Australia & South Pacific

Northern Territory Holidays & Experiences


The Devil's Marbles Ayers Rock Yellow water billabong, Kakadu On the highway in the middle of Australia Aboriginal rock art at Nourlangie, Kakadu A sign welcoming travellers to Alice Springs, a town in Northern Territory Australian Kangaroo's at sunset

Northern Territory is wedged in between Queensland and Western Australia. The capital Darwin is located on the tropical tip of Australia’s north coast. “Urban meets remote” sums up the character of the city. It is a melting pot of multicultural ethnic types and definitely friendly and laid-back.

Three hours away is the renowned Kakadu National Park, Australia’s largest National Park and a World Heritage site with its wetlands, multitudinous aboriginal rock art galleries, thundering waterfalls and escarpments with breathtaking views.

Alice Springs is the country’s most famous outback town and gateway to the Red Centre. This remote town (it is halfway between Adelaide and Darwin and 1500 kilomteres/950 miles from the nearest major city) is popular as a gateway to nearby natural wonders such as Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).

Ayers Rock is a sandstone rock formation and UNESCO World Heritage site situated 450 kilometres/280 miles south west of Alice Springs. It is 348 metres/1140 feet high but the bulk of the rock is actually underneath the ground. The aboriginal name is Uluru which means Island Mountain. The rock changes colour at different times of the day and year. The Olgas or Mount Olga as they are also known is 25 kilometres/16 miles west of Ayers Rock. The aboriginal name for Mount Olga is Kata Tjuta and means Many Heads. The Olgas are 36 domes which literally Spring up out of the desert.

It's almost impossible to not include at least one of our Northern Territory holidays as most of our "Globetrotters" include a stop in either Alice Springs or Ayers Rock when visiting Australia. You won't be disappointed when visiting the "outback" state!!

 

State of Northern Territory Quickfacts

Origin of Name: From 1863 to 1911 this area was the Northern Territory of South Australia.
Capital: Darwin
Floral Emblem: Sturts Desert Rose
Faunal Emblem: Red Kangaroo and Wedge-Tailed Eagle
State Flag: Stars of the Southern Cross and a stylised Sturts Desert Rose.
State Motto: None
Location: The Northern Territory occupies a huge area of the continent's North and Centre. It's bordered by the Timor Sea to the North, Queensland to the East, Western Australia to the West and South Australia to the South. Usually known as "Outback Australia".
Area: The Northern Territory comprises 1/6 of Australia's land mass and is 1,346,200 km2 in area.
Landform: Mostly Desert and Tablelands.
Population: 195,500 (2000 est). Few people live in the huge dry areas, and almost half the population are residents of Darwin. More than one-quarter of the people are Aborigines. Approximate: Darwin 88,100 (1999 est) Alice Springs 23,000 Nhulun Buy 3,500 Katherine 5,700 Tennant Creek 3,500
Climate: The Northern Territory lies in the Torrid Zone. There are two broad climatic divisions - The Northern part, known as "The Top End", receives heavy rainfall for three to five months of the year, and the Southern area, known as "The Centre", has a low rainfall and no permanent rivers.
Around Alice Springs: Right in the centre of the centre is "Alice" - surrounded by the MacDonnell Ranges. Alice Springs is an oasis in this vast land. It began in 1872 as an overland telegraph station; today it combines the vigour of the frontier life with the convenience of modern facilities.

All around, the country glows red and orange and from Alice you can visit the wonders of the desert: prehistoric Palm Valley, Standley Chasm standing like a cathedral of nature, and further out Ayers Rock and The Olgas, huge rock formations. Their awe inspiring presence is only matched by the mystique of the Aboriginal folklore surrounding them. Stay to watch Ayers Rock change colour with the day: pink, brown, orange and then, at sunset, the giant monolith glows blood red. Out here the silence, colour and endless horizons give a sense of eternity.
Shopping: Most of the things you need can be purchased from the various shops and stores in "Alice". Of interest are the Aboriginal arts and crafts. Normal shopping hours are 9:00 am to 5:30 pm Mon-Fri. 9:00 am to 12:00 noon Saturday. Supermarkets open 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, 7 days a week.
Ayers Rock: Located 450 km SW of Alice Springs. One of the world's greatest monoliths, some 3 km long and rising 348m above the surrounding plains. Located within Uluru National Park, Ayers Rock is noted for its spectacular colour changes at sunset and sunrise, and is sacred to the Aboriginal people.
The Olgas: Located 28 km SW of Yulara Resort. Part of Uluru National Park, a cluster of 36 dramatic head-like rock domes, covering approx. 35 km2, up to 546m high.
Ayers Rock Safety Information:
  1. The climb is 348 metres and as some sections are very steep, good physical fitness is essential.
  2. Only the designated track must be followed at all times.
  3. Rubber soled shoes are essential. Leather soled shoes and thongs are unsafe on what can be a slippery surface.
  4. Your hands must be kept free for holding the chain on ascent and for scrambling up steep sections. Personal items such as you camera and water bottle must therefore be secured by a strap to ensure they are not blown off by the wind. If hats are not secured and are lost visitors must not go off the designated track in search of them.
The Aborigines: Forty thousand years ago, long before the Pharaonic age of Egypt, the Aboriginal people lived in Australia. Their culture has given this country of treasure, art, and folklore a period known as the "Dreamtime". According to the "Dreamtime" legends, the country was once a vast feature-less land inhabited by giant spirit creatures. Over time, the spirits made epic journeys across the land, creating mountains, rivers, rocks, animals and plants.

