Discover the Northern Territory

Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk Gorge) is the park’s most spectacular drawcard—a maze of waterways sculpted by the Katherine River over countless millennia.

The best way to discover the Top End is through its vast and magnificent park lands; namely Kakadu National Park, Nitmiluk National Park, Arnhem Land and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. 

Kakadu National Park is a jewel in the Territory’s glittering crown. Covering almost 20,000 square kilometres with coastal and tidal flats, stone country, woodlands, wetlands, and ranges, Kakadu is Australia largest national park and fosters close to 2,000 plant species, plus an astonishing array of animals. 

Kakadu not only comprises an incredible natural landscape, but also an outstanding living cultural landscape. Aboriginal people have called the region home for more than 50,000 years; passing art, language, ceremonies, kinship and knowledge of the land down from one generation to the next. Kakadu’s ancient Aboriginal culture can be encounter through rock art at Ubirr, Nourlangie and Nanguluwur, where local paintings date back 20,000 years. 

Bordering Kakadu to the west, Arnhem Land is also rich with Aboriginal culture—so much so that it claims fame as the birthplace of Australia’s most iconic musical instrument, the didgeridoo. Chockfull with rugged coastlines, deserted islands, teeming rivers, lush rainforests, towering escarpments and savannah woodland, the vast and unspoiled wilderness region boasts a heritage of more than 60,000 years of Aboriginal spiritually. Recognised as Australia’s last great frontier, Arnhem Land is private land and can only be accessed by permit.

Fringing Kakadu to the south, Nitmiluk National Park offers more ancient, rugged landscapes, with a number of standout natural attractions. Made up of 13 separate gorges, Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk Gorge) is the park’s most spectacular drawcard—a maze of waterways sculpted by the Katherine River over countless millennia. Nearby, Cutta Cutta Caves Nature Park features a network of limestone caves—a site where local Aboriginal legend believes that the stars are kept during the day. Further south again, Mataranka Thermal Pool pumps out soothing warm water below a canopy of pandanus and palms. 

The very southern end of the Northern Territory is home to Australia’s most renowned National Park, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Made famous by its namesake landmark, Uluru, and rife with other millennium’s-old rock formations, the park is an adventurer’s wonderland.

Rising from Australia’s red centre, Uluru is an iconic symbol of spirituality, history and culture—inscribed on the World Heritage List and steeped in Aboriginal Dreamtime significance. While most travellers come to take in the grandeur of Uluru, most leave impressed by the nearby Kata Tjuṯa group (the Olgas)a collection of more than 36 ochre-colour rounded domes that ascend from the desert floor, formed through millions of years of erosion. Both Uluru and Kata Tjuṯa are best viewed lit up at sunrise and sunset.

The dry season, April through to September, is the most idyllic time to visit the Northern Territory; as the region wakes from a wet hibernation with clear skies, warm days and balmy nights, blooming flowers and active animals.

Plan Your Northern Territory Adventure 

Words by Alice Nash - Published 14 April 2014
Quick Facts 
Population Approx 112,000
Area 112 km2 (city area)
Time Zone GMT +9.5
Languages English (official)
Currency Australian dollar (AUD)
Electricity 220–240v 50Hz
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