Northern Territory announces quarantine-free travel

male backpacker sitting on rocks beside pond in northern territory

In great news for those dreaming of a tropical mummer escape, Monday 20 December will mark a milestone for the Northern Territory, with quarantine-free travel set to start for all fully vaccinated Aussies – regardless of hotspot classification.

Tony Quarmby, executive director at Tourism NT, said: “A holiday in the NT is now very much back on the agenda for all fully vaccinated Aussies and with our NT Summer Sale currently … you can save up to $1000 off your trip.

“We know so many people have been eagerly awaiting this opportunity to travel and the promise of wide-open spaces, adventure, culture and an endless summer is a great reason to book a trip to the territory as soon as you can.”

Those who are fully vaccinated and arriving into the Northern Territory from a classified ‘red zone’, by plane or car, will need to return a negative PCR Test 72 hours before arrival and then a rapid antigen test on arrival. Everyone else entering the NT will still need to complete a rapid antigen test on arrival.

Read: A comprehensive guide to COVID tests for travel

The opportunity to now rapidly test people when they arrive in the territory is a game changer, providing more certainty for bars, restaurant owners and the tourism industry.

The territory’s own outback wrangler Matt Wright said they’re ready and waiting to welcome everyone.

“We’re counting down to welcoming everyone back up to the territory for a much-needed holiday, and its perfect timing with Christmas just around the corner,” said he said.

“The tourism industry in particular has been hit hard up here and what better gift to give this Christmas than an unforgettable travel experience up in the NT. We’ve got some epic tours on offer, whether it’s in the air in a chopper, on the sea in our jetboat, cruising the river systems in our airboat or on land and up close to our monster crocs, there’s a cracking experience for everyone. Get up here and have some fun with us!”

Read: Top 10 things to do in the Northern Territory

The Top End is home to a variety of outstanding attractions including full-flowing waterfalls, an abundance of wildlife in Litchfield, Kakadu and Katherine, cruises along Darwin harbour or down the incredible Nitmiluk Gorge, epic sunsets and spectacular lightning shows.

Meanwhile, the Red Centre is home to waterholes, helicopter rides, hot air balloon experiences, Aboriginal art galleries, Uluru and Kings Canyon.

Andrea Lehman, general manager at Outback Ballooning, echoed Mr Wright’s sentiments.

“We are incredibly excited to be able to welcome all fully vaccinated travellers back to the territory.

“After the recent rain in the Red Centre, our waterholes are full and it’s the best time to take advantage of the savings on offer through NT Summer Sale. Come and see Alice Springs like you haven’t before – jump on one of our early morning hot air balloon flights and take the opportunity to experience an unforgettable Northern Territory holiday this summer,” Ms Lehman said.

Read: Five best Northern Territory Airbnbs

While Matthew Cameron-Smith, CEO of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia said, “Our team at Ayers Rock Resort is looking forward to welcoming travellers back to Uluṟu to enjoy some of our “Just Wow” moments.”

“Whether that’s viewing the spectacular art on show in our new Gallery of Central Australia, wandering quietly through the Valley of the Winds at Kata Tjuṯa, taking in the magic of the Field of Light or dining under the night sky at Sounds of Silence there are so many opportunities to enjoy the spiritual heart of Australia and we can’t wait to share them all,” Mr Cameron-Smith said.

To find out how you can save on a trip to the territory, check out the NT Summer Sale.

Plan your epic NT itinerary here:

Summer in the Red Centre

Summer in the Top End

Does quarantine-free travel to NT change your Christmas plans? Where would you most like to visit in the NT? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Written by Ellie Baxter

Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.

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