The best things to do, places to visit, holiday destinations and attractions in the Northern Territory

If you are wondering what to do in the Northern Territory, look no further. Here I have compiled a list of the very best tourist attractions, things to see and do, sights, landmarks and places to visit in the Northern Territory.

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There is so much to see and in do in the Northern Territory, that it's hard to list them all on one page, let alone trying to make a top 10 list!

It was a hard list to make... there are over 50 national parks across the territory, each one unique and magical in it's own way. As such, this top ten list actually lists more than ten destinations and things to do.

At the bottom of the list, there is also a bonus section, with more Northern Territory attractions, places to visit, sights, landmarks and places to visit - be sure to check it out.



1

Alice Springs

Distance from Darwin: 1,500 kms / 930 miles. Driving: 17 hours 30 minutes
Distance from Adelaide: 1,530 kms / 950 miles. Driving: 16 hours

There is lots to do in outback Australia, despite the fact many people imagine endless desert when they think out the outback. Alice Springs tends to evoke contradiction and polarises travellers - some love it and some hate it. But either way, you'll undoubtedly end up here at some point if you tour the Red Centre.

Whatever your take on the town, if you are looking for something to do there is a range of options available to you.

They include hot air balloon tours, outback camel tours, Aboriginal art, museums and historical sites, 4wd tours, bush walking, camping tours, the Alice Springs Desert Park, the Reptile Park and much more.

For more information have a look at www.lonelyplanet.com/alice-springs and www.travelnt.com/alice-springs.



2

Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Distance from Darwin: 2,000 kms / 1,250 miles. Driving: 23 hours 30 minutes
Distance from Adelaide: 1,600 kms / 1,000 miles. Driving: 17 hours
Distance from Alice Springs: 460 kms / 280 miles. Driving: 6 hours

There is nothing more identifiable with Australia than perhaps Uluru. We have all seen it, be it on TV, on post cards, in travel agencies, or somewhere else. You see it, you know it's Australia.

As you drive towards Uluru, after hours on the hot dusty outback roads, you finally spot it on the horizon and think to yourself "I'll be there soon". And it slowly gets bigger. And bigger... and bigger... and bigger... until finally, after what seems an eternity, you arrive. You can feel the history, the magic, the splendour that is Uluru.

If you are planning on visiting Australia or the Northern Territory and were not going to visit Uluru, rethink your plans and make it happen somehow.

For more information you can visit the official website at www.ayersrockresort.com.au.



3

Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

Distance from Uluru: 35 kms / 21 miles. Driving: 45 minutes

Located to the west of Uluru you will find a striking group of domed rocks huddle together, know as Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).

There are a total of 36 domed rocks forming deep valleys and steep gorges and valleys. Most people find them as captivating as Uluru so you must find time to visit them while in the area.

The tallest rock, Mt Olga (546 metres) is approximately 200 metres higher than Uluru.

For more information you can visit the official website at www.ayersrockresort.com.au.



4

Watarrka (Kings Canyon)

Distance from Darwin: 1,820 kms / 1,130 miles. Driving: 22 hours 45 minutes
Distance from Alice Springs: 320 kms / 200 miles. Driving: 5 hours 30 minutes

Located close to Alice Springs (well... 320 kms is about as close as things get in outback Australia) is the magnificent Watarrka (Kings Canyon) National Park. There are two main walks which people take when they arrive.

The Kings Creek Walk is the easier of the two, following an easy trail along the rocky creek bed, which ends at a raised platform with views of the towering canyon rim.

The Kings Canyon Rim Walk is more strenuous, but walkers are rewarded with awesome views along the whole hike. After a steep climb, the walk ends by entering the Garden of Eden: a lush pocket of cycads around a natural pool.

For more information you can visit the official website at www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/kings-canyon.



5

West MacDonnell National Park

Distance from Darwin: 1,600 kms / 1,000 miles. Driving: 18 hours 30 minutes
Distance from Alice Springs: 100 kms / 60 miles. Driving: 1 hour 15 minutes

The West MacDonnell Ranges are a place to spend a week or a day exploring the many gaps, gorges, waterholes and just watching eye-popping scenery.

It is the diversity of things to see and do in the West MacDonnell National Park is what attracts visitors, there is so many things to see and do.

There are heaps of camping grounds, hikes, bush walking and mountain biking / cycling trails, swimming holes, gorges, cliffs, unique animals and plants and too much more to list here.

For more information you can visit the official website at www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/west-macdonnell. And for even more great information, maps, tips and tricks have a look at www.traveloutbackaustralia.com/west-macdonnell



6

Karlu Karlu (The Devils Marbles)

Distance from Darwin: 1,085 kms / 675 miles. Driving: 12 hour 30 minutes
Distance from Alice Springs: 415 kms / 260 miles. Driving: 5 hours

Heading north from Alice Springs on the highway to Darwin, located in one of the oldest religious sites in the world (being of great cultural and spiritual significance to the traditional Aboriginal land owners), the Devils Marbles are truly impressive!

