Fri 18 Oct
Regarded for its laid-back lifestyle, National Parks, Indigenous culture, and tropical weather, The Top End of the Northern Territories is home to not only many a salt water crocodile, but numerous attractions and destinations.
The beautiful city of Darwin is the ideal place to base yourself to explore all the wonders that the area has to offer, not to mention the sights and experiences available in Darwin itself. Known for its festivals, markets, and stunning natural surrounds, it offers a vast array of sight-seeing and adventure options.
Perhaps one of the most iconic destinations from Darwin is the UNESCO World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park, Australia’s largest national park. With diverse and exotic landscapes, Aboriginal rock art sites, and unique biodiversity, the park covers nearly 20,000 square kilometres and earned its World Heritage listing for its natural and cultural values.
Located a 3-hour drive from Darwin, Kakadu offers numerous experiences, from bush walks and swimming under waterfalls, to four-wheel driving adventures and scenic flights. The park’s prolific rock art, made by the Bininj/Mungguy people who have lived on the land for 65,000 years, displays one of the longest historical records of any group of people on earth.
There are a number of options for visiting Kakadu but perhaps the most popular choice is to take a guided tour through one of the tourism operators based in Darwin.
Kakadu Tours have 1-day tours starting from $235, or you can opt for a full-blown experience and take a 5-day tour. These tours depart from Darwin early in the morning and travel along the Stuart Highway, one of the longest roads in Australia. This first part of the journey gives an insight to the uniqueness of the incredible terrain in the area.
During the day you will have the opportunity to witness hundreds of species of birds, plants and other animals, including of course the ever-popular salt water crocodiles. With over a thousand crocodiles living in the waters in the park, the chances of spotting one or two a pretty high. Throughout the tour, the knowledgeable guides give detailed commentary, making the trip as informative and educational as it is enjoyable.
One of the most important things to remember when planning your visit to this part of Australia is to consider the seasonal weather. The Northern Territory doesn’t have your standard 4 seasons like most places, in fact there are really just 2, the wet season and the dry season. While both seasons have their appealing traits, it’s important to know that during the wet season, some areas may be inaccessible due to road closures from the abundance of rain. Don’t let this put you off exploring the area at this time though as the wet season also brings with it spectacular waterfalls and electrical storms.
Your accommodation is of course easily taken care of with Mercure Darwin Airport Resort and Novotel Darwin Airport both offering an excellent selection of accommodation options. From backpacker budgets to luxury suites, you can rest comfortably and enjoy poolside meals and drinks after a day, or days, discovering the beauty of “The Top End”.
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