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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

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#NTaustralia

If you're travelling through the West MacDonnell Ranges, don't forget to stop by Standley Chasm, where the rock appears to have been split by a giant pick-axe! A relatively short and easy drive from #AliceSprings, the chasm cuts through the tough quartzite to form a natural alleyway. Thousands of years' worth of surging flood waters are responsible for this beautiful site, which is best seen around noon on a sunny day when the high walls light up 🌟 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @grants_abroad! #SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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Say g’day to the wildly photogenic Southern Rockhole in Nitmiluk National Park! We'd like to think that the NT has somehow found itself as the world’s unofficial capital of natural plunge pools - a reminder that it's anything but dry and sparse 💦 While getting to this spot does require a bit of bush-bashing, the beautiful turquoise waters are your welcomed reward. It’ll take you about an hour and a half to get to the falls from the Nitmiluk Visitor Information Centre, but there’s a strong chance that you’ll have it all to yourself when you arrive 👌 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @un_sketch! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd #NitmilukNT

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Weekends = camping! With the weather starting to cool down in #RedCentreNT, we're pulling out the map and loading up the four-wheel drive 🚗⛺️️️️️ The only tricky part is picking out of all the awesome camping spots around #AliceSprings... there's plenty of options in the East and West MacDonnell Ranges, or you can head south to Rainbow Valley or Chambers Pillar. For the adventurous, there's also Palm Valley or Owen Springs Reserve. Not only can you expect an outback style campsite, you'll also be sleeping under some of the best night skies in the world! Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @boenferguson.  #SeeAustralia

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Geez, #KingsCanyon - you somehow manage to look spectacular from every angle! Some might say regal 😜 If you're keen for magnificent views of the Canyon rim, the weathered domes of ‘The Lost City’ and the ‘Garden of Eden’, then the 6km Rim Walk is a must. When you’re standing up on top of the Canyon, looking out across the desert, the sheer walls and size of the surrounding landscape is absolutely mind-blowing. Don’t let the initial steep climb put you off, once you reach the top you’re rewarded with one of the most spectacular sights in central @Australia. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @mattia_vivaldi 👍 #SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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Congrats, @_markfitz - you've found paradise 😍 According to Mark, "the deluxe beachfront eco tents here on Bremer Island are the perfect spot to sit back, relax and watch the waves roll in!" @BanuBanuRetreat can be found just off the coast of #EastArnhemLand and can be reached via ferry or a short 15 minute flight from #Gove (#Nhulunbuy) Airport. While relaxation is one of the main activities offered here, there's also plenty of bush walking trails and bird watching, along with fishing charters and guided mud crabbing tours. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, Mark! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd #ArnhemLand

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Feeling a bit chilly over on the coast at the moment? While the rest of @Australia are heading into the winter months, we're welcoming the return of the dry season in #TourismTopEnd. Think day time temperatures averaging around 30 degrees celsius 🙌 Speaking of, it's a great time to lock in those #Kakadu travel plans you've been thinking about, especially with so many amazing spots to enjoy the balmy weather 👉  including this hidden gem, Motor Car Falls 💦👌 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @waterfalling_in_love! #SeeAustralia #SeeKakadu

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Sit back and relax, folks - it's time to take in the afternoon show 😎Nitmiluk (#Katherine) Gorge, the jewel of Nitmiluk National Park, brings life to the region through a series of waterways home to ancient rock art sites and a wide diversity of local wildlife. For spectacular views, take the Baruwei loop walk and stop at the Baruwei lookout for epic views into the gorge. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @luxurybackpacking! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd #NitmilukNT

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Warning: This image may cause you to book a trip to #Uluru! This iconic monolith is not only a magnificent natural formation, it's also a deeply spiritual place. You can feel a powerful presence the moment you first set eyes on it ✨ Sunset is one of the best times to take in this 348-metre high icon, particularly as it changes from ochre to burnished red and then intense red 😍 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @alyshiaturchyn! #SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT #ExploreUluru

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Here's a piece of pastel perfection for your Thursday morning 💜 The aboriginal rock art isn't the only thing that's world class at Ubirr... the sunsets are also some of the best you'll ever see! Time your visit for late afternoon and make your way along the walking trail, passing several stunning art sites before heading up to the lookout for sunset. Gazing out over the Nadab floodplain, you'll soon understand why so many people describe #Kakadu National Park as a land filled with wonder ✨ Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @tatyanaleonov! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd #SeeKakadu

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