One of the greatest things about living in Australia, wherever in Australia that may be, is being able to grab a last minute flight, hop on a plane and head to the Northern Territory for a few days of fun and adventure. For me, the Northern Territory showcases the best Australia has to offer with heaps of outdoor activities from camping and hiking to swimming and river cruises, as well as culture, heritage and colourful festivals in the exciting city of Darwin, and nature and wildlife oozing out of every one of more than 50 incredible national parks.
Good Times in the Great Outdoors
Arguably the best way to see the Northern Territory is from above, so take a balloon ride over Alice Springs at dawn. See what wildlife you can spot far below and watch the horizon over the MacDonnell Ranges fill with fiery colour as the sun rises – all while you enjoy a champagne breakfast.
One of my all-time favourite things to do in the Northern Territory is hire a campervan and go on a road trip along the coast, or even better head off into the outback along the Stuart Highway visiting Tennant Creek and the Mary River Wetlands along the way.
If you don’t want to head out on your own adventure then take a guided tour, a fantastic way to see the region whether you’re into fishing, boating, hiking, kayaking or mountain biking. Some of the best trips are an outback tour in Kakadu and Arnhem Land, a river cruise in the crocodile infested waters of the Guluyambi River and a 4WD tour through the red desert and rugged landscape of Katherine and the surrounding area.
Up Close and Personal with Northern Territory Wildlife
Go camping and get back to nature by sleeping under the stars and explore the surrounding landscape on foot from your campsite. Spot wildlife on the MacDonnell Ranges at the Ellery Creek campground, or camp near Uluru, otherwise known as Ayers Rock, in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and make sure you get up early to watch the sunrise over the iconic rock.
Go on a wildlife cruise along Yellow Water, a landlocked billabong in the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park where you can see crocodiles, buffalo and a huge variety of birds including sea eagles and egrets. The Alice Springs Reptile Centre has venomous snakes and thorny devils, and you can watch saltwater crocodiles being fed at Darwin’s wonderfully named Crocosauras Cove.
Last Minute Flights to Northern Territory Fun
Taking a last minute flight is an exciting prospect, not knowing exactly where you’ll be travelling to until you book those tickets. Once you’ve visited the Northern Territory, however, you’ll want to go back time and time again. The Northern Territory is all about dramatic landscapes, diverse national parks, rivers, wildlife and a coastline with white sand beaches. Forget about going back home again, you’ll never want to leave.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Bill Weston is a travel writer who has travelled all over the world, including spending several years in Australia