Sunday, 14 February 2016

A Guide to the Northern Territory


Australia’s Northern Territory is home to some of the country’s most spectacular landscapes. From the dusty, orange desert, ancient monoliths rise skywards, proffering incredible views and surreal scenes. From scraggy bush land intercepted by soaring mountains and dipping, sandstone canyons, exploring the Northern Territory is like exploring another planet entirely. Here are some of the best places to discover.
Uluru

Uluru is probably Australia’s most iconic landmark. Rising up in a flurry of vibrant orange, this huge rock formation is home to an ancient narrative that spans thousands of centuries. All around its base and along its length, there is an age-old heritage that relays the cultures and customs of the local Aboriginal tribes, and there are numerous bird species to keep an eye out for.


For the ultimate Uluru experience, make sure you catch the giant monolith at sunset, when it turns from a bright orange to a dusky pink in the glow of the setting sun. Be sure to visit the nearby Cultural Centre, too, to learn more about the Aboriginal tribes who call the area home, and to pick up a souvenir along the way.


Darwin

Darwin is the Northern Territory’s bustling city, offering a gateway to the natural phenomena that surround the region. The laid back cosmopolitan scenery is peppered with fun things to
do, from the Smith Street pedestrian mall, where you can pick up locally made Aboriginal crafts, to the waterfront area, which is alive with trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants.


Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park sprawls out over 1500 square kilometres to the south-west of Darwin. Filled with an abundance of wild flora and flauna, it’s the perfect place for hiking and wildlife spotting, while soaking up the incredible scenery that this part of Australia is renowned for.

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park is another of the Northern Territory’s beloved parks. This bio diverse reserve hosts more than 2,000 plant and animal species, including the native saltwater
crocodile and Flatback turtles. There are also numerous opportunities to discover the ancient rock paintings that etch the jutting monoliths – you can view these at Nourlangie, Nanguluwur, and Ubirr.

Katherine Gorge

Also known as Nitmiluk National Park, Katherine Gorge is home to hundreds of picturesque waterfalls that stud a vast expanse of escarpment-filled country. Here, there are 13 gorges carved out of the pale sandstone that’s typical in this region, which you can explore by foot, canoe, boat, or helicopter. As well as discovering some of the hidden waterfalls, there are plenty of plunge pools to cool off in, as well as rock art and wildlife to look out for.

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