|Drink plenty of waterand carry extra water|
Other State Information
Nothern Territory Destination Information
Darwin . Kakadu . Katherine . Tennant Creek . AliceSprings . Yulara
TheNorthern Territory is to be found at the top centre ofAustralia. It is a tropical, very sparsely populated region,which nevertheless has some of Australia's most famous touristattractions - ALICE SPRINGS, AYERSROCK and KAKADUNATIONAL PARK.Its capital, DARWIN, is closer toSingapore than Canberra (our national capital) and thus its populationhas a high Asian as well as Aboriginal content. Its climate variesfrom the Wet season (November to April) to the Dry season (May toOctober) and these dates can vary slightly by a couple of weeks.However, some northern tour operators do not operate between lateOctober and mid April during The Wet. Flash flooding is then areal hazard. However, The Wet is the very best time to see KakaduNational Park's prolific bird life. It is an amazing spectacle.
Foodand fuel (petrol, gas, diesel) all cost more in The Territory, becauseof the distance it has had to be carted to get it there.Accommodation too is usually a little dearer than in our other Statecapitals, especially in places like Ayers Rock (Yulara). Whentravelling by road in The Territory, always carry spare tyres andplenty of water. Some spare fuel can be a good idea too. Servicestations are hundreds of kilometres apart in some places. Bookingaccommodation ahead is always a wise idea.
Darwin is a port city and has a large Air Force base to service, aswell as all the tourists moving in and out of town. The choiceof tour operators is really impressive. There is an equally widechoice of accommodation, from campgrounds and tourist parks to bed andbreakfast, guesthouses, apartments, backpackers, motels and big hotelsof the highest calibre. It is a laidback, casual town, where peoplestroll around slowly, enjoying the sun by day and the magnificentsunsets by night. Its attractions include AQUASCENEon Doctor's Gully Road (hand feeding hundreds of milk fish in theshallow waters at high tide), the AUSTRALIANPEARLING EXHIBITION(an important industry off our northern coast), CROCODYLUSPARK (see plenty of these creatures inthis new park, along with other Australian wildlife), DARWINBOTANIC GARDENS,the ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE,HOLMES JUNGLENATURE PARKat Karama, INDO PACIFICMARINE (a living coral reef eco-system)at Stokes Hill Wharf and many lovely nature reserves in and aroundtown. There are plenty of car rental companies and the TouristInformation Centre is the place to go for information on accommodationif you haven't pre-booked.
Takingthe ARNHEM HIGHWAYtoward KAKADU NATIONALPARK there are a number of good stoppingplaces en route. These include DJUKBINJNATIONAL PARK,FOGG DAM CONSERVATIONRESERVE, LEANINGTREE LAGOON NATUREPARK, WINDOWSON THE WETLANDSat Beatrice Hill, BRIANCREEK MONSOONFOREST at Mary River and CORROBOREEBILLABONG, 20 kilometres off the highwayat Mary River. On the same route there's also MARYRIVER CROSSINGRESERVE and in the general area MISTAKECREEK, NORTHROCKHOLE, SHADYCAMP and WILDMANRIVER PRIVATEWILDLIFE AREA WILDERNESSLODGE.
This is possibly Australia's most famous national park and, like AyersRock and its surrounding area, the land was deeded back to theAboriginal people some years back, so they make a charge per head foreveryone entering the park. There are good campgrounds andcaravan parks, plus backpacker and motel type accommodation available,but it is so popular that one usually needs to book ahead to be sureof getting a place here. There are spectacular waterfalls,wonderful lagoons full of birdlife, crocodiles lazing on river banksand superb Aboriginal rock paintings to be seen. Although many peoplearrive and leave on a day tour from Darwin, or even stay overnight,the park can only be fully appreciated if several days are spenthere. All the areas in the park have had their Aboriginal namesrestored, such as NOURLANGIE ROCK,UBIRR etc, except for TWINFALLS and YELLOWWATER BILLABONG. There is a WARRADJANABORIGINAL CULTURAL CENTRE4.5 kilometres off the KAKADU HIGHWAYnear COOINDA, for those whowish to know more about this country's first settlers. There aremany guided tours and cruises available daily within the park, butpeople may get around on their own, if they choose. Special caremust be taken when camping near the rivers though, as the crocodiledanger is a very real one. Don't miss the rock art tour at UBIRR.It is quite extensive and unique. The EASTALLIGATOR RIVER CRUISE and theYELLOW WATERS CRUISE are good and there are also Gorgetours and air tours, which cost more, but which are very spectacular.
