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8 blood-pumping experiences to turn up the action this spring


Turn up to the NT where we've turned up the adventure and adrenalin-fuelled action this spring. With fewer crowds and great holiday deals, spring is the perfect time for a NT holiday!

Does an adrenalin-fuelled adventure float your boat? Perhaps you want something a little more thrilling than a ‘flop and drop’ on your next holiday? The Territory has you covered.

Up here it’s all about heli pub crawls and heli fishing. Mountain biking and hiking too in some of the country’s most pristine natural environments. Outdoor adventures come with a side serve of adrenaline and whole lot of excitement. Yep, the Territory is different all right.

Want to slow things down a touch? Try dropping into a pool with a saltwater crocodile. Oh, don’t worry, it’s completely safe: there’s a 100mm Perspex shield between yourself and Australia’s most dangerous Apex predator.


1. Turn up for bragging rights on heli fishing or heli pub crawl


The Territory’s wide open spaces make it ideal for getting around by helicopter - turning up anywhere by heli comes with enviable bragging rights. Turn up for a heli fishing adventure to remote Top End waterways where the barramundi are sure to be biting. Heli fishing is much more than a fishing expedition chasing the ‘big one’. It’s an adventure into little-visited locations best shared with a handful of your besties.

If fishing is not your thing, how about a heli pub crawl? In between viewing jaw-dropping scenery, you’ll drop into five Top End pubs and lodges, including a lunch stop where barra is likely to be on the menu. You could also take a scenic heli tour over Litchfield National Park, World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park or see tropical Darwin and its surrounding waterways from the air.


2. Turn up early for hot air ballooning above the desert


See the Red Centre’s arid desert landscape from the unique perspective of a hot air balloon at dawn with Outback Ballooning at Alice Springs.A ‘gentle’ kind of adventure, hot air ballooning is an airborne experience you won’t forget as the whoosh of flames ignites to heat the air inside the balloon. Glide gently across the plains as the golden sunlight lights up the MacDonnell Ranges. Keep an eye out for wildlife, especially kangaroos, which are active at dawn and dusk.

After you’ve landed – the landing location differs each time and is dependent upon weather conditions – tuck into a casual breakfast complete with sparkling wine to celebrate your balloon flight.


3. Turn up for air boating & 'fly' across the floodplain


Turn up with a sense of adventure for an exhilarating ride across floodplains. You’ll feel like you’re flying as these flat bottomed boats are propelled by an aircraft-type propeller.

Board an airboat with Wildlands Wetlands Safari Cruises for a Mary River Floodplains tour into the far reaches of wilderness few people can access. The tour includes magical Corroboree Billabong which provides habitat for an abundance of saltwater crocodiles and native birdlife such as brolga, jabiru and delicate jacanas which are usually seen standing atop mammoth floating lily pads.


4. Turn up for off-road buggy adventures


Off-road buggies’ all-terrain ability make them the perfect cross-country vehicle in which to hit the dirt and have some fun. And the NT has so much wide open space where you can loosen the throttle and kick up some dust.

Book an exhilarating off-road buggytour at Kings Creek Station in the Red Centre. The guided adventure tour takes you through rolling red sand dunes and the George Gill Ranges and includes afternoon tea on the day tour or champagne and canapes on the sunset tour.

5 Cage of Death

5. Turn up to swim with crocs


Swimming in croc-infested waters is never a good idea and we strongly recommend not entering any waterway where saltwater crocodiles may be present. Turn up with your swimwear and a healthy dose of bravado – the photos ensure bragging rights to last a lifetime!

However there is one exception where you can get up close and personal with these Apex predators in complete safety. The Cage of Death at Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin is an adrenalin-fuelled experience where you’ll get close enough to eyeball a croc. Billed as Australia’s only crocodile dive, you’ll be immersed within the safety of a Perspex cage and lowered into the croc habitat. It’s an exhilarating experience that will leave you with renewed respect for this creature’s impressive power and size.


6. Turn up for mountain biking


Get some air in your tubes and turn up with a modicum of fitness and a two-wheeled sense of adventure to ride some of the Territory’s best mountain bike and cycle trails.

Whether you head out on a park trail in Alice Springs, cross Kakadu National Park on your saddle, or take on the epic trails in Charles Darwin National Park near Darwin, there’s no shortage of mountain bike trails that will take you through the Territory’s magnificently rugged terrain.

Ramp up the adrenalin with a heli mountain biking tour where you'll be dropped into a remote location where few mountain bikers venture. Don’t have your own bike? No problem, there are bike hire operators in both the Top End and Red Centre.


7. Turn up for paddling in wild places


Slow down the pace a little with wild adventures on the water with a canoeing or kayaking adventure. In the Top End turn up for canoeing at Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park and paddle down the ancient river system lined with dramatic sandstone cliffs. Stop for a picnic lunch beneath ancient Aboriginal rock art then dive into the Katherine River for a swim. Hire a canoe from Nitmiluk Tours and create your very own self-guided canoeing adventure.

In Darwin you can turn up for SUP boarding, sea kayaking or kite surfing in early spring when Mindil Beach, Casuarina Beach and Nightcliff Beach are patrolled by lifeguards (May to October). Darwin waters are habitat for crocs so remember to be crocwise, paddle between the flags and follow directions given by lifeguards.

Two-ladies-hiking-the Larapinta-Trail2

8. Turn up with your hiking boots for some of Australia's best trails


Turn up with your hiking boots and you’ll find you’re spoilt for choice with walking trails across the Territory. If you can’t find somewhere to hike in the Territory you’re really not trying hard enough.

Some of the trails are world famous, luring hikers from around the world. Like the 221km-long Larapinta Trail which winds its way through the MacDonnell Ranges, starting from the Telegraph Station at Alice Springs.

Don’t worry if you’re not up to such a mammoth walk, the trail can be easily broken down into shorter day walks. There are 12 sections along the entire trail which vary from 8km to 29km, along with 34 campsites. Highlights of the Larapinta Trail include Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm and Ellery Creek to name just a few. Beyond the extraordinary trail views, you’ll have the privilege of walking on ancient country which has much Aboriginal cultural significance.

Another trail worth turning up for is the Jatbula Trail whose trailhead starts at Nitmiluk Gorge and ends 62km later at Leilyn (Edith Falls). Follow in the footsteps of the Jawoyn people to see waterfalls, sandstone escarpments, ancient rock art and shady monsoon forests.


Discover more NT adventures in these action-filled itineraries.

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