Northern Territory 5 Must See Places
NT Map

On compiling a top 5 list for every state in Australia we are bound to upset someone. Somebody’s favourite destination will have been left off while another person may find the inclusion of one place over another outrageous.

For instance ‘The Olgas’, for many people, is more inspirational than ‘Ayers Rock’ (Uluru) but Ayres Rock made the list over The Olgas because it is the iconic Australian landmark and a place any visitor to central Australia should visit.

By narrowing the list down to 5 essentials we hope to include 5 completely different experiences for each state.

So in no particular order and with no apologies:

1. Kings Canyon, Central Australia, is for many people the visual highlight of a visit to the ‘red centre.’ Most people who make it to this region will have come to see Uluru specifically, and most will visit The Olgas, Uluru and Kings Canyon together as a unit. The canyon, however, stands on it’s own merits, a remarkable irregularity in a landscape that specialises in remarkable irregularities.

2. Kakadu National Park, top end, for a complete contrast to central Australia. From the highly contrasting vegetation that pops from the Stone Country to the mangroves, pandanus and paperbarks of the floodplains or the mangroves, banyan and hibiscus of the estuaries - Kakadu offers a feast for the eyes. Arrive at the end of the wet and 4WD into Jim Jim and Twin Falls.

3.Ayers Rock (Uluru) provides, for many foreign visitors and Australians alike, the archetypical image of the Australian landscape and any visit to central Australia would be incomplete without at least touching it. If you’re going to come this far you may as well climb it.

4.Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk. The great thing about the NT is the fact that a lot of great attractions are lumped together. If you get to Darwin then you will probably get to Kakadu and Katherine Gorge as well. Drive from Darwin and stop at the Adelaide river War Cemetery and then drive in Katherine and take a cruise into the gorges. After you’ve seen everything the tour operators want you to see, hire a canoe and camp out and find out for yourself what Nitmiluk is about. Spectacular.

5.Tiwi Islands, from Darwin. Melville and Bathurst Islands comprise the Tiwi Islands and can be accessed by air on a 20 minute flight. Great, we suggest instead, that you take a 2 hour ferry trip across the Timor Sea from Darwin and visit what almost feels like a separate country and culture. Take a tour, have meal, go on a fishing charter and check out the local art. By visiting the Tiwi you are likely to have arrived from Darwin and while we would normally be reluctant to recommend a state Capital city as a destination here, Darwin feels more like a country town and is worth a look just because it is so different and so more diversified than any other Australian capital.

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