Dive into the Depths of Australia’s Northern Territory: 7 Hidden Gems Waiting to be Uncovered!

Dive into the Depths of Australia’s Northern Territory: 7 Hidden Gems Waiting to be Uncovered!

Take a step out from the city hustle and bustle to embrace the Northern Territory.

Think Australia.

The first thing that comes to mind is perhaps the iconic Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, or maybe even Bondi Beach. While Australia might be known for being the home of adorable kangaroos and koalas, or the backdrop to the timeless classic Finding Nemo, you’re sorely mistaken if you think that’s all there is to the Land Down Under.

Australia’s a huge country with tons of areas not inhabited by civilisation. Unmarred, untouched and undisturbed, there’s plenty to see and experience in the Northern Territory. Widely classified into two distinct regions – namely Top End (comprising of Darwin, Kakadu, Litchfield and Katherine) and Red Centre (Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Uluru) – this place goes above and beyond your wildest imagination to showcase what Australia is truly like.

So it’s time you pack your bags and make a much-needed trip down to experience the wonders of the Northern Territory yourself! Here’s our handy guide to the vast Down Under — you can’t say you’ve truly experienced the Northern Territory unless you’ve checked these seven activities off your list.

Fortunately, the road’s not steeped with potentially dangerous animals. Maybe.

Are you itching to discover all of the Northern Territory’s best-kept secrets? Well, get on a flight already!

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1. Top End Tandems – Darwin

Image credit: Top End Tandems

Starting in the multicultural capital of the Northern Territory, Darwin is the perfect base to explore the Top End of the Northern Territory from. It’s famed for its markets and festivals, Asian cuisine and massive harbour. Just ask any local or returning tourist, they’ll tell you that you most definitely cannot leave Darwin without giving skydiving a try.

Thanks to the warm temperate climate, clear skies and soft beach landings, Darwin is the best place to experience your first tandem jump. With a spotless safety record, rest assured knowing your jump with Top End Tandems would be a safe yet exhilarating one.

Top End Tandems offers three different heights to choose from, whereby the higher the jump, the more freefall you get. During the entire course, you’ll get to enjoy the breathtaking scenic views of Darwin and its surrounding coastline, before freefalling at speeds over 200 km/h. It ends with a tranquil parachute ride till you land on the soft white sand of Lee Point beach.

2. A Taste of Kakadu

Image credit: Kakadu National Park

Come 10 to 19 May, all eyes turn towards A Taste of Kakadu – the biggest display of traditional Aboriginal cooking that gives visitors an insight that goes beyond just what can be found on the Internet. It’s an experience unlike any other, one that is felt rather than just seen. If you’ve always been curious about Aboriginal culture, this is the best time to come and learn more about them.

Image credit: Kakadu National Park

The event brings together the nation’s most gifted practitioners of Aboriginal food who deliver a whole new take on the farm-to-plate experience. From buffalo meat slow cooked in an underground paperbark oven to specially picked Kakadu plum made into jam, the food is guaranteed to open the eyes of visitors to what makes Aboriginal cooking so good.

3. Jim Jim Falls, Kakadu National Park

Image credit: Northern Territory

Just three hours outside of Darwin is where you’ll get to bask in the beauty of one of the world’s last unspoilt natural wonderlands — Kakadu National Park. As a protected site on the UNESCO World Heritage List, it is home to an abundance of wildlife, incredible waterfalls and plunge pools.

Image credit: Kakadu National Park

Since you’ve already made the grand journey here, why not go off the beaten path to explore some of the park’s greatest wonders? The view of the majestic Jim Jim Falls is sure to make the challenging drive worth it. Standing at 200 metres high, this waterfall is the tallest in all of the Northern Territory. It’s an incredible sight, regardless of whether it’s raging with water or reduced to a gentle stream.

It’s highly recommended to visit during the dry season, as only then you’ll get to walk across the rocks to take a dip in the crystal clear water of the plunge pool.

