Flying over the Simpson Desert, I immediately feel more ‘Australian’. On my way to Darwin for a four-day jaunt and I’m excited to finally tick an item off the top of my bucket list.
When one thinks of Australia – particularly those from overseas – the Northern Territory is usually the first place that comes to mind. Maybe we have Crocodile Dundee or Steve Irwin to thank for that. Regardless, it holds a special place in our hearts.
That is evident by the 96 per cent of respondents to our 2019 Australian Travel Inspirations survey, who said that the Northern Territory is a place everyone should visit at some time in their life. It’s by far the most ‘Australian’ state or territory, with four of the top five most ‘Australian’ places in Australia located here, and just under 40 per cent also say the most ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experiences can be found in NT. Over 65 per cent of our respondents have already been to the Northern Territory and almost eight in 10 want to return.
Why? Let’s see. Kakadu, Uluru, Kata-Tjuta, Litchfield and the 30 or so amazing national parks are certainly a drawcard. As is the capital, Darwin, which has a rich cultural and military history, as well as a burgeoning food scene. It’s the perfect place to base yourself for your NT explorations. Our members rated it fourth in the top 10 most exciting cities in Australia, too.
Many people think that the Northern Territory is too hot, but it’s not. Average monthly temperatures in Darwin hover between 30°C–33°C, whereas in Alice Springs, temperatures can range from 19°C in June to 35°C in December.
From mid-June to mid-September you’ll find relatively dry and cool weather. October and November are slightly warmer months, but they’re also a great time to visit, because the crowds are smaller and the humidity is lower, as are accommodation rates and airfares. Once you’re on the ground, everything is the same price as back home, which is only a four-hour flight away. And, at this time of the year, you’ll have your run of the waterfalls and billabongs, well, the ones that are safe for swimming, anyway.
While there is no shortage of exciting attractions, gob-smacking natural wonders and other reasons for visiting Northern Territory, for me, it’s the feeling of being there that’s the best reason for going.
It’s difficult to explain, although I’m tipping those who have been there will get the gist of what I’m saying. I’ll quote wandering through Litchfield National Park, as an example. It’s not so much the fact that you’re about to swim in famed falls, it’s the feeling in the air around you. The sound of the insects. The red dirt under foot. The termite mounds, the lush greenery, the humidity, the sun on your neck and the sightings of kites and wildlife around you. There’s a soundtrack running through your mind, it may be Goanna’s famous track This is Australia, or it might be the Seekers I am Australian (it was the former for me). There’s a smell in your nostrils and a voice in your head that says ‘now you are Australian’.
From the crocs at Adelaide River to fine waterfront dining on historic Stokes Hill Wharf, swimming under pristine waterfalls to walking tracks between monumental termite mounds, the Northern Territory is home to more Australian experiences than anywhere else in the country. In my mind and, it seems, in yours, it’s easily the most Australian place in Australia and one that every Aussie should visit in their lifetime.
Learn more at www.northernterritory.com
Have you been to the NT? If not, would you like to go one day? Why?