Travelling to Australia's Top End? Add these five spots to your itinerary.
Nitmiluk National Park
Nitmiluk, or Katherine Gorge, is a series of 13 gorges hemmed by timeworn sandstone. Explore them by river cruise, canoe, a bushwalk or a helicopter flight for aerial views over “the place of the cicada dreaming”. Hardcore hikers can trek the 62-kilometre, five-day Jatbula Trail, tracing traditional Jawoyn routes past rock art and remnant rainforest.
This popular picnic spot by the East Alligator River is a favourite fishing haunt of humans – and crocodiles. In the dry season it’s common to see dozens of crocs lined up, mouths open, as the current delivers mullet straight to their waiting maws. Locals put the record croc crowd at 39.
SEE ALSO: Where to eat, stay and play in Darwin
Bathurst and Melville Islands lie 80 kilometres off Darwin’s coast but exist a world apart from mainland culture. Tiwi people have distinct customs, art and language. Daytrips to Bathurst Island by ferry or plane guarantee to leave lasting impressions.
It should be the solemn duty of every Australian to visit the Red Centre and be awed by the brooding presence of the greatest monolith on Earth, Uluru. Go at sunrise – and again at sunset – and walk the base of this sacred site to understand why many are moved by this remarkable rock.
The NT capital might lack craft beers and big-city sophistication but Darwin does Asian cuisine like nobody’s business. Try the newish Little Miss Korea for Korean barbecue and espresso martinis or Hanuman, where Jimmy Shu has been dishing up Thai, Tamil and Nyonya dishes to Darwinites for decades.