5 Reasons to visit the Top End

Written by Lauren Smith

1. Kakadu (Pictured: Gunlom Falls, Kakadu National Park)
Number one on my list, and I am not alone here, has to be Kakadu National Park. This dual world heritage listed park has so many drawcards, it would be impossible to name them all! Everything from bush walking, bird watching, billabong cruising, swimming under waterfalls to wandering through galleries of 20,000-year-old Aboriginal art. It really is a magical place. If I can offer one tip, it would be making the trip out to Ubirr – this incredible rock formation has some beautiful ancient artwork, as well as a stunning view over Arnhem Land, unlike anything you will have seen before. 

2. Mindil Beach Sunset Market
If you find yourself in Darwin, I highly recommend visiting Mindil Beach Sunset Markets (on every Thursday and Sunday from May to October) where the street food vendors are offering up dishes to die for. The only issue is deciding which one you are going to go for! The market is not just food though, there’s live music entertainment all evening and plenty of arts and craft stalls. It’s not called the Sunset Market for nothing, the view from the beach as the light fades is unforgettable! Don't forget to stop by Darwin Distilling Co.'s home and cocktail bar, Charlie's of Darwin.

3. Crocodiles
Whilst the official animal of the Northern Territory is the Red Kangaroo, the unofficial one has to be the crocodile. These prehistoric creatures are one of the biggest attractions in town. The best way to see them is to take a short drive out of Darwin to the Adelaide River, where you will find the Jumping Crocodile river boats to take you on an up close and personal meeting with this ancient predator. 

4. Nitmiluk (Pictured: Katherine River Gorge, Nitmiluk)
Nitmiluk, or Katherine Gorge, is a 12km long stretch of 13 incredible gorges. There are a few ways to explore Nitmiluk, but none more spectacular than by taking a scenic helicopter ride and viewing from above; you’ll get a true sense of the vast scale of this impressive site. For something more budget-friendly, hop in a canoe for a fully immersive experience. Just watch out for those aforementioned crocodiles, they can get a bit nippy should you dip a toe over the edge!

5. Aboriginal Heritage
Wherever you are in Australia, connecting with Aboriginal heritage is a must; but nowhere does the world’s oldest living culture seem as pronounced as in the Northern Territory. From the ancient wall art to the National Aboriginal Art Gallery to the many Aboriginal cultural tours you can take, connecting with Traditional Landowners is an essential part of any trip to the Top End.

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