When visiting the Northern Territory there are two main regions people want to visit, Darwin and Uluru.
There’s also one important piece of information people don’t know, that Darwin and Uluru are nearly 2,000 kilometres apart.
Though both stunning regions, each which you absolutely must be seen, there is just no possible way to cram your Northern Territory trip into a day or two. Even if you were to drive directly between the two locations it’d take you over twenty hours. So, to help you make the trip here is a few stops you might like to make along the way.
For the sake of this exercise, we’re going to start our trip in Darwin, but you could always take this same guide and flip it to make your way up the Northern Territory!
Darwin is a magical city and well worth a few days visit. From here you can explore the beautiful Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, learning about native flora and fauna, as well as the rich cultural heritage of this region.
Once you’ve enjoyed all you can in Darwin it’s time to head south towards Katherine.
Known as where the outback meets the tropics, Katherine is where you will say goodbye to the Australian tropics you’ve just fallen in love with.
Make your way through the Nitmiluk National Park and discover the magnificent Katherine Gorge. Canoe through the gorge and enjoy lush waterfalls crashing down the gorge walls. Just as across the Territory, there is a rich cultural heritage to learn about in Katherine.
Stroll through local art galleries, learning about cultural stories and techniques. Meet the local traditional owners and learn about their special connection to this land, as well as how they live alongside it, mutually benefiting from the relationship.
There isn’t much in Mataranka, so you could just stay for a few hours, but there are some awesome hot springs and we’re always keen for that!
Wander into the sandy-bottomed thermal pool and float your way through a delightful bush area. The pool stays at a cosy 34 degrees through the year and is a great place to relax for a couple of hours before jumping back in your car for the next stage of your road trip.
It’s here we suggest you set up camp for a night. Home to the famous Daly Waters pub, Daly Waters is a great place to recover from your journey, enjoy a meal and a big cold beer.
The walls of the pub are lined with trinkets and gifts from travellers across the globe, so remember to bring something with you to leave your mark! The pub offers a range of accommodation options from tent spaces to decked out cabins.
You’ll never forget your time in Daly Waters, and you never know who you’ll meet!
Home to the Northern Territory’s gold rush era, Tennant Creek is a delightful hamlet with plenty of surprises. While many stop just for a rest, there is a lot more to see in Tennant Creek than they realise.
Learn about the towns gold mining history and the Overland Telegraph Line which connected the outback to the rest of Australia. Of course, there is also plenty of cultural experiences to be had. Visit the sacred women’s dancing site at The Pebbles or visit the Winanjjikari Music Centre.
Your final overnight stop before making it to Uluru. Many people choose to set up camp at Alice Springs as their base when travelling to Uluru. Alice Springs is the lively hub of the Outback, perfectly balancing modern amenities and comforts with cultural experiences and traditions.
Explore the magnificent city centre and enjoy nearby natural landmarks. Alice also has a thriving arts scene, where you can enjoy traditional artistic styles and techniques brought to life using modern mediums.
And at last you have made it! An early morning wakeup in Alice will see you arrive at Uluru in time to watch the sunrise over the famous monolith.
Uluru is unlike anything else you will ever see, and we can’t wait for you to experience this sacred site for yourself.
As you can see there is a plethora of places to visit and see throughout the Northern Territory, so don’t rob yourself of an incredible experience. Start planning your Northern Territory trip today!
Related article: The Must-See Sights in the Aussie Outback