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The Top End

Map showing the Top End area of Australia

The perfect cosmopolitan and outback holiday experience with iconic national parks, ancient culture, unique wildlife and exceptional local dining experiences.

Do the Top End – exotic and tropical

There are four distinct regions in the Top End of the Territory that offer amazing holiday experiences. Soak up metropolitan Darwin by doing the markets at sunset, watching movies under the stars, cruising the harbour or taking a day trip out to Litchfield National Park; nature’s very own water theme park.

60% of Aussie travellers believe Kakadu is one of Australia’s best kept travel secrets. Brimming with native wildlife, it’s a utopia for any animal lover. And it’s just three hours’ drive from Darwin.

The outback meets the tropics in Katherine. Fish it, camp it, hike it, swim it, canoe it – your choices are endless. If you’re after a softer adventure, take in Nitmiluk Gorge aboard a dinner cruise and stay in five-star luxury.

Escape to one of Australia's last true wilderness areas. Arnhem Land is one of the Top End's most spectacular natural destinations, with beautiful scenery, rugged coastlines, remote islands, rivers teeming with fish, rainforest, towering escarpments and savannah woodland.

Do one region, or do them all.

Do Darwin

Darwin is a tropical city offering a blend of cosmopolitan and outback adventure and you can make it as action-packed or as laidback as you want it to be. There is no shortage of things to do in Darwin, from the famous Mindil Beach Markets and festivals, to eyeballing a croc in the Cage of Death.

Explore the history of Darwin and its Aboriginal culture, cruise on the harbour or just relax at the wave lagoon and soak up the outdoor lifestyle. When the sun goes down, Darwin comes alive with a multitude of entertainment venues including restaurants, theatres, nightclubs, and the casino.

Darwin sits on a harbour twice the size of Sydney Harbour and overlooks the Arafura Sea, offering an array of waterfront delights including superb dining, harbour cruising, fishing and amazing sunsets. There are also plenty of popular freshwater swimming spots nearby, such as Howard Springs, Berry Springs and Litchfield National Park - where you will find thundering waterfalls, crystal clear rock pools, native wildlife and bushwalking tracks.

Do nature

Darwin is surrounded by more than 20 national parks and reserves with some of the best swimming holes, waterfalls, wildlife spotting, bushwalking and hiking trails.

For the perfect day trip make sure you pack a picnic and head to Litchfield National Park. Plunge into crystal clear waterholes beneath the magnificent spring-fed waterfalls of Florence and Wangi, or soak in the gentle three-tiered cascade shaded by rainforest at Buley Rockhole. For a drier option, take the short walk through cypress pines and cycads to the Tolmer Falls viewing platform.

Cascading waterfalls, rugged escarpments, aboriginal rock art, giant crocodiles and exotic bird life. Kakadu National Park will change how you see the world. Experience the magic of this ancient land which is only a few hours from Darwin.

In Katherine you will find Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge), just three hours’ drive south from Darwin. You can explore up to 13 spectacular gorges carved from ancient sandstone and an array of waterfalls by paddling a canoe at your own pace, on a guided cultural cruise, or by a high-powered speedboat tour. Helicopter rides departing from the nearby visitor centre offer an excitement-charged way to see the magnificent gorge system from the air.

Top destinations in the Top End

Things to see & do in the Top End

Get inspired

Drive routes in the Top End

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What surprises people most when they first visit #Uluru, you ask? It's much, much bigger than you think! It's 348 metres high and just over 10 kilometres to walk around 🙌 But that's just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Most of the rock is underground – it's estimated it extends 2.5 kilometres below ground level! The Base Walk is without a doubt the best way to explore this iconic rock up close 👉 it's been divided into six sections - you can choose to do just one or the whole loop! Following the footsteps of Aboriginal ancestors, you'll get to see the rock from all sides, discover ancient cave paintings and get a handle on the scale and variety of the monolith. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @ditabrenna! #SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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Twinkle, twinkle little star... how magical do the stars look at Edith Falls (Leliyn)?! 🎶🌟 We're used to seeing the upper rock pools in the daytime, but in our opinion, they look just as spectacular under a dreamy night sky. With very little light pollution in most parts of the NT, it's one of the best places in @Australia to view the stars in all their glory. If you've pitched your tent in the nearby camp ground, make sure you stick your head out and take a look 👀 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @mdfletch!  #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd

