The thought of spending a long time cooped up in a car with your loved ones might be daunting, but with the scenery as distractingly beautiful as it is in the Top End, you needn’t worry. These routes pack in plenty of breaks for swimming, fishing and bushwalking so it’s not too long between leg stretches.
Alice Springs to Uluru
This drive is perfect for families. The scenic Red Centre way starts at Alice Springs with a visit to Simpsons Gap gorge. The next day includes plenty of swimming at stunning waterholes; you can even camp for the night at Ormiston Gorge and take a magical dip at dawn in the clear waters. Next, kick up dust on your way to Kings Canyon, with a stop at Tnorala, a huge crater formed millions of years ago. After a walk around the rim of the canyon, you’re on the final stretch to Uluru and Ayers Rock Resort. A sunset camel ride is the perfect activity to end the journey.
In the North Eastern corner of the state is a vast, virtually untouched area rich in Aboriginal culture. The Central Arnhem Road starts near Katharine and takes you all the way to Nhulunbuy; you’ll need a four-wheel drive for this one. Give yourself a few days to explore Katherine Gorge by canoe at the start and try your hand at catching a barramundi in Daly River. The Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, located near Nhulunbuy, has fascinating bark paintings, carvings and artefacts.
Greater Litchfield Loop
A great day trip from Darwin, Litchfield National Park is home to cascading waterfalls and plenty g fishing opportunities. There’s nothing quite like plunging into the cool water at Florence Falls after a hot drive. Pack a picnic and leave enough time to spend a sunny afternoon there. You’ll have a chance to flex your off-road skills on the Reynolds River Track. The road accesses some idyllic campgrounds as well as a magnetic termite field, which looks a little like a miniature cemetery.
SEE ALSO: One Perfect Weekend in Alice Springs