There are many beautiful lagoons, off shore islands and beaches thatcan be reached in Arnhemland (this is Aboriginal land, but they allowtourists to enter it). There are guided, interpretive tours available,plus day trips and overnight camping safaris. Fishing chartersare very popular from here. WALKABOUT LODGEand the BAKU LARRNGAY MULKA NAMBARAARTS & CRAFTS can also be found here. The TIWIISLANDS (BATHURST & MELVILLE) can be reached by air orwater and there people can meet Aboriginal folk living their ownlifestyle. There is also accommodation available on the ruggedCOBOURG PENINSULA, but it can only be reached by 4WD or byair (20 minutes flight from Darwin).
DOWNTHE TRACK FROMDARWIN
Heading south down the Stuart Highway, there are some really grandattractions longbefore you reach Katherine. Just out out of Darwin there'slovely little BERRY SPRINGS NATURE PARK(take your swimming togs), HOWARD SPRINGSNATURE PARK (equally scenic in a rainforest setting) andLAKE BENNETT WILDERNESS RESORT. There's also MANTONDAM, the MAJESTIC ORCHID FARMat Darwin River and the TERRITORY WILDLIFEPARK at Berry Springs. LITCHFIELDNATIONAL PARK has many spectacular waterfalls dropping intowonderful, natural swimming pools. This is a really good spot for apicnic and to see the magnetic giant termite mounds that are such afeature of the Top End. In this area you can also see the LOSTCITY, BATCHELORBUTTERFLY FARMand the old BLYTH HOMESTEAD.
You can see the old WW2 services accommodation at SNAKECREEK, north of ADELAIDERIVER, where the WARCEMETERY can be found. Thenthere's TJUWALIYN (DOUGLAS)HOT SPRINGSPARK, off the Old Stuart Highway,BUTTERFLY GORGE NATURE PARK (17 km from the Douglas HotSprings turnoff) and the UMBRAWARRA GORGENATURE PARK, 22km west of the highway south west of PINECREEK are two more attractions. At PineCreek there is BIRD PARK,a MINE LOOKOUTand COPPERFIELD RECREATIONRESERVE, where there is a deeplake for swimming and camping is permitted.
Katherine is a small town on the Stuart Highway, famous for its GORGECRUISES and for the fact that 'JEDDA'was filmed here many years ago. There are a number of caravanand camping parks, one out at the old SPRINGVALEHOMESTEAD, where an Aboriginaldance troop performs regular corroborees for the tourists afterdark. Nearby, the old MATARANKAHOMESTEAD is a great camping andcaravanning haven, with thermal springs surrounded by palms and anoutdoor restaurant that people really enjoy There are also roomsavailable for those without any mobile accommodation. Never passthrough Katherine without taking a gorge cruise. It really isquite spectacular and if you are young enough or fit enough, elect totake one that gets right into the gorge, climbing up several rockytiers between cruising. In Katherine, tourist attractions include the KATHERINEMUSEUM, the RAILWAY MUSEUM, SCHOOLOF THE AIR, historic O'KEEFFEHOUSE, KATHERINE ORCHID NURSERY, NT RARE ROCKS, a cinema, anight club, bowls and golf. And a kilometre out of town there are theold OVERLAND TELEGRAPHPYLONS. Continuing southwards,most people like to stop off at and have a drink in the very quaintold LARRIMAH PUBand DALY WATERSPUB, where photographs will surelybe taken.
The VICTORIA RIVERCROSSING, the ESCARPMENTWALK, COOLIBAHCROCODILE FARM,GREGORY NATIONALPARK and TIMBERCREEK are all popular spots withtourists these days. MAX'S BOATTOURS on the Victoria River arelegendary. You can also take a BARRAFISHING SAFARIon the river too.
In the Golden Heart of the Northern Territory THE TENNANT CREEK REGIONis the “Golden Heart” of the Northern Territory between AliceSprings and Katherine. Mulga and mallee shrubland gives way to rockyescarpment and permanent water such as the Frew River in the DavenportRange National park where four wheel drivers can bush camp and enjoysecluded waterholes, or fossick for gold on a cattle station.
THEDEVILS MARBLES 106 kms south of Tennant is a spectacularattraction. Thousands of huge rounded boulders scattered over a widevalley, precariously balanced one on top of the other, change colourduring the day. Self drive, or take a tour from Tennant Creek.
TENNANTCREEK IS “AUSTRALIA¹S LAST GOLDRUSH TOWN” and has many remindersof the rough tough goldrush days of the 1930¹a.
ATBATTERY HILL overlooking TennantCreek, there are many surprises in store. The Information Centre hasdisplays, films, interactive touch screen, photographs, history,sheltered picnic area, nature walk and more.
