd Mall and people-watch from a cool café by day and feast on delicious seafood at Barra on Todd restaurant and bar by night.
In Katherine, you can’t go past Marksie's Stockman's Camp Tucker Night, which combines delicious bush food with top-notch entertainment.
You must stop by the iconic Mindil Beach Sunset Market in Darwin, which is a regular crowd magnet. Featuring a whopping 300-plus stalls, it includes everything from food and drink to arts and craft each Thursday and Sunday evenings (in season). Or enjoy a Sunday morning full of fun for the senses at the Nightcliff Markets.
Where can I stay?
BIG4 parks are planted in prime locations within the Northern Territory. Check them out below.
Isn’t it time you reached the Top End? Book your NT escape now.
Find & book your holiday accommodation with BIG4
Estimating your equipment size
We are looking for an estimate of the size of your Caravan, Motorhome, Camper Trailer, Tent etc. once it has been set up or fully extended (outside to outside)... excluding your vehicle.
Caravans, Motorhomes, Camper Vans, Camper Trailers
Please include your tow/draw bar in the estimate.
Widths are generally around 4 – 5 metres (13.12 – 16.4 feet).
Note: Include annexes of pullouts in width.
|Caravans||4 – 12 metres (13.12 – 39.37 feet)|
|Motorhomes||7 – 14 metres (22.97 – 45.93 feet)|
|Campervans||5 – 7 metres (16.40 – 22.97 feet)|
|Fifth wheelers||7 – 14 metres (22.97 – 45.93 feet)|
|Camper Trailers||5 – 8 metres (16.40 – 26.25 feet)|
Note: Do not include the size of the tent pegs
|1 person||1 × 2.5 metres (3.28 × 8.20 feet)|
|2 person||1.5 × 2.5 metres (4.92 × 8.20 feet)|
|3 person||3 × 2.5 metres (9.84 × 8.20 feet)|
|4 person||4.5 × 2.5 metres (14.76 × 8.20 feet)|
|5 person||6 × 3 metres (19.69 × 9.84 feet)|
|6+ person||7 × 4.5 metres (22.97 × 14.76 feet)|
Please be advised that Site sizes vary from park to park and within each park. Sites will be allocated based on the measurements provided during the booking process and it is the responsibility of the guest to ensure estimates are as close to accurate as possible.
If you are unsure, we would prefer you to overestimate or give us a call on 1300 738 044