25 Aug 2021
Updated April 2022
From Ningaloo on the left to Rockhampton on the right and Alice in the middle, the top half of Australia is finally your oyster again!
With the best weather in the world and a billion stars to guide you, explore these 17 reasons to make northern Australia the only place to be this winter.
Once you’ve been inspired by this incredible list of things to see and do, all that’s left to do is pack up the van and go! If not now then when?
Immerse yourself in Australia’s Red Centre
Things to see and do in the Red Centre
If you haven’t made it to the Northern Territory yet, now is the best time to get there!
Australia’s Red Centre is the beating heart of this land, where landscapes over 800 million years old tell the real story of how we came to be.
Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the world’s oldest continuing civilisation and absorb nature at its most dramatic and raw.
Alice Springs is the cultural capital of the Red Centre, offering a window into the soul of this country, including our Indigenous ancestry and colonial past.
A 3.5 hour flight from most capital cities, the Red Desert city offers adventure and relaxation in a truly unique location. Central to many of the NT’s most iconic attractions, Alice Springs is the perfect base from which to begin any Northern Territory adventure!
Explore Glen Helen
133km west of Alice Springs, Glen Helen lies inside the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park (Tjoritja), getting you up close and personal with sacred sites including Glen Helen Gorge, Ormiston Gorge, Simpson’s Gap, Standley Chasm and Ellery Creek.
Home to the Arrernte Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years, single or multi-day hikes along the Larapinta Trail are popular from here.
Discover Kings Canyon
Over 400 million years in the making, the rugged sandstone peaks of Watarrka (Kings Canyon) have been a sacred site of the Lurijta and Arrente Indigenous people for more than 20,000 years.
At the halfway point of your journey from Alice Springs to Uluru, Kings Canyon is a must-do adventure where you can taste the flavour of Central Australia and explore Watarrka National Park, a highly spiritual place.
Walk around Kata Tjuta
Less famous than its near neighbour Uluru, Kata Tjuta (otherwise known as ‘The Olga’s’) is a Red Centre adventure on a grand scale.
Meaning ‘many heads’ in the language of the Anangu Aboriginal people (pronounced ‘arn-ung-oo’), who have lived in the region for 30,000 years, the 36 unique domes of Kata Tjuta are estimated to be 500 million years old!
Two guided walks are available, The Walpa Gorge Walk and The Valley of the Winds, both transporting you to another time and place, and offering outstanding panorama’s from this slice of ancient history.
Take a scenic flight in the Kimberley
Things to see and do in the Kimberley
Bordered by the Indian Ocean to the west and the Timor Sea to the north, Western Australia’s vast Kimberley plateau forms the northernmost region of Australia’s largest and arguably most diverse state.
Famous for its massive swathes of raw wilderness, including 350-million-year-old desert ranges, dramatic gorges and beguiling water features, the Kimberley has been a drawcard for international visitors for decades.
Best seen from the air, Helispirit offers heli-hikes and scenic flights over deep canyons, crystal clear waters and sandstone domes. Don’t miss the chance to take your adventure to a whole new level!
Make it to Lake Kununurra
Shared by swimmers, anglers, bird watchers and water sports enthusiasts, Lake Kununurra is the gateway to some of Western Australia’s most remarkable natural attractions.
Check out the unusual rock formations of Mirima National Park and the incredible Bungle Bungle Ranges in Purnululu National Park. Take a sunset cruise on nearby Lake Argyle, which is an adventure all of its own!
Spend a week in El Questro Wilderness Park
An hour and a half away from Kununurra lies El Questro, one of Australia's most iconic holiday destinations.
Spread across 700,000 acres, a daily visitor permit grants you access to the entire park which has everything from deep gorges and majestic mountains to thermal springs, mud and salt-flats, rainforests and cascading waterfalls.
One day here and you’ll have to agree with its status as the Heart of the Kimberley region.
As a result, El Questro is the perfect spot to get off the road for a while. Treat yourself to a stay at El Questro’s Station, with deluxe rooms that integrate beautifully into amazing nature, or camp up next to the river in a range of safari-style glamping tents.
Take a camel ride on the beach at Broome
Normally the place where people begin or end their Kimberley journey, Broome has pristine waters, wide empty beaches, abundant wildlife, a tropical climate and diverse history, making it no surprise that people the world over keep on coming back.
Originally founded as a pearling port, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese and Aboriginal cultures have all blended here to create the diverse personality that is the spirit of modern Broome.
Among a host of must-see attractions, don’t miss the opportunity to catch a shimmering sunset after a glorious day on the white sand of Cable Beach, where you shouldn’t pass on the chance to take a camel ride on the sand nor miss out on seeing a Staircase to the Moon!
Get around Rockhampton
Things to see and do on the Central Queensland Coast
At the other side of the country at the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Rockhampton is famous for having the best beef in the country, hands down. At the same time, it’s also close to unspoiled beaches where fishing, snorkelling and swimming are accessible to everyone.
Also known as something of a throwback to Queensland’s colonial past, there’s still a cosmopolitan vibe that permeates this bustling central city with a contemporary riverside setting.
Climb Mount Archer
Providing a beautifully scenic backdrop to the city, Mount Archer protects bushland remnants in the Berserker Ranges.
Enjoy panoramic views from its highest peak 604m above sea-level, and enjoy 4250 hectares of open forest and eucalyptus woodlands!
Cruise the Keppel Islands
Explore the unforgettable Capricorn Coast via a cruise to Great Keppel Island. Located right off of Yeppoon, this chain of 13 islands is everything you see in the Queensland brochures and more.
Getting there is only half the fun once you’re snorkelling, swimming or diving amongst the coral reefs of this incredible natural wonder. Before that enjoy a bush walk or just soak in the magnificence of Keppel Bay, where you can book any number of chartered cruises.
Swim in Yeppoon Lagoon
A great place to put your feet up for a few hours, the Yeppoon Lagoon is the jewel in the crown of the Yeppoon foreshore precinct.
The 2500 square-metre resort-style lagoon pool is located right on the beachfront, and backs onto surrounding parklands with barbecues and shade areas ideal for making a day of it!
Go slow in Onslow
Things to see and do in North West Australia
Rest and relax in this coastal town which forms an important stop along Western Australia’s Warlu Way.
Popular with anyone making their way toward Karratha, Port Hedland and Broome, Onslow is the ideal location to indulge in a range of aquatic activities. Fish at Four Mile Creek, go mud-crabbing at Five Mile Pool or swim at the beautiful Sunset Beach.
Dive Ningaloo Reef
The World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef is one of the world’s last ocean paradises. Take a dive with hundreds of tropical fish, colourful sea coral and the world’s biggest fish, the whale shark.
Easily reachable from the sand, there are a number of operators who can arrange an unforgettable experience under the clear blue water.
Explore Old Onslow
Get a little spooked at the old town of Onslow. Originally set up during the gold rush of the late 1800s ,‘Old Onslow’ was built near the mouth of the Ashburton RIver, a majestic north Western Australian river.
Following several cyclones which damaged the town a decision was made to relocate the town from just south of Beadon Creek to its current location.
Little is left of the town itself, but the cemetery, police station and gaol remain.
Swim the Dampier Archipelago
This is hands down one of the best fishing, diving, snorkelling and swimming spots in Australia! Made up of a chain of 42 coastal islands, islets and rocks, the Dampier is a must-see on any journey to the great northwest.
Also a haven for wildlife, you can expect to see giant turtles nesting on beaches, dugongs and dolphins swimming in their pods and humpback whales on their annual migration.
If island hopping by boat is your thing, you’ll also be met by friendly populations of rock-wallabies, northern quolls and water rats!