BATTERYHILL MINING CENTRE - BATTERY HILL TOURSdaily through the operating Gold Stamp Battery where you¹ll see thegold ore treatment process and have it explained, with fascinatingstories of the early goldrush days. The tour includes the small goldmining museum. The Battery Hill underground mine tour demonstratesworking machinery, and creates the atmosphere of a real mine withspecial sounds and lighting effects. A memorable experience.
THEDOT MINE EARLY MINE TOURS Take a tour with Colin throughhis original mine. Learn how it was dug with hammer and tap. Morestories are told and poems recited while you sip your billy tea aroundthe camp fire.
THEGOLD FEVER TAG-ALONG TOUR takes you with miner Paul to hisold gold mine, where he demonstrates how to fossick and pan for gold.Gold detectors and pans are provided to try your luck. Keep what youfind.
Alsoin the region is a public fossicking area.
HORSERIDING - CATTLE DRIVE You can do on a trail ride throughbush country and learn about bush tucker, but book ahead. Bush campavailable.
ATTRACTIONSinclude a MINING TRAIL, the MARYANN DAM recreation lake, historic sites, TEDRYKO BIKE PATH through the Honeymoon (McDouall) Ranges andmore.
ACCOMMODATIONranges from backpacker, self contained, family style and caravan parksto three star motels.
DRIVINGTHE EXPLORER HIGHWAY (Stuart Highway) is an experience not to bemissed. The fascinating history at Wayside Inns and small towns alongthe Stuart (Explorer) Highway will capture your imagination.
ELLIOTT,360 kms north of Tennant Creek, is a town of 600 people. You¹ll besurprised to find a grassed nine hole golf course - clubs can be hiredfrom the Elliott Hotel. Just north of Elliott is the historic drovingtown of Newcastle Waters, with its bronze statue of the Drover in thepark, and historic hotel and store. No services available here.
FORBROCHURES, INFORMATION AND BOOKINGS contact The Tennant Creek RegionalTourist Association, P.O. Box 601, Tennant Creek. Tel: +618 8962 3388, Fax: +61 8 8962 2509 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Centralia is a regional name given to the area that encompasses AliceSprings, Ayers Rock, the Olgas, Kings Canyon, the East and WestMacDonnell Ranges and the Simpson and Tanami deserts. It issometimes also known as the Red Heart, because of the strong redcolour of the region's soil and sand and the fact that it is in themiddle of this continent.
'The Alice', as it is affectionately known to most Australians, is aremote desert township which can be reached by a good road from thenorth or south; from the desert country by 4WD vehicles; by air fromAdelaide, Darwin, Coober Pedy and other parts; or by The Ghan, (areally great train), which arrives from Adelaide a couple of times aweek. It was named after the Afghan camel drivers who helpedopen up this inland country by laying the north/south telegraph lineover 150 years ago. On approaching by air, you will become awareof just how isolated this township is. When approaching by roadyou will feel almost as though you are never going to arrive, as thereare such long distances of flat bush or desert country to traverse,but arriving by train (on which you can take your vehicle as well),particularly if you have been able to afford a private, first classsleeper lounge compartment, with your own ensuite shower and toiletcubicle, you will have thoroughly enjoyed the journey in comfort andarrive refreshed 24 hours later. There is a good variety ofaccommodation in The Alice, from backpackers' hostels to campgrounds, touristparks, motels and first class hotels. And as for attractions,there is the ABORIGINAL ART & CULTURECENTRE in Todd Street; the ADELAIDEHOUSE MUSEUM,the SCHOOL OFTHE AIRand the FLYING DOCTORSERVICE BASE;the historic TELEGRAPH STATIONRESERVE; the ARALUENARTS CENTRE;CHATEAU HORNSBYWINERY; the DATEGARDENS; the FRONTIERCAMEL FARM;the GHAN PRESERVATIONSOCIETY train collection; MINERALSHOUSE, the MUSEUMOF CENTRALAUSTRALIA; the ROADTRANSPORT HALLOF FAME;the NATIONAL WOMEN'SHALL OFFAME; the PITCHIRICHI SANCTUARY;the OLD TOWNGAOL; the OLDTIMERS FOLKMUSEUM; the OLIVEPINK BOTANICAL GARDENS;PANORAMA GUTH - a must unique art gallery; theABORIGINAL DIORAMAS;some great murals on the town's walls, the historic cemetery with somevery famous graves, the ART GALLERY;LASSETER'S CASINO;BALLOONS ALOFT;the AIRCRAFT MUSEUMand much more. Then there are all the day trips you can take outto places like PALM VALLEY(don't miss it), RAINBOW VALLEY,FINKE NATIONALPARK, the GORGECOUNTRY and other points ofspectacular interest in either your own vehicle or in an airconditioned coach or 4WD. Cars can be rented at the airport or fromvarious agencies in town,if required and there is a regular town tourist minibus travellingaround all the most popular attractions from 9-5 daily. Hop on and offas often as you please with your all day ticket. An informativecommentary is given by the friendly driver. Eating is no problemin The Alice, as there are plenty of takeaway food bars, cafes andgood restaurants, as well as a number of supermarkets andhotels. Here you can try crocodile, emu, buffalo and kangaroosteaks, if you have a mind to do so. There are many festive eventstaking place in The Alice all year long and these include the CAMELCUP RACES, the HENLEY ONTODD REGATTAin a dry creek bed and a JAZZ FESTIVAL,to name but three.
