Northern Territory Top End

Explore the magnificent Kakadu National Park or the wildlife-rich floodplains

Adventures in the Northern Territory Top End usually begin in Darwin and take in majestic Katherine Gorge, the magnificent Kakadu National Park or the wildlife-rich floodplains surrounding the monumental reserve.

With its open-air markets, tropical botanic gardens and ubiquitous wildlife, balmy Darwin is worlds apart from other Antipodean capitals. Darwin boasts a fascinating history. It was the only Australian location attacked in World War II and the city retains many poignant military sites.

In 1974, during the small hours of Christmas Day the city was ravaged by tropical Cyclone Tracy. This devastating natural disaster destroyed almost 80% of Darwin and forced more than 30,000 people to be evacuated. In its aftermath, the disaster has defined how Darwin is today. The city was rebuilt and there were a number of significant improvements as a result of the event; chief amongst these was the improved building standards, that would be implemented across the country.

No trip to the Northern Territory Top End is complete without visiting Kakadu, Australia’s largest national park and a mosaic of billabongs, waterfalls and age-old Aboriginal rock art sites. There are few upscale accommodation options in this colossal reserve; however, the neighbouring Mary River floodplains are home to a couple of fabulous luxury bush lodges offering an array of exciting nature-based activities.

Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park is another Northern Territory highlight – a collection of captivating cascades set amid ancient sandstone escarpments. Covering a vast area, the park is home to awe-inspiring scenery with 13 impressive gorges that have been carved into the ancient sandstone landscape. This renowned area can be explored on foot and by boat. For a real sense of scale and appreciation from above, a helicopter flight is the perfect choice.

Delve even deeper into the Northern Territory’s natural diversity and thriving Aboriginal culture by venturing into isolated Arnhem Land. Few travellers ever reach a remote corner of the Northern Territory – yet those who do, return with lifelong memories. Its unspoilt wildernesses shelter a third of all Australian avian species and the area is home to one of the world’s oldest living cultures.

  • Relive Darwin’s darkest days at the excellent Darwin Military Museum
  • Call in at Territory Wildlife Park and Crocosaurus Cove
  • Take a thrilling croc-jumping cruise on the Adelaide River.
  • Explore the exquisite chasms of Katherine Gorge by boat or canoe
  • Tick off your birding list in the Mary River wetlands
  • Learn to identify bush tucker and inspect fascinating rock art galleries dating back 40,000 years at Mount Borradaile.
  • Tropical Darwin, a capital city like no other in Australia
  • Fascinating WWII military heritage sites
  • Stunning Katherine Gorge
  • Kakadu National Park, Australia’s largest nature reserve
  • Majestic waterfalls and magical billabongs
  • Thousands of ancient Aboriginal rock art sites
  • The pristine Mary River and its ephemeral floodplains
  • Excellent native wildlife viewing including crocodiles
  • Arnhem Land, a remote, rarely visited pocket of Australia
  • Flourishing Aboriginal culture and traditions

Darwin is serviced by many domestic and regional airlines, with direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Cairns. Charter flights depart from the airport’s general aviation area to various lodges in the Mary River wetlands, to Katherine as well as to Davidson’s Arnhem Land Safaris Eco Lodge in Mt Borradaile.

Visit the Kimberley, for more mind-blowing Australian wilderness or head south to the Red Centre, to see the country’s most recognisable rock monolith.

Northern Territory Top End Itineraries

Accommodation in the Top End

Bullo River Station

Experience true outback adventure and hospitality at the historic Bullo River Station, a 500,000 acre working cattle station and conservation sanctuary in the Northern Territory.

Hilton Darwin

This 5 star hotel is conveniently located in downtown Darwin and close to many amenities and attractions.

Cicada Lodge

A sophisticated eco-friendly property inside Nitmiluk National Park, Cicada Lodge is a wonderful base from which to explore the Northern Territory.

Bamurru Plains

A little west of the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, Bamurru Plains offers some of Australia’s richest wildlife viewing in comfort and style.

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