Northern Territory

Map of NT

Northern Territory, or NT, is known as the least populous state or territory in Australia. It contributes approximately 1% of population of the whole country. However, it has the most number of national parks, forest reserves and aboriginal lands among all the states and territories.

I enjoyed the stay in Northern Territory. The landscapes are splendid, and the people are simple, but hospitable.

How many days shall I spend in Northern Territory? Ones need at least 10 days to cover both the Top End (Darwin and surrounds) and the Red Centre (Alice Spring and surrounds). I spent 12 days in Northern Territory, but still missed out Kakadu National Park. I would suggest 14 days, at least, if times permit.

When is the best time to visit Northern Territory? There are two geographical zones in the 1.4 million KM² Northern Territory, the Top End and the Red Centre. In the Top End, weather is expected to be hot and wet from December to April of the following year, and dry from May to November. The Red Centre is the desert area of the country. Hottest months are between October to March of the following year. I did my trip in November 2007. Weathers were crazy (hot and wet in Darwin, and very hot in the Red Centre) and flies were everywhere. I suggest you to do your trip in cooler months (May to September).

Top 6 places/cities which ones must not miss. Three each in the Top End and the Red Centre.

  1. Stokes Hill Wharf, Darwin  (Top End) ♦♦♦
  2. Parap Village Market, outskirt of Darwin (Top End) ♦♦
  3. Katherine Gorges, Katherine  (Top End) ♦♦♦♦
  4. Alice Spring city centre  (Red Centre) ♦♦♦
  5. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park  (Red Centre) ♦♦♦♦
  6. Kings Canyon  (Red Centre)  ♦♦♦

Darwin is a small city with a relatively small CBD among all Australian capital cities. However, dinner at Stokes Hill Wharf at the southern tip of Darwin is unmissable. Go early if you are keen to try some real Australian food at the wharf. I tried crocodile, camel and ostrich meat here.

Parap Village Market, nearer to the airport, is situated at about 20 minutes away from Darwin CBD. Go there on Saturday morning to enjoy the food (open only on Sundays). Get cheap and hand-made souvenirs at the market.

Katherine Gorge

Katherine is the third largest city in Northern Territory. There is not much things to see and do in this small city, but making a trip to Katherine Gorge National Park (or Nitmiluk) is a must for nature lovers. Beautiful Katherine River runs across the national parks before splitting the city into two. Scenery at the 1st gorge and the 2nd gorge is splendid. Bushwalking and canoeing are among the most popular activities in the park. My friends and I chose the latter. We spent AU$ 27.50 per person for a double canoe (price as of 2007).

Alice Springs, the hub of the Red Centre, is also the second largest city in Northern Territory. The city is small, but unique. Ones can exploring the city on foot. Tourist spots in the city include ANZAC Hill (ideal spot for seeing sunset), Todd Mall (shopping places and eateries), and the impressive Telegraph Station Historical Reserve (AU$ 6.20 after YHA card discount). Here you can easily get a local tour to Kata Tjuta-Uluru National Park and Kings Canyon.

Todd Mall, Alice Springs

If you choose not to drive to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and Kings Canyon, take a local tour from Alice Springs. The Mulga’s Adventures is recommendable (3-day trip starts from AU$ 250).

The 3 places/cities of interest which ones can give them a pass: Darwin CBD would be the first. Don’t spend more than one day in this tiny city or you will be bored to death. Litchfield National Park (Top End) and Alice Springs Desert Park (Red Centre, outskirt of Alice Springs) are the other two.

Uluru, at 6:47pm

Litchfield is well-known for its waterfalls, but the same kinds of waterfalls can be found any where in the tropical regions of Australia or any South-East Asia. Expect to pay AU$ 20 (child AU$ 10) to see kangaroos and plants in the Desert Park.

Where shall I stay in Northern Territory? Hostels and Campsites.

My most memorable moments in Northern Territory: Numerous. I like the scenery at Katherine Gorges. I like the food at Stokes Hill Wharf. I like Alice Springs, Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon. I enjoyed the trip.

Traveldalometer for Sri Lanka : ♦♦♦ (3/5)

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