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.
There are dozens of spectacular national parks in the NT, but you can’t miss at least one of these beauties…
Kakadu National Park
This is Australia’s largest national park complete with 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 National Park
This icon is World Heritage listed, too. 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 as do memorable experiences.
Location: Approx. 460km from Alice Springs.
Litchfield National Park
Notable for its gorgeous waterfalls and funky termite mounds. Historical ruins contrast with the many natural features.
Location: Approx. 120km from Darwin.
Nitmiluk National Park
Dominated by imposing sandstone gorges, including Katherine Gorge, and teeming with watering holes, rainforest, and Aboriginal rock art.
Location: Approx. 30km from Katherine.
Tjoritja West MacDonnell Ranges National Park
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.
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.
If you haven't been dazzled enough after visiting those treasure-filled national parks, point the phone or camera towards Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles. This quirky collection of granite boulders is 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 south of Alice Springs.
Or simply head to the top of Anzac Hill in Alice and enjoy panoramic views of the town and its surrounds.
Berry Springs Nature Park is a must visit. It’s an easy drive south of 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.
You haven’t experienced the NT until you’ve visited at least 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 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 hangs from the rafters.
The Territory 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’ interactions 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. Alternatively, be amazed by the colourful collection of creatures at Alice Springs Reptile Centre or stop by the Kangaroo Sanctuary, which has an emphasis on orphaned joeys.
The Top End has a cluster of gripping cultural attractions led by the must-visit Darwin Military Museum and its Defence of Darwin Experience. It 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 Cultural Experience & Art Gallery, which provides a great insight into Aboriginal culture.
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.
The Darwin Waterfront is the place to go with its collection of seaside cafés, restaurants, and bars. Families will find even more appeal in its wave pool and recreation lagoon.
In Katherine, you can’t go past Marksie's Stockman's Camp Tucker, which combines delicious bush food with top-notch entertainment.
In Alice Springs, 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.
You must stop by the iconic Mindil Beach Sunset Market in Darwin, which is a regular crowd magnet. Featuring a whopping 200-plus stalls, it includes everything from food and drink to arts and craft each Sunday and Thursday evening (in season). Or enjoy a Sunday morning full of fun for the senses at the Nightcliff Markets.
The craft-beer trend has gathered speed in the Top End. Six Tanks is centrally located in Darwin and is joined by Beaver Brewery and One Mile Brewery. Further south is Purple Mango Brewery and Café in Marrakai, and you’ll find Alice Springs Brewing Company in the Red Centre.
BIG4 parks are planted in prime locations within the Northern Territory. See below.