Why shiver through the winter months when you could escape to Australia’s Top End and immerse yourself in a part of Australia that’s truly like no other?
During the winter months the sun is shining on the vast and incredible Northern Territory and the great outdoors is calling! From the mighty Uluru and desert town of Alice Springs, to the vibrant coastal capital Darwin and its neighboring islands, you will discover thriving Aboriginal cultures, mesmerising natural wonders and unforgettable landscapes ready to be explored.
The Australian government is also making travelling to the NT even more appealing in 2021, including Darwin, Alice Springs and Uluru in the Federal Government’s $1.2 billion tourism package. Travelers have the opportunity to purchase half-priced tickets by the end of July for travel through until the end of September, the best time to visit!
To help get your itinerary off to a start, we have put together our top 5 experiences for the Top End.
Fish for the famous silver barramundi
Anglers from across the world visit the NT chasing the Australian silver barramundi. From Darwin, beginner and experienced anglers can join one of the many tours or, for some of the world’s best fishing experiences, you can venture remote into Arnhem land to catch the iconic species. The NT’s famous Million Dollar competition gives serious anglers the chance to win a million dollars for catching the one lucky fish.
Meet Aboriginal artists and watch them work
In the Northern Territory, you can meet the Indigenous artists on their land and witness them create their unique world-renowned art – a must-do experience! There is an abundance of opportunities to immerse yourself in Aboriginal art in the NT with art centers spread all over the state, world-renowned galleries on the Tiwi Islands just north of Darwin and there is also the opportunity to sit with the Maruku artists near Uluru as they work. The NT is home to many Aboriginal art festivals including the famous Aboriginal Art Fair in Darwin and Desert Mob in Alice Springs.
Cruise Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge at dawn
Just 30 kilometres north-east of Katherine is the spectacular sandstone country of Nitmiluk National Park and the majestic Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, with spectacular cliffs that glow in the changing light. The early hours of the morning before the world wakes is the best time for one of the NT’s most special experiences. You will drift past Aboriginal rock art with the changing colours of the dawn light, mist rising from the water and wildlife stirring on the bank. There’s also the opportunity to learn about the ancient Aboriginal culture of this area and capture more images than will fit in a Facebook gallery!
See ancient Aboriginal rock art in Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park has one of the world’s greatest concentrations of rock art sites. Some paintings are up to 20,000 years old, which makes the artwork one of the longest historical records of any group of people on Earth. The main rock art galleries are at Ubirr and Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) and feature naturalistic paintings of animals, traditional x-ray art, and paintings of early contact with European people. You can join the free guided walks that run in the dry season.
Taste the Mindil Beach sunset markets
Thursdays and Sundays during the Top End’s dry season (May–October) herald one of Darwin’s biggest drawcards: the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. The Markets are the heart of Darwin’s cultural melting pot and truly epitomise the word ‘multicultural’. Explore over 60 food stalls that serve local delicacies such as Barramundi, Kangaroo and Crocodile or indulge in international cuisines from around the world, there’s something for everyone. The spectacular Top End sunset also provides an unforgettable backdrop for the evening.
Our list only includes a handful of the truly unforgettable travel experiences on offer in the Northern Territory, a place you’re sure to leave a little different than you came.