An hour or so's drive to the west of Alice Springs will have you inGorge Country. Here you can find beautiful billabongs and creekssuch As ELLERY CREEK,SERPENTINE GORGE,the OCHRE PITSand ORMISTON GORGE,where camping and swimming are the main attractions. STANDLEYCHASM is quite spectacular,especially at noon and watch out for the dingoes, our shy native dogs,who tend to hang around not far from the cafe. SIMPSON'SGAP is another attractivespot, which has a fine colony of little rock wallabies. GLENHELEN GORGENATIONAL PARKis simply beautiful, with colour all around. It looks at itsbest when there is water in the ancient FINKERIVER. There isaccommodation available at various prices in the old Glen Helen Lodge,which was recently purchased by new operators and upgraded.There is a bar and a good restaurant there too, which day trippersalso enjoy using.
To the east of Alice, out in the desert country is the excellent old ROSSRIVER HOMESTEAD,where people can stay and have all meals provided. Horse ridingand cattle mustering are available here. Then there's the ARLTUNGAHISTORICAL RESERVE, EMILY & JESSIE GAPS NATURE PARK, N'DHALAGORGE NATURE PARK; RUBY GAP NATURE PARK and TREPHINA GORGENATURE PARK. THE MEREENIE TRACK, with its points of greatAboriginal significance, is a newly opened route to magnificent KINGSCANYON, where people can eitherclimb to the crater rim, or take a walk through the canyon floor,admiring the brilliant red rocky ramparts. There is camping and otherforms of accommodation available here. It is great bushwalkingand 4WD territory. From here one usually continues on to AYERSROCK (Uluru).
Ayers Rock, The Olgas (Katajuta) and all the accommodation options areabout three hours drive west of Alice Springs. They can also bereached from Kings Canyon via Luritja Road and then the LasseterHighway. They are right out in themiddle of the desert. Ayers Rock is a very ancient monolith(single piece of rock) that measures nearly 10 kilometres around thebase and about 350 metres in height. It is sacred to the localAboriginal people, so they ask that visitors do not climb it, but atleast half of them do. Entry to this park, which was deeded back tothe Aboriginal people some years ago, costs $15 each for adults, butthere is no charge for children under 16 years of age. Guided toursaround its base and caves are available and there is an AboriginalInterpretive Centre at Yulara that costs nothing to enter. Thereare also shops, several hotels from three to five stars, apartments,lodges and a caravan and camping park that is quite expensive. Peoplecan drive to Yulara, arrive by bus, or fly in from The Alice in about40 minutes. Once visitors have seen and photographed the Rock,they will usually drive out (or be driven) to the Olgas, which are farmore dramatic, colourful and somewhat spooky, because of their coloursand the sighing of the wind in the VALLEYOF THEWINDS. The Aborigines callthem Katajuta, meaning 'many heads'. They are a group ofmassive, wind worn boulders, that have strong mineral stains and quitea bit of bush around their bases which, with the brilliant blue skyand the rich red desert sands, makes for some great photography.
Out in the SIMPSON DESERT(4WD territory) there is the spectacular CHAMBER'SPILLAR HISTORICAL RESERVE; theEWANINGA ROCK CARVINGS CONSERVATION RESERVE and the RAINBOWVALLEY CONSERVATION RESERVE. This is 'take your owntent' country. Even more off the beaten track is the scrubby TANAMIregion - you really know you are in the back o' beyond out here, butthere is 10 room cabin accommodation available at TILMOUTHWELL.
SOMESPECIAL ANNUALEVENTS IN THETOP END
June - The Beer can Regatta
The Barefoot Mud Crab Tying Championships
April/May - The Cup Racing Carnival
The Country Music Carnival
The Camel Races
The Bangtail Muster
The King of the Mountain
June/July - The Finke Desert (Car) Race
August - The Rodeo
Sept/Oct - The Spring Carnival
The Henley on Todd Regatta
The Jazz Festival
The Masters Games (multisports)
(Novemberto March - no special events are held in The Wet)
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