What’s new in the Northern Territory?
Take a joyride across the desert on an outback buggy adventure; head to the northeast shores of ancient Arnhem Land on a cultural tour where stories are ready for sharing; or settle into an outback glamping tent after a satisfying day of hiking and swimming around Kakadu.
While many of you might have said good riddance to 2020, there’s plenty to look forward to in this epic list of new things to do on a holiday in the NT.
Here’s what you need to complete your 2021…
Quad biking adventure around Kings Creek Station
The café, accommodation and working cattle grounds of Kings Creek Station is located on Luritja Road, along the route connecting Uluru and Kings Canyon in the Red Centre. Try the newly launched Buggy Station Tour to give you a glimpse into outback life combined with the thrill of wrangling a quad bike off road. Navigate through private bush trails while taking in the sweeping views of the ranges and across the desert escarpment.
Aqua Park at the Darwin Waterfront
Looking for more of a tropical escape? The Darwin Waterfront Precinct is jam packed with activities to cool off in the Top End. The newly opened Aqua Park perched right in front of the seawall gives families and big kids plenty of space to play on the inflatable fun obstacle course. The Aqua Park is open to ages six years and over.
00Seven Jet Ski Adventures on Darwin Harbour
Channel your inner James Bond and experience the best views of Darwin's city skyline and the iconic Mindil Beach from the water. Hover over WWII wrecks and discover Top End history as your guide shares accounts of what lies beneath. 00Seven Jet Ski Adventures depart daily from Stokes Hill Wharf. The most popular Jet Ski tour is the sunset cruise!
Uluru Audio Guide
Holding more than 100 stories, this self-guiding audio device works by GPS, syncing automatically as you travel to each site around the national park. The portable audio guide can be used in the car, while you’re walking along one of the designated paths or by bike. To hire an Uluru Audio Guide, head to the Tourist Information Centre within the town centre of Yulara. Make sure to pick up your device before entering Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The guide is also available in other languages including Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese.
Take a cycling adventure on the Great Top End Escape
Calling all cycling enthusiasts! Travel with Bicycle Network over nine days riding through world heritage-listed Kakadu National Park and the natural wonderland of Litchfield National Park. After pedalling along sealed roads, cool off with a rewarding swim under one of the fern-covered waterfalls around the Park. The trip – booked through Bicycle Network – covers airport transfers, hotel accommodation, bike transport, mechanic assistance and meals.
Saltwater Cultural Tours
Join Larrakia man and traditional owner, Trent Lee, as he takes you on a local experience sharing his stories and knowledge of the land in Darwin and surrounds with Saltwater Cultural Tours. Experience the privilege of a Welcome to Country and traditional methods of spear throwing, string making and making fire over three hours. To learn and see more, choose the ‘Out of country’ day trip that leads you to a remote area to delve deeper into Larrakia knowledge.
Darwin Gourmet Tours
Looking for a local to show you all the best spots to sip and sample small plates? Darwin Gourmet Tours is the tour for you. Discover Darwin’s emerging boutique bar and foodie scene and uncover the history of the Top End’s culinary influences while tasting dishes featuring locally sourced ingredients. Choose a lunch or dinner tour in the CBD – the most satisfying way to eat and drink your way around town.
Intrepid tours to East Arnhem Land
Intrepid Travel has ramped up its tours this year and is endeavouring to take you to the farthest reaches of Australia. Explore and learn on the lands where the Yolngu people have lived for millennia. This is the place to experience close cultural connection visiting Bawaka Homeland, Bremer Island and the arts centre in the community of Yirrkala.
Marrawuddi Gallery and Café in Jabiru
Marrawuddi Gallery and Café has found a new working space for its local artists where the Kakadu Bakery once called home. Visitors are welcomed inside the newly renovated building to watch art being created – from painting and weaving to carving and screen printing. Marrawuddi is owned and run by the Mirarr Traditional Owners and is a proud member of the Indigenous Art Code. They also serve Campos coffee – a must stop over in the Kakadu region.
Wildman Fishing Tours
Wild about fishing? No matter what type of fisherman you classify yourself as, Wildman has you covered with the recent launch of their one-day fishing experiences at Shady Camp on the Mary River. Book with an expert guide on its own or pair the adventure overnight at Wildman's Outback luxury accommodation. Matt Moran, one of Australia’s best-known celebrity Chefs, recently visited Wildman Wilderness Lodge where he sampled some of the local delicacies, including wild-caught Barramundi.
Snap up a spot on limited expeditions with Australian Geographic
Insight Australia has partnered with Australian Geographic to undertake two separate trips to the Top End and Red Centre. Travel to the spectacular West MacDonnell Ranges to swim in picturesque waterholes, climb the rim of Kings Canyon, meet traditional owners, spend a night on a cattle station and experience the awe inspiring colours of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. In the Top End, experience some of the most picturesque scenery in Australia on a guided trip through Kakadu and off the beaten track into Arnhem Land. Register your interest for the Journey to the heart of Australia 4WD Tour, Kakadu and Arnhem Land Northern Territory trip or Women's Tour of Yolŋu Homeland, East Arnhem Land for female adventurers.
Other worthy and tantalizing mentions
Make sure you keep your evening open to try out these new restaurant venues in Darwin: Phat Mango, Charlie’s of Darwin, The Darwin Club at Admiralty House and Bella Fresh. The Hideout @ Star of Alice has reopened with a beautiful outdoor and garden space to enjoy in Alice Springs.
And lucky last, Cooinda Lodge in Kakadu hits the mark with its new fully air-conditioned glamping tents, comfortably fitted out with a locally inspired décor.
For more travel inspiration, check out these itinerary ideas.
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