The easiest place to see Aboriginal culture is the Northern Territory, which has by far the greater number of sacred sites and ancient art. The most famous sacred site is Ayers Rock, known by the Aborigines as "Uluru". At the nearby Yulara resort, guides and displays explain features of the region. From Alice Springs you can take tours which show how the local landmarks relate to the "Dreamtime" legends and the skills used by the Aborigines for thousands of years to live in the Outback.

Traditional paintings, carvings, weaving, boomerangs and shields are on display at museums and galleries in every capital city.

 


 

  • Classic Australia 12 Day

    Experience the best that Australia has to offer from Sydney’s Opera House to spectacular Ayers Rock. Swim in the Great Barrier Reef and learn about the traditional Aboriginal “Dreamtime”.
    Duration:
    12 Days
    Prices:
    On request
    Trip Type:
    Classic Itineraries
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Classic Australia 15 Day

    Enjoy Australia’s most famous sites from Sydney’s Opera House to an Aboriginal “Dreamtime” walk in Kuranda with stops at the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock and Darwin in between.
    Duration:
    15 Days
    Prices:
    On request
    Trip Type:
    Classic Itineraries
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Classic Downunder (ex Auckland)

    Get to know the true Downunder by experiencing the best of both Australia and New Zealand. Journey through New Zealand’s incredible islands before embarking on a tour of Australia.
    Duration:
    19 Days
    Prices:
    On request
    Trip Type:
    Classic Itineraries
    New Zealand See Trip Details
  • Classic Downunder (ex Cairns)

    Get to know the true Downunder by experiencing the best of both Australia and New Zealand. Journey through New Zealand’s incredible islands before embarking on a tour of Australia.
    Duration:
    19 Days
    Prices:
    On request
    Trip Type:
    Classic Itineraries
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Classic Sydney, Reef & Rock

    Venture to three of Australia’s most famous spots. Get to know Sydney before catching the sun set over Uluru (Ayers Rock). Then explore Cairns and the incredible Great Barrier Reef.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices:
    On request
    Trip Type:
    Classic Itineraries
    Australia See Trip Details
  • 4WD Eco Adventure Hotel Safari

    Starting and finishing in Alice Springs, this 4WD Eco Adventure Hotel Safari is a perfect option for those seeking adventure but who prefer the comforts of hotel accommodation. Take an opportunity to enjoy the Red Centre in comfort.
    Duration:
    3 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,548
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Alice Explorer

    In the heart of Central Australia sits Alice Springs, a thriving outback centre. Rich in history, culture and unique wildlife, the town is lovingly known as “The Alice” or simply “Alice”.
    Duration:
    2 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 245
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Alice Springs and Ayers Rock

    Alice Springs is Australia’s most famous Outback town and Uluru/Ayers Rock is Australia’s most recognisable natural icon. Take time to explore these incredibly unique parts of the country.
    Duration:
    3 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 571
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Alice Springs to Adelaide

    Take the chance to get off the beaten track by spending seven days exploring the iconic highlights of South Australia and the Northern Territory, combining camping and budget accommodation.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,222
    Trip Type:
    18 to 30 Somethings, Active & Adventurous, Independent Travel Modules
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Alice Springs to Darwin 4WD Self Drive

    Self-drives offer an easy way to enjoy Australia’s sights at your own pace. Spend some time in historic Tennant Creek before going to Katherine and Kakadu National Park, ending in Darwin.
    Duration:
    6 Days
    Prices:
    On request
    Trip Type:
    Self Drive Itinerary Ideas
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Alice Springs, Coober Pedy, Adelaide

