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8 Reasons to Visit the Northern Territory's Top End

10 Dec 2021

Before borders started opening and closing faster than your average outback dunny door, nearly 300,000 international visitors would make their way to the Northern Territory’s captivating Top End every year!

As one of the most incredible holiday destinations Australia has to offer, the Territory's fame is no surprise. With otherworldly natural beauty, amazing wildlife and uniquely Australian experiences everywhere, the NT has always been set apart when it comes to its status as a world class tourism destination.

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Litchfield National Park is an iconic destination. Credit: Tourism NT

Brimming with sacred sites, Indigenous culture, dramatic landscapes, and endless adventure, the Northern Territory’s Top End is a truly magical place every Australian should see in their lifetime.

Whether its secluded bays or relaxing waterholes, dramatic gorges or thrilling wildlife, the Top End has something for every type of traveller.

Here are just 8 reasons to holiday in the Top End this year.

Discover the Real Australian Outback

If you want to experience authentic Australian Outback, you must visit the Northern Territory. 

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Uluru is well worth the journey. Credit: Tourism NT

Travelling to the NT is a potentially once-in-a lifetime chance to visit some of Australia's most famous National Parks that are home to such international landmarks as Uluru and of course, Kakadu.

There are no shortage of immersive outback tours to choose from, with each featuring a selection of iconic Australian destinations.

Immerse yourself in Aboriginal Culture

The Northern Territory proudly embraces its Aboriginal history, and there is no end to the number of opportunities to embrace Indigenous culture in the Top End.

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Aboriginal Culture is at the heart and soul of the Top End. Credit: Tourism NT

Whether it’s by viewing Aboriginal art, witnessing ceremonial traditions or attending any number of festivals that celebrate the 40,000 year history of the spiritual owners of the land, the First Nations people are at the heart and soul of any visit here.

Although held further south in Alice Springs, The Parrtjima Light Festival is an annual event not to be missed in the Northern Territory. Billed as the meeting place where old meets new, it is the only authentic Aboriginal light festival of its kind, showcasing the oldest continuing culture on earth through the newest technology.

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The Parrrtjima Light Festival is a must-see in Alice Springs. Credit: Tourism NT/Mitchell Cox

The Guluyambi Cultural Cruise on the East Alligator River inside Kakadu is also highly recommended.

This is your chance to take in the pristine wilderness of this World Heritage landscape and listen to traditional storytelling against the stunning backdrop of Kakadu National Park.

Disembark on the Arnhem Land side of the river for a cultural display of traditional hunting and gathering implements. A local Aboriginal guide will provide you with an insight into the culture, mythology and abundant ecosystem of the river.

Explore Unique Landscapes

You’d be forgiven for thinking the landscapes of the Northern Territory come from another world. In fact, the Top End is home to Wycliffe Well, the so-called UFO capital of Australia.

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Katherine Gorge is a bucket-list destination in the Top End. Credit: Tourism NT

Check out the perfectly aligned magnetic termite mounds of Litchfield National Park and experience mesmerising sunsets over the Ubirr wetlands, then spend the afternoon splashing in any number of the park’s amazing natural waterholes.

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Water holes in the Top End will have you never wanting to leave. Credit: Tourism NT

Tantalise Your Tastebuds

The Northern Territory has something for every sense, including an emerging Aboriginal-European fusion cuisine that’s gaining a reputation around the world.

From indigenous food tours like the Uluru Bush Tucker Journeys to charming local dining options all over the Top End, you’ll find more culinary options than you’d expect here, including a well-known by locals laksa scene - a Darwin specialty!

Reasons to visit the northern territory top end mindil beach tourism ntMindil Beach at sunset is a popular gathering place. Credit: Tourism NT

For romantic waterfront dining on the wharf, check out Wharf One or The Precinct in Darwin. Also famous for its relaxed sunset markets, Darwin's Mindil Beach market offers a wide range of local and international cuisines.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Not technically part of the Top End, we can’t not mention the Northern Territory’s Red Centre, where Uluru is one of Australia's most beloved national treasures.

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Uluru. 'nuff said. Credit: Tourism NT

Previously known as Ayers Rock, the indigenous name Uluru refers to a ‘large isolated desert rock’ in the Aboriginal language. Known for its propensity to change colour in various light, it rises 348 metres above the desert and is frequently referenced as the largest monolith object in the world.

Uluru and Mount Olga, now known as Kata Tjuta, both hold deep spiritual significance to the Anangu people. As the original inhabitants of the land, the Anangu people manage the park in collaboration with Parks Australia.

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu is the largest national park in Australia and easily our most famous.

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Kakadu offers a wide variety of landscapes. Credit: Tourism NT

Featured in countless major films, the park sits between the Wildman and East Alligator Rivers, 200km east of Darwin. Covering an area of 19,804 sq km, it is home to some of Australia's most spectacular wilderness.

Kakadu National Park is bursting with native species that thrive on its multitude of estuaries, mangroves, and rain forests, and although there are too many natural attractions to list, must-sees include the Arnhem Land plateau, Twin Falls, and Jim Jim Falls. Hiking these inland trails gives you the chance to witness over 70 different species of native animal, including the famous saltwater crocodiles!

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A crocodile encounter is another must in the Top End - but don't get too close! Credit @exploreshaw

There are around 10,000 crocodiles in Kakadu – making up 10% of all the crocs in the Northern Territory - and there are two types: freshwater crocs and the more famous ‘salties’ (saltwater crocodiles). 

Freshwater crocs have a narrow snout and a single row of four large scutes (bony plates) right behind their head, while salties have a broader snout and no scutes. Freshwater crocs can measure up to three metres long, while male saltwater crocs can grow to a whopping six metres and weigh in at more than 1000 kg! Both species can live for more than 50 years.

Litchfield National Park

If you don't have time to make it all the way to Kakadu, the gorgeous Litchfield National Park is only an hour and a half drive from Darwin. Litchfield features some of Australia’s most incredible waterfalls, natural springs, monsoon forests, and spacious woodlands.

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A scenic flight in the Top End is money well spent! Credit: Tourism NT

The park's most popular sights include the Table Top Range escarpment, the Lost City, and myriad swimming holes and plunge pools to while away an afternoon or a whole day!

The ruins at Blythe Homestead are a trip back in time and picnicking at Wangi Falls should also be high on your list.

Berry Springs Nature Park

Just a 45-minute drive from Darwin's City Centre you will find the three waterholes that make up Berry Springs Nature Park. Once you've taken a refreshing dip, enjoy a picnic on the lawns and a walk among the woodlands. Don't forget to bring your binoculars to catch a glimpse of the park's vibrant bird population.

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Oh yeah, there are also amazing beaches! Credit: @4boysandacaravan

Looking for Accommodation in the Top End?

Whether you arrive in the Top End for the scenery, the food, the culture, or the family fun, you'll never forget your first NT holiday.

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To help make your stay comfortable for the whole family, Discovery Holiday Parks offers some of the best holiday accommodation in Australia. The Top End is waiting for you!

BROWSE NT PARKS NOW

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