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Best of the Northern Territory
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Explore the russet-hued desert and spectacular geology of the atmospheric Northern Territory and discover what makes this region so unique. Start with the world’s most famous rock at Uluru in Australia’s Red Centre, before boarding the iconic /Ghan/ train, finishing up with the stunning gorges and wildlife-rich billabongs of the Top End. This far-reaching journey is wild, beautiful, and unforgettable.
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Uluru
You’ll never forget the first time you set eyes on the faceted red surface of Uluru, a sacred Aboriginal site and the definitive symbol of Australia. Sometimes thought of as a monolith, Uluru is actually part of a much larger underground rock formation, only parts of which peep above the surface. Explore nearby Kata Tjuta, an immense domed arrangement of deep-red rock, part of this same structure and watch the sunset over Uluru and the 50,000 glass spheres mesmerising Field of Light installation, glass of fizz in hand. Later, sit down to a candlelit dinner of Australian delicacies, before looking up and watching the twinkling stars light the sky.
Not to be outdone by nearby Uluru, Kings Canyon’s towering walls, dense palm forests and secluded waterholes are best viewed on the popular 4-mile rim hike, usually done at sunrise or sunset to see the changing colours. The Luritja have inhabited Watarrka National Park for 20,000 years and it’s possible to take a guided walk with one of the elders to try and understand the area’s significance. Many birds live in this area, and enthusiasts can spot species, such as the grey-headed honeyeater and the black-breasted buzzard.
4* Kings Canyon Resort
There is no other town like Alice, gateway to the Red Centre. Take a look around this dusty, yet surprisingly modern town and shop for original Aboriginal art in the various markets and galleries. A good place to start exploring is with a hike up Anzac Hill, which gives a fabulous view over Alice and the distant mountains. In town, take a look around the Old Gaol and the Old Courthouse, and don’t forget Alice Springs Desert Park, a conservation-focused open-air park that recreates the habitats of the desert’s flora and fauna.
4.5* Mercure Alice Springs Resort
Hop on board the legendary Ghan train for an epic desert crossing, one of the planet’s unmissable train journeys. Experience the vastness of the desert and appreciate the enormous size of the continent as you travel overland through the orange dust to Alice Springs, a unique experience that only travelling by train can bring. With private sleeper cabins and an onboard restaurant car, see the desert in style as you head deep into the heart of Australia, gaze from the windows and watch the world go by.
Ghan - Private Gold Sleeper Cabin
Live the outdoor life in relaxed Darwin, a youthful and prosperous city with a smattering of museums and, thanks to the tropical climate, year-round alfresco dining. Hunt for an Aboriginal souvenir in the Indigenous art galleries and curio markets, or take a wander around the ornate Chinese Temple. If you fancy getting out of the city, there are numerous day trips into the surrounding national parks to consider, from the cooling waterfalls and swimming holes of Litchfield National Park (included in your Journey), to the fearsome crocodiles of Crocodylus Park.
4.5* Oaks Elan Darwin
Kakadu National Park
A couple of hours outside Darwin, the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park is chock-full of Indigenous wildlife, dramatic gorges, rugged escarpments and Aboriginal rock art. Spot kangaroos and wallabies, and maybe one of the 26 resident bat species as you sail along the Yellow Water Billabong on your relaxing cruise – but look out for crocodiles! Crawl into Kakadu’s caves to take a look at the Aboriginal rock paintings that decorate the walls – there are over 5000 different examples in the park, with the ancient site of Ubirr being one of the most impressive.
4* Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel
Depart Darwin and return to the UK
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