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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.

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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.

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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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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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Our mate, @mattwright1, is launching an awesome new experience today - @darwinairboattours 😎 Their custom built V8 airboats will collect you from Stokes Hill Wharf, just minutes from the #Darwin CBD - next stop 👉 an epic adventure! The 45 minute tour takes you across Darwin Harbour and towards the city's scenic mangroves. Your adrenaline will be pumping after an airboat fast lap, before slowing down to enjoy the local landscape, home to birdlife, reptiles and crustaceans. Hands up who's keen ✋ Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @iamsavi! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd

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Just over an hour’s drive south from #Darwin, #Litchfield National Park is a swimmer’s paradise full of cascading creeks and waterfalls tumbling into freshwater rock pools 💦👙 Wangi Falls, one of the park's largest falls, is a great spot to cool off, have a swim and soak in the surroundings of the glistening pandanus fringed pools. From here, you can also explore the many walking tracks which offer panoramic views of the open valley and the waterholes below. If you're keen to stay longer, there's a small kiosk onsite, along with a bush camping area and non-powered caravan sites 👍 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @colbybrownphotography! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd

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The #TiwiIslands (made up of 2 main islands and 9 uninhabited) are famous for their aboriginal arts culture, secluded fishing lodges and love of AFL. If you're keen to explore this off-the-beaten track destination, you can hop on a day tour from #Darwin with @SeaLinkNT. After a 2.5 hour ferry trip, you'll meet your local guide in Wurrumiyanga, the Tiwis' largest community. Following a traditional welcome ceremony performed by some of the local ladies, you'll explore the cultural museum and arts centre where you can watch artists at work. You can even pick up a little souvenir to take home! It won't take long for you to discover why they're nicknamed the 'Island of Smiles' 😃 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @stevint! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd

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With everything from Asian food markets and crocodile encounters to open-air movies and sunset cruises, #Darwin may be laid-back but it could never be described as dull 😎 @stanmoniz recently captured this stunner of a sunset from @skycitydarwin, the ultimate accommodation option for your next tropical escape 🌴 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, Stan!  #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd

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Weekends were made for exploring 💦 If you have a soft spot for waterfalls, we guarantee you're going to fall in love with #Litchfield National Park 💙 @danandmoore and @jackson.groves recently checked out Florence Falls; a crystal clear waterhole beneath a magnificent spring-fed waterfall - how good does that water look?! Just 90 minutes' drive from #Darwin, Litchfield is every local’s favourite day trip with bushwalks, four-wheel drive tracks and an abundance of wildlife. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, Dan! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd

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Here's one to add to the #weekend bucket list 👉 #Katherine Hot Springs (aka heaven) in @TourismTopEnd, 3 hours south of #Darwin. If you're visiting the Katherine region, this hidden oasis is only five minutes drive from the main township - winning! The natural springs comprise of several warm crystal clear pools, so you can pick your own spot and then just lay back and relax 👌 This isn't the only hot springs in the area... just an hour down the road you'll also find Bitter Springs and Mataranka Thermal Pool 💦 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @darwin_style! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd

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Last one to the waterfall is a rotten egg 😜 When it comes to swimming in the wild it doesn’t get much better than the pools of #Litchfield National Park, around a 90 minute drive south of #Darwin. Home to several sublime waterfalls, it’s one of the Northern Territory's best swimming spots. It's not hard to see why Florence Falls, a double waterfall that feeds into a deep plunge pool, is a firm favourite with both visitors and locals alike. After a refreshing dip, make sure you check out the lookout high above the falls for panoramic views of the open valley and the waterhole below. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @jackson.groves! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd

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