Many tourists have looked out across the Northern Territory’s awe-inspiring landscapes and joked: “I wouldn’t be surprised if a dinosaur suddenly appeared on the horizon.”
Darwin is the gateway to that ancient, beautiful land.
Spend some time exploring the Top End and visiting some of our iconic attractions.
The first decision when planning your trip in the NT is transport. Thrifty Hire Car offers a range of vehicles, including 4WDs or minivans for the family. With locations across the Northern Territory, from Darwin to Uluru and many places in between, Thrifty should make your journey easier.
Day 1: Travel to Kakadu
Depart Darwin in the early morning to give yourself plenty of time to take in the ever-changing scenery of the different landscapes, rivers and floodplains on the 250km drive to Kakadu National Park.
Stop in at the iconic Corroboree Park Tavern halfway to refresh and to meet Brutus the resident 4.4m crocodile, but don’t get too close! Saltwater crocs have a bite force comparable to that of a T-Rex!
Continue your travels along the Arnhem Highway towards Kakadu, and don’t forget to grab the obligatory selfie by the entrance sign at the information bay as you enter and are welcomed to the Aboriginal lands of Kakadu National Park.
Kakadu is Australia’s largest national park, covering nearly 20,000km2 and extends 200 kilometres north to south, protecting a whole gigantic interlinked ecosystem. The park, which is half the size of Switzerland, has it all – a gorgeous sandstone escarpment offering spectacular views, mighty rivers and billabongs, thundering waterfalls and more prehistoric art sites than the whole of Europe. Kakadu has more than 17,000 plant species, over one third of Australia’s bird species, including all four of the species endemic to the Northern Territory, and a healthy population of saltwater crocodiles.
The township of Jabiru in the heart of Kakadu has hotels, a swimming pool, a social club, shopping plaza, medical clinic and golf course.
Anbinik Kakadu Resort in Jabiru has self-contained cabins and powered sites for campervans and caravans in a quiet tropical setting. For those on a budget, accommodation with shared facilities is also available. There is a pool and barbecues.
Jabiru also has Australia’s quirkiest hotel. The Aboriginal-owned Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel is literally in the shape of a crocodile – the lobby is the animal’s mouth slightly agape, rooms run down its body and tail, and the stairwells are legs. The hotel’s lovely swimming pool is in the croc’s belly – an oasis after long days of exploring the endlessly storied world outside. The hotel features the Escarpment Restaurant and bar, full business facilities and meeting rooms, broadband internet and flat screen TVs in their guest rooms.
Ensure plenty of time to drive to Ubirr in time for sunset, this iconic Aboriginal art site and lookout is one of the most popular places to experience some amazing Aboriginal rock-art, and get a 360 degree view of the various landscapes from the lookout as the sun sets over the floodplains, a fabulous end to the day.