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Nature lovers will swoon over what's on offer in close proximity to #Darwin, particularly the waterfall-laden #Litchfield National Park 🙌@danandmoore recently captured this epic drone shot over Wangi Falls, one of the park's signature swimming hubs. With a stunning cliff face, an emerald-toned plunge pool and a cafe on-site, there's every reason to sit back and enjoy your surroundings. If you're looking to burn off lunch, the 1.6km return Wangi Falls walk takes you up to the escarpment where you'll have an amazing view of the stone country above the falls - can you spot the trail at the top of the photo?  Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, Dan! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd

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To summit up for you, #KingsCanyon is a must-see 😉 After 500 steep steps, you'll be sitting pretty at the top of these magnificent sandstone walls. The 6km Rim Walk is one of the most famous walks in the Red Centre and relatively easy once you make it to the top. The circuit walk traces the rim of the canyon for much of the hike before descending into the lush 'Garden of Eden' and back up to the top again 🙌 Located in Watarrka National Park, roughly halfway between #Uluru and #AliceSprings, Kings Canyon is one of many stops along the iconic Red Centre Way drive route. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @ro_mytravels!  #SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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We hate to be devil's advocate, @mitch.toft, but we don't think you're going to move it! The #DevilsMarbles (#KarluKarlu) were formed from an upsurge of molten rock that cooled and became solid beneath a layer of sandstone. Over millions of years the hardened granite cracked and water broke down the sandstone and then the granite. As a result, rounded granite boulders perched on top of each other have been revealed 🙌 This 1,802 hectare reserve extends along both sides of the Stuart Highway and is roughly 400 kilometres north of #AliceSprings. You can thank us later for the geology lesson 😜 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, Mitch 👍  #SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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Let us set the scene for you... a spectacular, 360-degree view of wetlands stretching endlessly out to the horizon and the stone country of Arnhem Land all bathed in the rich afternoon glow. Yep, we're talking about the lookout at Ubirr, #Kakadu National Park's most famous spot for sunset 🙌 As the sun begins to dip, the selfies start to slow and the crowd finds a perch to watch nature’s light show in awe. There ain't no #sunset like a Territory sunset, hey @_aswewander!  Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, Luke and Jess 👍 #SeeAustralia #SeeKakadu

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When the scenes underwater are just as stunning as the one's above the surface! @cleocohen recently stopped by Bitter Springs, one of the most magical swimming spots in #TourismTopEnd! Hidden amongst palms and pandanas trees, this natural thermal pool is known for its ridiculously clear water and constant temperature of 32 degrees celsius. This little oasis is tucked away in the small township of Mataranka, an hour south of #Katherine and four hours’ south of #Darwin. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, Cleo! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd

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Row, row, row your boat... to relaxation! Welcome to @lorellaspringswildernesspark, a million acre coastal wilderness sanctuary in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Historical sites, aboriginal culture, swimming holes, gorges and the spectacular Lost City rock formations are just some of the features that make this family-owned cattle station a must-do. Base yourself at the homestead where you can take your pick of various accommodation options, grab a meal at the licensed bar and make the most of the magical hot springs just 200 metres away. Prepare to ditch your mobile - due to the park's remote location, there's no phone reception 👉 it's the ultimate place to disconnect! Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @mitch.toft.  #SeeAustralia

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We're all about #vanlife in the Northern Territory and where better to hit the road than the Red Centre 🙌🚗 @elisehalina recently travelled around central @Australia, ticking #Uluru off her bucket list in style! While this magnificent monolith is pretty epic from any angle, nothing prepares you for those first views of Uluru up close - its sheer size is mesmerising! There's a heap of ways to explore the base... from hiring a bike with @outbackcycling to hopping on a segway tour with @ulurusegwaytours or on foot 👍 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, Elise! #SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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