Rich history and red outback: The best things to do in Northern Territory
The Northern Territory is probably one of the best places to experience all things Australia in full force.
Famed for its Outback desert landscapes, you’ll get a bit of everything here from coastline to the red-rock domes of Kata Tjuta, sculpted cliffs, and Aboriginal art and culture. It’s truly a unique destination for any traveler, and TripAdvisor has pulled together five of the best experiences to really soak it all in.
1. Litchfield National Park and Jumping Crocodile Cruise
You can’t find the best things to do in the Northern Territory without looking to one of their most iconic experiences.
Ranking as one of the best experiences in Australia, the famous jumping crocodiles cruise is a real bucket list item, offering something unique and unlike anything else.
You’ll be first on the scene with an early morning start to marvel at saltwater crocs leaping from the water to catch meat dangled over the boat by your guides. After that wild show, you’ll explore Litchfield National Park and swim in three picturesque (and completely croc-free) spots – Wangi Falls, Buley Rockhole, and Florence Falls.
2. Sunset 3-Hour Cruise from Darwin with Dinner and Sparkling Wine
Everyone knows Australia has some of the best sunsets in the world, and what better way to view one than from a 50-foot luxury catamaran.
This tour sets sail from the Darwin Harbour and is perfect to unwind in the evening while you stare out over the stunning tropical shores. You’ll dine nicely too with unlimited sparkling wine and a 7-course tapas and BBQ dinner included through the night, or you can BYO drinks if wine isn’t your style.
3. Uluru Small-Group Tour by Camel at Sunrise or Sunset
This may come in at number three, but we reckon a visit to Uluru is an absolute number one if you’re planning to visit the Northern Territory.
Uluru Camel Tours will have you experiencing the outback in all its glory from a pretty unique vantage point. You can choose from a morning, afternoon, sunrise, or sunset excursion where you’ll discover how Australian pioneers relied on camels for transportation in the 19th century and learn about the Red Centre’s wildlife and ecology through your guide’s commentary. If you do opt for the sunset or sunrise tour you’ll also find snacks and drinks included.
4. Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge Cruise
The sandstone country of Nitmiluk National Park is home to the majestic Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, boasting spectacular cliffs that glow in the changing light.
The best way to see the world-famous gorge? On a cruise. You’ll step aboard and float through while learning about the flora, fauna, and geology of the area alongside taking in epic views. Between each connected gorge you’ll be able to hop out and walk to the next where you can reboard the boat, giving you the opportunity to get to spots not accessible by foot or vehicle. There are several tour times to choose from; the 2-gorge cruise focuses on the area’s heritage and history, and the 3-gorge cruise goes further where you can cool down with a swim. If you jump on the early morning/dawn cruise you’ll be rewarded with some spectacular colours.
5. Kakadu Full-Day Tour from Darwin with Lunch
Aboriginal culture is a vitally important part of any visit to Australia, and it’s important to find experiences to learn and pay respect to those traditions.
The cultural Kakadu tour will help you learn the meanings of ancient art at Ubirr, hear about the people and their land from indigenous locals on an East Alligator River cruise, and enjoy a cultural demonstration. It’s all owned and operated locally by Aboriginal people, and you’ll see some incredible Indigenous rock art as well as wildlife and scenic views. Tours run in both seasons: Guluyambi Cultural Cruise (dry season) and Yellow Water Cultural Cruise (wet season).
Explore more of the Northern Territory on So Where Next.