Category Archives: Regions

Uluru-Kata Tjuta Region

Destination Name: Uluru/Kata Tjuta Region

Names like Uluru/Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuta/The Olgas are synonymous with Australia’s iconic interior. Situated 462 kilometres south west of Alice Springs, these geological wonders are visited by thousands of visitors every year. Sunrise and sunset shed a myriad of different lights on these intimidating formations (Uluru/Ayers Rock is a monolith, Kata Tjuta/The Olgas an unusual collection of massive domes). A viewing at either of these times is invariably described as ‘spiritual’, ‘majestic’ and ‘unforgettable’.

Yulara is the settlement that has sprung up to service tourists to the area. It is home to Ayers Rock Resort and a domestic airport for flights from most Australian capital cities.

Alice Springs and Surrounds

Destination Name: Alice Springs & Surrounds

Vast desert plains, ancient mountain ranges, dramatic gorges and the world’s largest monolith make Central Australia one of the world’s must see destinations. You haven’t experienced Australia until you’ve been to its heart and marvelled at the results of Mother Nature’s handiwork. In Central Australia, skyscrapers are made of rock and the best show in town is the spectacle of a million stars in the night sky.

Alice Springs is the area’s headquarters and the perfect base for exploration. The town itself is well equipped with ample facilities for travellers and offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all visitors. Local attractions include an arts and cultural centre, reptile centre, Frontier Camel Farm, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and one of the best desert golf courses in the world.

The West MacDonnell Ranges with its spectacular gorges, ochre pits and deep chasms and the East MacDonnell Ranges, home to brilliant nature parks, historical reserves and breathtaking Trephina Gorge make superb day trips from Alice Springs. The Finke Gorge National Park and Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve are also only a couple of hours drive out of town.

Uluru/Ayers Rock is situated 461 kilometres south west of Alice Springs on the traditional lands of the Anangu Aboriginal people. No amount of pictures will prepare you for your first view of world’s largest monolith. It is truly an awe inspiring sight. Nearby Kata Tjuta/The Olgas (a collection of giant weathered rock domes) is also one of Australia’s most dramatic natural wonders. Kings Canyon at Watarrka National Park, a three hour drive from Uluru/Ayers Rock is equally breathtaking.

Those seeking to get right off the beaten track can take their four wheel drive into the Simpson Desert to fossick for gems at Glen Helen or Ruby Gap,
or (for a very remote trip) head out along the Tanami track in the west. A holiday to Central Australia, with its breathtaking landscape, ancient culture and world renowned natural landmarks guarantees experiences that will never, never leave you.

Tennant Creek and Surrounds

Destination Name: Tennant Creek Area

Tennant Creek township is the Northern Territory’s ‘heart of gold’ and its surrounding areas are characterised by empty plains and vast skies. With a population of 4,000, Tennant Creek township is the main service centre for the area extending some 507 kilometres south to Alice Springs.

Stop in at any of the several character filled (some truly eccentric) road stops along the Stuart Highway (Explorer’s Way) for an insight into a unique lifestyle shaped by isolation. Ti Tree is famous for its surprising agricultural industry, Wycliffe Well has reported Unidentified Flying Objects visits and visitors to Barrow Creek invariably make their way to the historically significant Overland Telegraph Station.

Spend a couple of star filled nights in the Tennant Creek Area for a truly unique Territory experience.

Katherine and Surrounds

Destination Name: Katherine & Surrounds

While its star attraction is undoubtedly the famous Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, Katherine’s surrounds include some of the most incredible fishing regions in Australia, a treasure trove of tucked away hot springs and a diverse indigenous and pioneer history.

Dazzling scenery, a unique history and all types of adventure await visitors in the spectacular Katherine Region. The Jawoyn people first settled the area thousands of years ago. What is now known as the Katherine River provided them with an abundance of food and water and was the foundation of their culture.

Ludwig Leichhardt was the first European to visit the area during his 1844 expedition to Port Essington where he discovered the headwaters of the Katherine River but it wasn’t until 1862 that the river was named by the explorer John McDouall Stuart. He named it after Catherine, the daughter of his benefactor, James Chambers. The name was misspelt and has remained that way ever since. With the establishment of the Overland Telegraph Station at Knott’s Crossing (where the original pylons can still be seen) the town boomed.

Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park is one of the Territory’s top tourist attractions. The majestic 3,000 square kilometre park is owned and run by the area’s traditional owners, the Jawoyn people. Nitmiluk means Cicada Dreaming, and comes from an important local Dreamtime story. Here the Katherine River flows through 13 spectacular gorges separated by rapids and carved through the Arnhem Plateau before heading northwest to the tidal Daly River and the Timor Sea.

For a truly intrepid adventure, fishing fanatics can head east along the Carpentaria Highway to the Gulf of Carpentaria or west along the Victoria Highway to the mighty Victoria River. These rugged regions challenge even hardy adventurers and their wild waterways team with barramundi and other big catches.

Kakadu Region

Destination Name: Kakadu Region

Kakadu is a landscape of contrasts. Beneath waters dotted with delicate lotus flowers lurks the brute strength of the crocodile. Jagged peaks of towering escarpments hide pockets of verdant rainforest. Roaring waterfalls thunder down rocky gorges to serene pools fringed with paperbarks, pandanus and cycads.

Kakadu encompasses rock art sites that indicate an Aboriginal presence tens of thousands of years old. The escarpment and outliers also shelter some of the world’s oldest Aboriginal rock art galleries.

Parts of the Aboriginal legacy that most visitors come to see are the famous Ubirr and Nourlangie Rock, where Dreamtime legend, history and day to day living are presented side by side. Many local Aboriginals still live in Kakadu, practising both modern and traditional ways of life.

As the catchment area for the South Alligator, East Alligator, Katherine Roper and Daly rivers, Kakadu is shaped by water. From November to May waterfalls like Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls are at their most spectacular and the lowlands are flooded with water.
On these flood plains, you’ll find waterlily covered billabongs such as Yellow Waters and Mamukala, left behind by tropical summer rains, attracting flocks of waterfowl year round.

An early morning cruise on Yellow Water never disappoints bird lovers. The unique and diverse avian life in Kakadu is legendary. Comb crested jacarna, darter birds, azure kingfishers, oriental cuckoos and the incredible jabiru are just some of the species to delight observers with their plumage and calls.
Several light aeroplane operators offer scenic flights over the park allowing a bird’s eye view of the vast and varied landform.
Visitors planning to spend a night or more in Kakadu have several options ranging from campsites to the famous crocodile shaped Holiday Inn at Jabiru.

Darwin and Surrounds

Destination Name: Darwin & Surrounds

Most travellers begin their Top End experience in Darwin, the Northern Territory’s cosmopolitan capital. Its proximity to World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands makes it one of the most exciting capital cities in Australia.

Darwin is a popular holiday destination, thanks to a laid back charm cultivated in equal parts by its tropical climate and geographical position.

The city is closer to Jakarta than it is to Canberra and strongly influenced by its Asian neighbours. Nowhere is this more evident than at the city’s vibrant markets where a variety of cuisines are all well represented. The east-meets-west them also extends to many up-market and mid-range restaurants. Barramundi, the locals’ favourite catch is also a regular feature on Darwin menus.

In fact, fishing for ‘barra’ is a fantastic way to get acquainted with Darwin’s huge harbour (twice the size of Sydney’s) or alternatively, sunset cruises let you take in one of its spectacular dusks.

With Darwin as your base, the major attractions of the Top End are readily accessible.

To the north of Darwin are the Tiwi Islands- Bathurst and Melville, abundant in arts and crafts and the colourful culture of the Tiwi people.

South-east of the city are the unspoilt wetlands of the Mary River region and one of Australia’s greatest treasures – World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park where some of Australia’s most famous Aboriginal rock art sites, awesome waterfalls and a multitude of unusual birds and wildlife are the star attractions.

Travelling further east you can explore the untamed beauty of Arnhem Land. Activities like sailing and game-fishing let you experience the magic of Gove or Cobourg Peninsula’s water wonderlands or you can seek out rare insight into the traditional life of indigenous Australians.

With so many incredible experiences within easy reach of Australia’s most picturesque tropical capital city, it’s easy to see why the Top End has something for everybody.