    Depart on The Ghan for an unforgettable trip through the Outback. In Coober Pedy, stay at the world’s first international underground hotel, learn about opals and see the Painted Desert.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,728
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Rail Travel
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Australian Treasures

    Combining two of Australia's great cities, Sydney and Melbourne, the 15-day Australian Treasures also includes time in Darwin, in Australia's Top End.
    Duration:
    15 Days
    Prices:
    On request
    Trip Type:
    Air & Land Getaways, City Breaks, Independent Travel Modules
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon, Olgas & Alice Springs

    Discover the best of Australia’s Red Centre. See the sun set and rise over Ayers Rock, visit the 36 rock domes of the Olgas, and travel to spectacular Kings Canyon then visit Alice Springs.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,075
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Ballooning - City of Melbourne

    Float gently over the vibrant, sophisticated city of Melbourne seeing the sights in a hot air balloon. This tour includes an approximately 60 minute flight as well as a hearty breakfast.
    Duration:
    0 Hours
    Prices From:
    US$ 260
    Trip Type:
    Day Trips & Extensions
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Ballooning - Yarra Valley

    Enjoy a unique experience as you gently float over Yarra Valley, a thriving wine growing industry. This tour includes an approximately 60 minute flight as well as a hearty breakfast.
    Duration:
    1 Hour
    Prices:
    On request
    Trip Type:
    Day Trips & Extensions
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Bamurru Plains

    Bamurru Plains is located just to the west of Kakadu National Park. Birds and wildlife are on the doorstep of a unique bush camp that brings style to a remote and beautiful wilderness.
    Duration:
    3 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,319
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Best of the Outback - Ayers Rock to Darwin

    Get to the heart of Australia’s red centre, the Northern Territory.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 4,335
    Trip Type:
    Motorcoach Tours
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Bush Tucker

    With an Aboriginal guide, learn how people survived in such a hot desert climate on a variety of bush plants and animals. Taste a selection of bush foods while you talk about desert life.
    Duration:
    2 Hours
    Prices From:
    US$ 90
    Trip Type:
    Day Trips & Extensions
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Camel to Sunrise or Sunset

    Enjoy a once in a lifetime experience as you embark on a peaceful one hour camel ride with the awe inspiring back drop of Uluru and Kata Tjuta and refreshments at the end of your ride.
    Duration:
    2 Hours
    Prices From:
    US$ 123
    Trip Type:
    Day Trips & Extensions
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Coral Princess Cape York and Arnhem Land (ex Darwin)

    The Great Barrier Reef, Cape York, the mysterious Arnhem Land, and the Cobourg Peninsula – an exploration of the Northern Australian coastline that few have had the opportunity to experience.
    Duration:
    12 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 7,160
    Trip Type:
    Cruises & Sailing, Independent Travel Modules
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Coral Princess The Kimberley (ex Darwin)

    A 10 night exploration voyage to the Kimberley has many highlights. Begin in Darwin, gateway to the magnificent Kimberley wilderness and enjoy a cruise to the remote Australian Outback.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 8,475
    Trip Type:
    Cruises & Sailing, Independent Travel Modules
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Cultural Explorer

    Immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of Australia’s Red Centre by visiting and learning about two of the country’s most iconic areas, Uluru/Ayers Rock and Alice Springs.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 666
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Darwin City Tour

    Enjoy an introduction to Darwin and its history with a guide providing informative commentary. Visit the Museum of Arts and Science, the Botanical Gardens, Stoke Hill and the Wharf area.
    Duration:
    4 Hours
    Prices From:
    US$ 70
    Trip Type:
    Day Trips & Extensions
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Darwin Harbour Cruise Dinner

    Discover the wonder of Darwin Harbour on board a classic, fully restored pearling lugger. As you cruise around, enjoy complimentary sparkling wine and a 3-course cocktail style meal.
    Duration:
    2 Hours
    Prices From:
    US$ 85
    Trip Type:
    Day Trips & Extensions
    Australia See Trip Details
  • Darwin Harbour Cruise Lunch

    Discover the wonder of Darwin Harbour on board a classic, fully restored pearling lugger. As you cruise around, spot marine wildlife and enjoy a delicious BBQ meal at lunchtime.
    Duration:
    2 Hours
    Prices From:
    US$ 63
    Trip Type:
    Day Trips & Extensions
    Australia See Trip Details

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