Considering it is located in remote outback Australia, it is amazing how many tourists and Australians make the journey out there. The reserve park had around 137,500 visitors in 2012 and is growing every year.

It is accessible all year round, there are networks of pathways, information boards, a basic camping area, and live events as part of the Territory Parks Alive program (between May and September each year) - it is easy to see why it is such a popular landmark!

For more information you can visit the official website at www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/devils-marbles.



7

Kakadu National Park

Distance from Darwin: 210 kms / 130 miles. Driving: 2 hours 30 minutes

Kakadu national park covers nearly 20,000 km² (3.2 million acres), and includes the traditional lands of several Indigenous tribes.

With over 5,000 rock painting sites, it is easy to see that this area was particularly sacred to the traditional landowners.

It is a natural wonder that holds both a World Heritage Area listing and as a UNESCO site (there are only two other sites in the world that hold both awards).

With stunning gorgeous, rare and endangered animals and plants, the notorious salt water crocodile, and many other natural attractions, this park will leave you breathless and in awe of both its history, it is remoteness, and it is power.

For more information you can visit the official websites at www.kakadu.com.au and www.environment.gov.au/kakadu.



8

The Tiwi Islands

Distance from Darwin: 80 kms / 50 miles.

Comprising of two main islands, Bathurst and Melville, the Tiwi Islands are the home of the Tiwi Aboriginal people, whom have a distinct culture from the mainland Aboriginal people.

Tourism is restricted on the islands and for most tourists the only way to visit is on one of the daily organised tours from Darwin.

However, if you get a chance, it is well worth your time. Vibrant art and pukumani (burial poles), which are carved and painted with symbolic and mythological figures, make for a fascinating cultural experience.

For more information you can visit the official website at www.sealinknt.com.au.



9

Katherine Gorge

Distance from Darwin: 345 kms / 215 miles. Driving: 3 hours 45 minutes

Located about 30 kms from the township of Katherine in the Nitmiluk National Park, the area is comprised of a series of 13 deep sandstone gorges have been carved out by the Katherine River, and makes for spectacular viewing.

You should spend at least a whole day there, going bush walking, swimming (during the dry season) and either taking a cruise or a canoeing adventure (or both!).

During peak season (May to September) it can get crowded, but regardless of what time of the year you are in the area you should visit, it is a hauntingly beautiful place.

For more information you can visit the official website at www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/katherine-gorge.



10

Nitmiluk National Park

Distance from Darwin: 345 kms / 215 miles. Driving: 3 hours 45 minutes

If you are going to visit Katherine Gorge, you may as well stay a few days and explore the rest of Nitmiluk National Park.

There is heaps to do, including: boating (and boat tours), camping/caravanning, canoeing, fishing, a flying tour, picnics/barbecues, swimming, and a large number of walking and hiking tracks ranging from several hours up to the 5 day walk from Katherine Gorge to Leliyn (Edith Falls).

For more information you can visit the official website at www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/katherine-gorge.



11

Litchfield National Park

Distance from Darwin: 115 kms / 70 miles. Driving: 1 hour 30 minutes

Litchfield National Park is a favourite spot for bush walkers, campers and nature lovers alike. And for a good reason.

The park is full of camping grounds, great hiking tracks, waterfalls and lots of fresh water swimming holes with no crocodiles!

The park is 1,500 km², and encloses much of the spectacular Tabletop Range - a wide sandstone plateau surrounded by cliffs.

For more information you can visit the official website at www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/litchfield.



12

Crocodile Cruise on Adelaide River

Distance from Darwin: 70 kms / 45 miles. Driving: 1 hour 15 minutes

A top end tourist favourite is to take a crocodile cruise along the Adelaide River. Nothing beats getting up close to a 5 metre long crocodile.

There are a number of different tour operators, each having their own style of operation. Regardless of who you pick, you'll see lots of crocs!

Personally, we think www.adelaiderivercruises.com.au are the best. Their boats are small and close to the waters edge, guaranteeing you a fantastic up close experience. However, if you are looking for other options you can also have a look at www.jumpingcrocodile.com.au and www.jumpingcrocodilecruises.com.au



So much more to see and do

Some of the typical things that people like to do include: fishing, eating exotic meats, camel rides, outback hiking tours (careful, it gets hot in the outback), fossicking for minerals and gemstones, and so much more.

For the adventurous, a driving tour is a popular option. It gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace, to stop and investigate the things that take your interest or catch your eye. Due to the large size of the NT, there are numerous drives you can take.

Some of the most popular driving tours include Arnhem Way, Binns Track, Explorer's Way, Nature's Way, Outback Way, Overlander's Way, Red Centre Way and the Savannah Way. You can find more information here: www.travelnt.com

So there you have it. This is some of the very best things you can see and do in the Northern Territory. Hope you enjoyed it. If so, don't forget to share it on the social buttons just below!





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