What to Do in the Northern Territory – According to Qantas Frequent Flyers

litchfield national park waterfall nt

Surreal landscapes at dawn, chasing waterfalls and wildlife-spotting galore: the Northern Territory is home to some of Australia’s most unforgettable experiences, so we asked Qantas Frequent Flyers to share their top tips. 

“The thermal springs are so clear, they’re like a swimming pool” - Fiona Harper, Gold Frequent Flyer

fiona harper

“One of the nicest things about being in the Territory is that the swimming holes are all natural. You can't swim on the coast or in most of the rivers because of the crocodiles, but thermal springs and waterfalls are generally fine. Bitter Springs near Katherine has aquamarine water that’s so clear, it’s like a swimming pool. It’s a thermal spring so the water temperature is warm and very inviting. 

“Devil's Marbles (Karlu Karlu) are in a protected area between Tennant Creek and Alice Springs; it’s a fascinating landscape with these huge boulders. There are walking trails to explore but make sure you pack a fly net!

fiona harper

“If you have the time, take the Ghan’s four-day train journey from Darwin to Adelaide. Seeing the Macdonnell Ranges at all times of the day and night is extraordinary, especially when the desert lights up at dawn and the sun catches on the rocks. 

“From Darwin, take a day trip over to Tiwi Islands. The Tiwi Design art centre on Bathurst Island has beautiful fabrics and there are some fabulous First Nations art galleries, too. Football is a huge passion here – the famous Rioli AFL family comes from Tiwi Islands.” 

Fiona flew Qantas from Sydney to Darwin. 

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“We all jumped in a big waterhole and floated back down stream” - Natalie Turner, Bronze Frequent Flyer

boys waterfall natalie turner balcony bronze frequent flyer

“We escaped the Sydney winter and stayed at Darwin Waterfront Apartments where we had beautiful water views. It was ideal for our family of 10 adults and five children – the kids loved swimming in the wave lagoon and we could walk out to the big ferris wheel at the end of the wharf.

“A day trip to Litchfield National Park is a must; we went with a guide who showed us the best hidden spots – there are a lot of smaller waterfalls to walk through, but you wouldn’t find them on your own. We all jumped in a big waterhole and floated back down stream using pool noodles.

family tree natalie turner balcony bronze frequent flyer

“The Darwin waterfront was the ideal spot for lunch or dinner, we ate there every night. It was convenient and the younger kids could play on the grassed area at the front in between courses. Hot Tamale Mexican was a favourite for its fun atmosphere – it’s colourful and vibrant and they played great music.

“You have to watch the sunset at Mindil Beach at least once. There are plenty of food stalls so you can grab several plates, set up a picnic on the sand and watch the sun go down. The crowds were huge when we visited and everyone clapped as the sun set, it was a great atmosphere.” 

Natalie flew Qantas from Sydney to Darwin. 

“Seeing Uluru is captivating – even more so when you’re up close” - Nicola-Ann Kennett, Bronze Frequent Flyer

uluru son nicola ann bennett bronze frequent flyer

“It was my husband’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary and we all chose where to go as a family. There were 13 of us – six children and seven adults – and none of us had been to the Northern Territory before. We flew to Uluru (Ayers Rock Airport) and spotting it from the plane was captivating. It's even better when you’re up close. We visited Uluru twice – once in the afternoon for champagne at sunset and then again for a sunrise walk.

“The hike at Kings Canyon was challenging – it feels like you’re walking directly upwards. But when you’re at the top, the sheer size and scale of the iconic site is awe-inspiring. We didn’t take our five-year-old on that hike – he was a bit too young – but the rest of us loved it.

yellow water sunset nicola ann bennett bronze frequent flyer

“We drove from Darwin to Kakadu, where we did the two-hour sunset cruise through the Yellow Water Billabong and tributaries of the South Alligator River – it was magical. There were so many crocodiles and beautiful water birds that would get just close enough to the crocs before darting away. 

“The kids all loved the First Nations cultural experiences at Top Didj in Katherine. We learned about Indigenous Australian art and the different meanings behind symbols for food, snakes and fire.

“Our convoy of three cars drove through the desert to get between towns. It was so unexpected to see the huge termite mounds and all the beautiful desert flowers along the way.” 

Nicola-Ann flew Qantas from Sydney to Ayers Rock.

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SEE ALSO: What to Do in South Australia – According to Qantas Frequent Flyers

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