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Overview

The Northern Territory has a dual nature: in the south, it merges with the dry vastness of Australia’s legendary outback, while the tropical north is separated from Indonesia’s archipelago by only the slightest of seas. Monolithic Uluru, the colors of the desert constantly shifting across its massive sandstone face, is one of the world’s greatest natural attractions. Nearby is Watarrka, also called King’s Canyon, a grand outback chasm that some believe is even more breathtaking than that big rock to the south. Up the lonely Stuart Highway, far beyond the idiosyncratic outpost of Alice Springs and the stunning MacDonnell Ranges, lies Kakadu. ...

The Northern Territory has a dual nature: in the south, it merges with the dry vastness of Australia’s legendary outback, while the tropical north is separated from Indonesia’s archipelago by only the slightest of seas. Monolithic Uluru, the colors of the desert constantly shifting across its massive sandstone face, is one of the world’s greatest natural attractions. Nearby is Watarrka, also called King’s Canyon, a grand outback chasm that some believe is even more breathtaking than that big rock to the south. Up the lonely Stuart Highway, far beyond the idiosyncratic outpost of Alice Springs and the stunning MacDonnell Ranges, lies Kakadu. This national park is justifiably famous for its extraordinary rock art and beguiling wetlands, which shoulder the dramatic escarpment of Arnhem Land. West of here are the lovely soothing rockpools of Litchfield National Park, replenished by a quartet of waterfalls that plunge off the adjacent plateau. At the end of the Stuart Highway is the multicultural port city of Darwin, just the place to tell – and hear – some tall tales while gazing across a hazy ocean.

Paul Smitz
About the Expert

Paul Smitz has coauthored a dozen guidebooks for Lonely Planet on places such as Australia, New Zealand, Malaysian Borneo, Brunei, various Pacific Islands, Prague, and Brussels.

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Paul Smitz for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northern Territory, Australia, located in the central northern region of Australia, also referred to as the Outback
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Australian Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    June and July, avoiding the region’s climatic extremes