4. Butterfly Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park – Katherine

At the end of the drive on Nature’s Way from Darwin, you’ll come to the spectacular Nitmiluk Park in Katherine. While most tourist websites would recommend visiting Katherine Gorge, one of the best-kept secrets is undoubtedly Butterfly Gorge.

While it’s aptly named after the thousands of butterflies that reside there, the main feature has to be the rock pools. You’ll come to the main swimming area after a long drive into the area, but the real gem is tucked a little farther away.

Swim and climb through a narrow gorge from the main pool and you’ll find yourself face to face with the most beautiful quiet and tranquil gorge. More often than not, you would be the only visitor there so the peace and isolation are yours and yours only to enjoy.

5. Barunga Festival – Katherine

Image credit: Roderick Eime

An iconic event on the national festival calendar, Barunga Festival is another celebration promoting the best of remote Aboriginal Australia you can’t miss out on. Barunga Festival is a beautiful blend of music, sports and culture, emphasising on cultural exchange and collaboration.

Visitors are highly encouraged to join in the celebration and interact with a remote Aboriginal community. Feel free to take part in any of their programs such as dancing ceremonies, traditional bush tucker gatherings, didgeridoo makings and musical performances. There are even prizes to be won if you take part in their sports carnival!

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6. Outback Ballooning – Alice Springs

Image credit: Outback Ballooning

There’s no better way to appreciate the vast remoteness and spectacular vermillion of the Northern Territory’s Red Centre than from high above! Operating for over 30 years now, Outback Ballooning will bring you to new heights to see the desert from a whole new perspective.

Thanks to its location, you’re ensured an incredible view of the sun rising, spilling rich colours of the morning dawn over the MacDonnell Ranges. As the hot air balloon floats over spinifex grass fields and mulga scrubs, you’ll spot plenty of Australia’s wildlife, especially the “Big Red” red kangaroos found only in Australia.

7. Uluru / Ayers Rock

Of course, the most iconic attraction of Australia has to be Uluru, hands down. Uluru is the world’s largest single rock and is one of the great natural wonders of the world. It is also a spectacular spiritual ground for the local Aboriginal people, and you can feel its presence from the moment you lay your eyes upon it.

There are plenty of tours available to bring you around to view Uluru, be it a short walk, on a segway, or even on a camel! You’ll get to learn about the management of the park and the Anangu — the traditional owners of the land. Most of these tours take place either during sunrise or sunset when the view is the most stunning as the colours of the rock change before your very eyes.

8. Field of Light – Uluru

Image credit: Tourism Australia

For an unreal Outback experience, hang around Uluru for a while more. When night falls, 50,000 spindles of multi-coloured lights come on in the Field of Light, illuminating the desert skyline in the dark. It’s such a stunning sight that you might not even remember to take that Instagram-worthy shot till you’ve recovered from amazement.

It’s aptly named Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku, which means “looking at lots of beautiful lights” in Pitjantjatjara. The gentle pulsating rhythm of the lights stretches as far as the eye can see, covering well over seven football fields. It is pretty much a modern day fantasy garden, especially with how the stems sway in the wind with a spectrum of ochre, deep violet, blue and gentle white.

Due to the enthusiastic reception, the exhibition has been extended until 31 December 2020 — so you can still catch it when you visit! There are plenty of passes to choose from to bask in the splendour of the lights all till sunrise. You definitely cannot pass on this opportunity of a lifetime!

With all these incredible sights and activities to experience, we’re sure you don’t need much more convincing to pack your bags and hop on the next flight to Darwin. Be prepared for an out-of-this-world holiday when you embark on a trip to the Northern Territory!

Are you itching to discover all of the Northern Territory’s best-kept secrets? It’s time to hop on a flight!

Enjoy an instant $20 discount* when you book a flight from Singapore to anywhere in Australia with CheapTickets.sg! Grab it before it ends on 31 March!

Get $20 off your flight

*Not valid for budget carriers.

 


Brought to you by CheapTickets.sg.

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Rainer Cheung

Motivated out of bed solely by the prospects of food, travel, or her dog's incessant pawing.

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