Backpacking in Australia’s Northern Territory
It’s on every backpackers bucket list as the epic Aussie destination to play hard, work a bit and immerse yourself in Australian culture.
The Northern Territory is a haven for local travellers chasing that "endless summer" and for international folk it’s a playground of adventure, culture, and world renowned nature and wildlife. Locals don't take life or themselves too seriously and you shouldn't either. There's a good vibe here, without the big city attitude.
Travellers come to the Northern Territory from all over the world seeking adventure first. It’s only after experiencing the laid-back lifestyle that many decide to stay, do a bit of work and play!
‘Play Hard’ Here’s just some of the most epic things you can only do in the Northern Territory
Crocs, rocks and waterfalls – yew!
So you’ve made it to the Territory – now you can start ticking off that list, but more importantly having a bloody epic time as you’re doing it!
If we didn't get you at 'swimming with crocs', we surely won you over with 'cage of death'!
The Cage of Death located at Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin, is submerged underwater in a crocodile enclosure, allowing you to get up close and personal with your new scaly pal in a safe environment. Safe it may be, but it is still guaranteed to get the heart pumping!
Rocks – everyone’s got them, but we’ve got the second biggest monolith in the world. Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park is home to world icon Uluru and there’s so many ways to enjoy the majestic beauty of this icon. From helicopter tours to skydiving experiences to motorcycle excursions to camel rides. And if you just want to walk it, you can do that too!
Across the top end of the NT, you’re spoilt for choice. Hike through Litchy as the locals call it (Litchfield National Park) and you’ll come across waterfalls with epic drops and cooling waterholes perfect to lie in all day. Head out to Kakadu National Park and you’ll find it’s home to 83% of bird life in Australia (whoa) stunning escarpment gorges and yes, waterfalls.
When the beat drops
Infinity Beats on a Sunday at Mindil beach casino happens every Sunday. DJs set up their decks at the infinity pool and you get to enjoy cocktails in the pool looking out over the Arafura Sea. Stroll across to the Mindil Beach Sunset markets to get a snack and take in the sunset.
The world’s oldest living culture calls the NT home
65,000 years in the making makes for some truly mind blowing art and cultural pieces. From the Arrernte in Central Australia and the Yolngu in Arnhem Land to the Tiwi people of the Tiwi Islands near the Timor Sea, over 40 different indigenous language groups reside in the NT.
When you’re in the Top End jump on a tour just outside of Darwin with Pudakul. When you’re in Kakadu National Park check out Kakadu Tourism and Kakadu Cultural Tours. For those road trips down the Stuart Highway, stop by and check out Nitmiluk Tours, Top Didj. Red Centre dwelling travellers should visit Maruku to learn the art of dot painting, Karrke to try a witchy grub and Voyages Tourism offer a ton of tours where you can learn about the Anangu culture.
Jump on a tour but make it NT style
If you need a local to show you around, the NT has got tonnes of tour options to choose from. Wanna do a pub crawl, but also want to see the NT from above? Jump on a heli-pub crawl and combine the two! See the most amazing Aboriginal rock art galleries, waterholes bush pub grubs; roll out of bed and meet you driver at the door and head out to explore the best of the NT’s national parks and wildlife.
Nature and Wildlife (including you guys)
Wild – life! Saltwater crocodiles, baby wallabies, kangaroos like Roger, Buffalos – you’ll see so much any time of the year when you get out and amongst it. Pet and feed baby roos at the Kangaroo Sanctuary, ride a Camel in the desert, or swim with Otis (safely) the resident crocodile at Top End Safari Camp. Get up close and personal with the wildlife, while you’re enjoying in epic settings.
Gorge-ous things off the highway
After you’ve swum in the Katherine Hot Springs, grabbed a bite at Black Russian, it’s about time to experience a unique Aboriginal cultural at Top Didj Cultural Experience. Manual Pamkal is your guide and will share with you his stories of growing up in the bush and his way of living, eating and hunting.
You can’t see K-town, without visiting Nitmiluk National Park. Home to the Jawoyn people, the beautiful Nitmiluk Gorge lets you kayak through it, hike it or cruise through the gorge.
We’ve probably now got your full attention, so here’s some more uniquely NT things to do so you can brag to all your mates about!
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If you’re wanting to work a little and play a lot, there are plenty of job opportunities for backpackers, and for those eligible and seeking a second year Working Visa the NT is the perfect place to qualify
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