It’s been several months since my 3 month journey around Australia by completely overland means, but I still havn’t even finished writing about half of it! I experienced so much, and in so little time.
People often ask me, what was my favourite part of the trip? It’s really difficult to answer that question. Australia is a pretty big country, and each state/ territory has it’s own unique identity and culture. So when asked that question, I usually break down my highlights by state.
Top 5 Northern Territory Highlights
I love places that are off the beaten track, and far away from anything else. After all, I am from Winnipeg, one of Canada’s most isolated cities. Pretty much everything in the Northern Territory of Australia fits that criteria as well.
Some of these places in the Northern Territory take a little bit of commitment to get to, but they are well worth the effort…. as you will soon see…. (and best of all, all of these places are accessible by Greyhound!)
Uluru and Kings Canyon
Ok so what sort of Northern Territory list could miss this. I mean, it’s probably one of the first things you think of when you think of Australia… after kangaroos of course. But despite how clique Uluru is, it is still an amazing natural, spiritual, and historical destination.
Uluru is accessible from Alice Springs… but that doesn’t mean it is nearby. You can visit it as part of a day trip, but I would highly recommend doing a multi day self guided or guided tour which visits other attractions in the area as well…. such as Kings Canyon.
You can see some great outback photos here.
King’s Canyon is an attraction which surprised me. Now this one, unlike Uluru, is not something you hear about all the time. You wont often see it on postcards or calendars, and yet I found it even more awe inspiring than even Uluru.
Tennant Creek is one of those out of way, dusty, gritty towns which epitomizes “outback”. The town grew up around the gold mining industry, and is now a mix of descendents of those original gritty miners, and the local aboriginal population. This is one of those places where survival was tough and ingenuity was key.
Tennant Creek is a convenient place to stop over if you are travelling by car or bus from Adelaide to Darwin, or from Townsville to Darwin. It’s worth spending a day there, learning about the mining culture of the area as well as the unique aboriginal perspective as well.
Read my itinerary ideas for 24 hours in Tennant Creek here.
Darwin and Kakadu
Darwin is one of those places that not many travellers to Australia get to visit – and yet the ones who do make it here end up staying! It seems that all the backpackers in Darwin end up staying there for long periods of time, working to replenish their travel funds…and you can pretty much find them all along one street. But working travellers isn’t the reason to come to Darwin. The main reason is to discover this tropical city.
Darwin is the gateway to two pretty amazing national parks; Kakadu, and Litchfield. It is also the place to go if you want to get up close and personal with salt water crocodiles. (Just don’t get too close otherwise you may never be seen again!) If you do want to get up close and personal with crocs, there is one way that you can safely swim with them…. and that’s at the Crocoseum. Lauren and I went in the “cage of death” but I guess we were too skinny to be of any interest to the crocs, cause they all ignored us completely.
Katherine and Nitmiluk
Katherine is the closest major town to Darwin and is a good stopping point on the roads from Darwin – Broome, as well as from Darwin – Townsville. The main highlight of my stay in Katherine is actually located just outside Katherine.
Nitmiluk national park is famous for its aboriginal history and culture, as well as its stunning natural beauty. The highlight of this natural beauty is Katherine Gorge.
The main thing to do in Nitmiluk national park, is to experience the gorge. For the more active, there are a variety of hikes available as well as kayaking opportunities. And for those who want a more relaxed visit, several boat cruises run throughout the day. The highlight of my visit was the evening boat cruise which included a delicious meal sourced from local ingredients – such as crocodile and barramundi.