Australia’s Northern Territory is home to many national parks and remote towns. If you’re trying to decide where exactly to visit in the state, we’ve got you covered. From the capital city of Darwin to the Tiwi Islands, here are the best destinations in the Northern Territory.
Darwin is the Northern Territory’s capital city. It was named after Charles Darwin and has been nearly entirely rebuilt four times, due to destructive cyclones and Japanese air raids during World War II. Darwin has a tropical savanna climate, which means it has two distinct seasons: wet and dry. The dry season is the best time to visit, when the weather is warm but humidity is low. Things to do in Darwin include visiting the Waterfront Precinct, Crocosaurus Cove, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Mindil Beach and the Botanic Gardens.
West MacDonnell National Park is home to several enticing permanent waterholes, including Ormiston Gorge, Ellery Creek Big Hole, Redbank Gorge and Glen Helen Gorge. There are also many walking trails, but the most extensive is the 223km (139mi) Larapinta Trail, which stretches through the national park. Finally, don’t miss the ochre pits, which local Aboriginal people have used for generations, in paintings and for body decorations.
Arnhem Land is one of the world’s least-inhabited regions, so it’s the epitome of an off-the-beaten-path destination in the Northern Territory. It’s known for untouched fishing habitats, where you can catch species like barramundi, Spanish mackerel and coral trout. When in Arnhem Land, visit Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, which is home to authentic Aboriginal bark paintings and carvings. Ensure you also check out East Woody Island and Garig Gunak Barlu National Park.
Nicknamed the Islands of Smiles, the Tiwi Islands are located 80km (50mi) north of Darwin. The two main inhabited islands are Bathurst and Melville Islands. The indigenous Tiwi people are known for their art and love of the Australian Football League (AFL). People can visit the Tiwi Islands via a scenic flight or the ferry. There are cultural day trips available from Darwin as well; a local guide shares the history of the islands and takes you to a museum and art-making workshop.
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