"Untouched Natural Beauty & Unique Mix of Cultures" Top 5 Page for this destination Northern Territory by AlbuqRay

Northern Territory Travel Guide: 2,340 reviews and 7,916 photos

One of the Most Sparsely Populated Areas on Earth

I visited Australia's Northern Territory (NT) in August 2010 for a VT survivor camp and meeting in the Alice Springs area. My basic itinerary was:

3 - Arrive Darwin Airport at 12:40 on Qantas
4 - Walking tour of Rapid Creek and Nightcliff foreshores
5 - Bus to Mataranka Homestead (since Nitmiluk Tours would not pick me up in Katherine since bus arrived 1.5 hours late)
6 - Mataranka Homestead thermal pool, Rainbow Spring, Stevie's Hole, Botanic Walk
7 - Revisit thermal pool, revisit Rainbow Spring, revisit Stevie's Hole, Elsey Station replica, "We of the Never Never" movie
8 - Arrive Alice Springs, walking tour of Gap Road
9 - Alice Springs Old Ghan Museum, buy camping supplies
10 - Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve, Oak Valley, Stuart's Well/Jim's Place, Rainbow Valley
11 - Henbury Meteorite Craters, Stuart's Well/Jim's Place, Ernest Giles Road, Yulara, Imalung Lookout for Uluru sunset
12 - Uluru (sunset viewing area, Cultural Center, Kantju Gorge walk), Olgas' Valley of the Winds and sunset
13 - Uluru Waterhole and sunrise viewing area, Mount Conner Lookout, Kings Creek Station
14 - Kings Creek Trail, Kathleen Springs Trail, Tank Hill sunset
15 - Kings Canyon Resort, Morris Pass Scenic Lookout, Albert Namatjiras House, Palm Valley, Cycad Gorge, Arankaia Walk
16 - Palm Valley sunrise, partial Mpulungkinya walk, "I-caves" canyon, Kalarranga Lookout
17 - Hermannsburg, Gosse Bluff Craters, Tyler's Pass, Glen Helen Gorge, Ellery Creek Big Hole
18 - Redbank Gorge, Mount Sonder Lookout, Finke 2 Mile, Ormiston Gorge, Ochre Pits, Standley Chasm, Alice Springs
19 - Simpson Gap, Flynn's Grave, Alice Springs Desert Park, VT meet and greet at Desert Palms Resort
20 - Seabiscuit boat frame construction, tour of Alice Springs (Mbantua Gallery and Cultural Museum, Royal Flying Doctors Service, School of Air, Old Telegraph Station, Anzac Hill), Sounds of Starlight dinner and didgeridoo show
21 - Henley-on-Todd Regatta (Todd Mall parade, Seabiscuit in BYOB race, sand shoveling contest, sand ski races, tug-of-wars, battle boats), Todd Mall shopping, Bojangles
22 - Day off, update logbook
23 - RFDS contact for LifeBot, Second Hand Store, East MacDonnell Ranges (Corroboree Rock, Ross River Resort, Arltunga, Trephina Gorge)
24 - Depart Alice Springs, Tropic of Capricorn Marker, Barrow Creek, Wycliffe Well, Devil's Marbles, Threeways campground
25 - Depart Threeways, John Flynn Memorial, Renner Springs, Sir Charles Todd Memorial, Daly Waters Pub, Stuart's Tree, Daly Waters Aerodrome, Pink Panther Pub in Larrimah, Elsey Homestead Cemetery and original site, Bitter Springs, Mataranka Homestead
26 - Depart Mataranka Homestead, Mataranka Territory Manor, Maranboy Creek mining camp, Katherine Low Level Nature Park, Silver Cycads, grass fires, Pine Creek (Alex Gory Park railroad exhibit and Miners' Park), arrive Kakadu National Park (Moline Rock Hole, Ikoymarrwa Lookout, Mary River Ranger Station)
27 - Bukbukluk Lookout, Old Old Goodparla Homestead, Old Goodparla Airstrip and Homestead, Gerowie Creek, Ostejic's road camp and BOYDY grave
28 - Depart Mary River Ranger Station, Mary River Roadhouse Info Center, Adelaide River (Railway Precinct & War Cemetery), arrive Noonamah
29 - Arrive Darwin, Darwin Ski Club, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT
30 - 1934 Qantas hanger, Fanny Bay Gaol Museum, Aviators Park, George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens
31 - Depart Darwin Airport at 01:30 on JetStar

I put a photographic summary on Shutterfly of the over 10,000 pictures that I took. NT with an area of 520,902 square miles (1,349,129 square kilometers) and a population of 227,025 is one of the most sparsely populated areas on earth. Darwin is a port in the far north of NT overlooking the Timor Sea. VT does have Darwin in its destination taxonomy. All of my VT pages on Darwin are there.

"Boat" Racing, Tug-of-Wars and Battle Boat Battles

Alice Springs at 27,481 is the second largest city. It is located in the southern portion of the Northern Territory in the Red Center of Australia. "Alice" is normally a very dry area with summer and winter seasons. It is the gateway to Uluru and other well-known sites in the East and West MacDonnell Ranges. It is also the home of the Henley-on-Todd Regatta, a crazy annual event where they have "boat" races, tug-of-wars, and battle boat battles in the normally dry river bed. All of my VT pages on the 2010 VT survivor camp and meeting in the Alice Springs area are under Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges.

Famous Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Uluru is Australia’s most famous natural icon. It is located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park southwest of Alice Springs. The sandstone monolith is 348 meters high and has both sacred Aboriginal men's and women's sites. All of my VT pages on Uluru (Ayer's Rock) and Kata Tjuta (Olga Mountains) are under Uluru National Park.

VT only has a few other NT destinations that I visited in its taxonomy. They are Kakadu National Park, Katherine, Mataranka, Pine Creek, Adelaide River, Daly Waters, Tennant Creek, Barrow Creek, Fannie Bay (I put it under Darwin since it is a suburb of Darwin), Nightcliff (another Darwin suburb, also under Darwin), and Maranboy. When I can, I shall use these destinations. For the many other remote, but interesting, sites along the Stuart Highway, see the off-the-beaten path tips here. The Locality Map for Karlu Karlu (Devil's Marbles Conservation Reserve) by the Parks & Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory shows most of these sites that are between Alice Springs and Threeways. The Royal Automobile Association (RAA) six-page Strip Map for Alice Springs to Darwin via the Stuart Highway has even more detail and is excellent.

In July 2014 I found a really good summary of what to see and do along the Stuart Highway from Darwin to Alice Springs while trying to find the Aboriginal display in one of DavidJo's pictures.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Untouched natural beauty and unique mix of cultures
  • Cons:Limited infrastructure and access
  • In a nutshell:Huge area with many natural wonders and few humans
  • Last visit to Northern Territory: Aug 2010
  • Intro Updated Jul 26, 2014
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Reviews (64)

Comments (6)

  • AngMimi's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2012 at 6:57 AM

    Hi Ray, I come back to read again. So much of natural beauties. Thanks for sharing. Terima kasih - kasih diterima.:-))

  • Babzz's Profile Photo
    Sep 21, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    well I'll be sure to be picking your brain then!

  • Wann's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    My dream destination :)

  • rosie235's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    wow Ray, great page..we really packed a lot in a few days, huh? wonderful meeting you and enjoying this experience with you..

  • betska's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    It certainly was great to meet you, Ray. Looking forward to reading your NT pages. Bettsxx

  • adelaidean's Profile Photo
    Sep 2, 2010 at 8:14 PM

    and another one of the bet things about NT is that we all met you!


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