Straight to the Top (End) – your cheat sheet to the NT

Delve into the unique culture and landscapes of Kakadu National Park.

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.

Dotted with waterfalls, wetlands and gorges, as well as unique rock formations like this one, Kakadu is Australia's largest national park.

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.

Uluru makes for a truly breathtaking sight.

Litchfield: Notable for its gorgeous waterfalls and funky termite mounds. Historic ruins contrast with the many natural features.
Location: Approx. 120km from Darwin.

Litchfield National Park is known for its gorgeous waterfalls.

Nitmiluk: Dominated by imposing sandstone gorges, including Katherine Gorge, and teeming with watering holes, rainforest, and Aboriginal rock art.
Location: Approx. 30km from Katherine.

Spot some unique termite mounds in Nitmiluk National Park.

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.

Unique swimming holes and breathtaking gorges are just a few of the wonders on offer at West MacDonnell Ranges National Park.

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.

Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles makes for a fantastic photo opportunity. Credit: Sam Tinson

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.

Enjoy panoramic views of Alice Springs from the top of Anzac Hill.

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. 

Make sure you visit the legendary Daly Waters Historic Pub when in NT.

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.

Witness the massive variety of animal life at Alice Springs Desert Park. Hot tip: don't miss the free-flying bird show. Credit: Tourism NT

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. 

Delve into the past with a visit to the Alice Springs telegraph station hisorical reserve.

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.

BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park hosts a regular Sunday morning pancake breakfast that's sure to fill your belly for a long day of exploring NT.

Any markets?

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.

The iconic Mindil Beach (pictured here) is also home to a seasonal Sunset Market.

Where can I stay?

BIG4 parks are planted in prime locations within the Northern Territory.

Isn’t it time you reached the Top End? Book your NT escape now.

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