Travel Blog

Australia’s Northern Territory

Jun 12, 2019

Australia’s Northern Territory is best-known for its expansive Outback landscapes, and for the stunning red sandstone monolith Uluru. But the Northern Territory is so much more. A visit to Australia’s Northern Territory with Travel Associates lets you explore Aboriginal culture, diverse desert and tropical ecosystems, and Australian art. 

Uluru: Enter Dreamtime and Sacred Spaces

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its sacred Aboriginal heritage, its stunning desert landscape, and dark night skies.

One of Australia’s most iconic natural landmarks, Uluru is a sacred site to the Anangu people. It is taller than the Empire State Building and is constantly changing colors throughout the day. While many photos of the national park focus on the red rock itself, the sky here steals the show. Take a desert bush hike during sunrise and sunset, and experience the dazzling colors in the sky. After the sun sets, see some of Australia’s darkest night skies and enjoy stargazing experiences that can be enjoyed in few other places on Earth.

From active hikes to cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone in the park. Go bird watching and see some of the 178 bird species that live around Uluru. Visit the cultural center and learn about Anangu culture and art.

Ancient rock art in the park tells a tale of human history that goes back 30,000 years. Learn about Dreamtime and listen to native stories, or enjoy a meal created using ingredients that have been foraged and cooked using time-honored traditions. Meet the Anangu people who will show you how the stories in the stone have passed on their wisdom through the generations.

Darwin: City of Art, Cuisine, and Aboriginal Culture

The capital city of the Australian Northern Territory is Darwin, the region’s port gateway into the Northern Territory and to the tropical Top End. But, before you venture into the interior, spend a little time exploring Darwin, known for its warm tropical climate, its multi-cultural fusion cuisine, and its Aboriginal art scene.

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory boasts a breathtaking Aboriginal art collection. Learn about Australia’s Aboriginal culture and its maritime history through fascinating exhibits. After exploring the museum, spend some time checking out Darwin’s gallery scene. Art Galleries around town sell contemporary and traditional screen prints, carvings, tutini poles, and textiles. Browse the galleries, learn about Aboriginal culture, and find a one-of-a-kind souvenir to bring home.

As for food, explore outdoor markets and restaurants, and discover Asian flavors drawn from influences as wide-ranging as Indonesia, Thailand, and beyond. Darwin’s culinary scene and outdoor markets draw many foodie enthusiasts.

You can also journey to Litchfield National Park where local Aboriginal guides can tell you Dreamtime stories and introduce you to the natural and cultural history of the area.

Off-the-Beaten Path on the Tiwi Islands

If the national parks in the Australian Outback are not remote enough, take a boat from Darwin to the Tiwi Islands. Tiwi Design on Bathurst Island is one of Australia’s artistic hubs. Browse the beautiful screen-printed fabrics. Meet the local Tiwi people, do a little fishing, and discover art treasures. The best part about the Tiwi Islands is that they are seldom visited by tourists, so if you’re looking for something that will take you truly out of the way: the Tiwi Islands are where you may want to go.

But if you’re all about vast, enriching national parks, the nearby Kakadu National Park has you covered. Here, admire some of the oldest rock art in the world, go on some epic hikes, take a casual stroll, spot some crocodiles in their natural habitat, go bird watching, fishing, boating, or go for a swim – all amidst breathtaking natural beauty. 

Another fascinating area in Australia’s Northern Territory is Alice Springs, an adventure hub with quadding, trekking, swimming holes, and wildlife parks, home to cultural experiences and Outback pioneer history. This region truly has so much to offer. And your Travel Advisor can plan your vacation to the Outback so you don’t miss a thing.