Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) – Image courtesy of Tourism NT

Northern Territories – Sights & Attractions

Discover a choice of must-see sights and attractions in the Northern Territories, including the following Outback Australia icons…

Katherine Gorge

Nitmiluk National Park

Discover impressive waterfalls, examine ancient Aboriginal rock art and spot native wildlife on a choice of bushwalks through Nitmiluk National Park.

Nitmiluk National Park covers an area of 2,920km² (1,127mi²) and boasts 13 gorges carved through ancient sandstone, including the majestic Katherine Gorge – the central attraction of Nitmiluk.

Previously named Katherine Gorge National Park, the park's northern edge borders Kakadu National Park and shares the magnificent Arnhem Land escarpment.

Nitmiluk National Park has some of Australia's most stunning scenery and numerous bushwalks from short to middle-distance and long walking trails, which cover many of the highlights of the park including wildlife, Aboriginal rock art and pristine waterholes.

You can explore the park on foot, by canoe, boat or helicopter. Paddle a kayak or relax on a guided cruise along the Katherine River passing beneath the magnificent red sandstone cliffs of Katherine George.

Spot wildlife, discover Aboriginal rock paintings, enjoy a refreshing swim in the pandanus-fringed natural pool at the base of Edith Falls or slide into the warm thermal waters of Katherine’s hot springs.

Explore the Northern Territory's only butterfly sanctuary and discover a colourful display of natural flora alongside the amazing collection of butterflies.

The Katherine region is a bushwalker’s paradise, with six national parks and many other reserves and conservation areas.

More than 100km (62mi) of walking trails traverse Nitmiluk National Park alone. Choose from short walks of 40 minutes to full-day hikes, or pack your backpack and head out overnight on the famous Jatbula Trail.

The gorges and surrounding landscape have ceremonial significance to the local Jawoyn people, who have maintained their traditions through the stories passed from one generation to another in the Dreamtime.

Nitmiluk – the Jawoyn name for Katherine Gorge – is pronounced Nit-me-look and literally means Cicada Place.

Nitmiluk National Park is located in the Northern Territory's 30km (18.6mi) north-east of Katherine and around 240km (150mi) southeast of Darwin.

More about Nitmiluk National Park

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park

Australia's largest national park – a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site – offers a landscape of contrasts, from roaring waterfalls cascading into serene pools to delicate lotus flowers concealing gigantic crocodiles.

Kakadu is famous for its different habitats, abundant wildlife and some of Australia’s best Aboriginal rock art.

Hike through the sacred Aboriginal Nourlangie Rock area, learn about the Dreamtime and mythology behind the art. Discover fabulous waterfalls and cool off with a refreshing swim at Boralba Springs.

Follow one of the many sign-posted trails to enjoy stunning vistas, waterfalls, plunge pools, wetlands and Aboriginal art sites. Explore sandstone galleries and examine priceless Aboriginal art dating back 40,000 years.

Wander among more than 1000 plant species and look out for thousands of magpie geese as well as red goshawks and the endangered gouldian finch, Australia's most spectacularly coloured grass finch.

For a good appreciation of the Park's traditional owners' culture and heritage, it’s best to start with a visit to either the Bowali Cultural Centre near Jabiru or the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre near Cooinda.

Kakadu National Park, is approximately three-and-a-half-hour's drive from Darwin – plan to stay in Jabiru or Cooinda and allow up to three days to see all the sights.

More about Kakadu National Park

Katherine Gorge

Litchfield National Park

Discover one of the Top End’s hidden treasures, an unspoiled wilderness boasting diverse flora and fauna and impressive natural formations – all just an 90-minute drive south-west of Darwin.

Covering around 1500km² (580mi²), Litchfield National Park is replete with idyllic waterfalls, pristine swimming spots, beautiful walking trails and hidden natural wonders.

Here, you can explore lush monsoon forests, termite mounds, unusual rock formations and numerous stunning waterfalls.

Ponder the magnetic termite mounds, stroll between sandstone towers of the 'Lost City', wade through a series of rock pools at Buley Rockhole, cool off with a swim in the plunge pool below Florence Falls and browse indigenous arts and crafts at the Coomalie Cultural Centre.

Keep your eyes peeled for the hundreds of species of fauna. Wallabies, sugar gliders, quolls and flying foxes are all common, as is the dragon-like water monitor that can often be seen basking on rocks.

Spot the yellow oriole, figbird, pacific koel, spangled drongo, dollarbird and rainbow bee-eater that inhabit sheltered areas close to waterfalls.

Litchfield National Park's proximity to Darwin via the sealed Stuart Highway means it's an excellent day trip location – but overnight stays are also recommended. Allow up to three days to see all the sights.

More about Litchfield National Park

Kata Tjuta – the Olgas, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

The Red Centre

Experience the Red Centre – an extraordinary landscape of desert plains, weathered mountain ranges, rocky gorges and some of Aboriginal Australia's most sacred sites including Uluru and Kata Tjuṯa. 

Here you can hike beneath the towering sandstone walls of Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park, explore the chasms and craters of the MacDonnell Ranges and visit sacred Aboriginal sites or encounter the expansive Simpson Desert by 4WD. To the west lies Finke Gorge National Park, to the north sits Halls Creek, with Rainbow Valley to the south.

Along the way, look out for some of the more than 415 species of native plants, 21 species of mammals, 178 species of birds, 73 species of reptiles and thousands more species of ants, spiders and insects that live here in the Red Centre.

The town of Alice Springs is often used as a base to explore the Red Centre. Alice, as it's commonly known, offers easy access to waterholes for swimming, world-class biking and hiking trails, historic sites and native wildlife experiences as well as an impressive range of accommodation options.

Must-see sights in the Red Centre, include…

Uluru – Ayers Rock, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Enjoy the splendour of these stunning 900 million-year-old rock formations either on a leisurely stroll, from atop a camel or on a scenic flight.

Uluru, and the equally impressive Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and the surrounding area are of deep cultural significance to the traditional owners, the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal peoples who refer to themselves as Anangu. The Anangu officially own the national park, which is leased to Parks Australia and jointly administered.

The UNESCO World Heritage listed-site of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas, are the two main features of the Uluru-Kata Tjuṯa National Park.

Walk to the Mutitjulu watering hole, see Aboriginal paintings and hear the Tjukurpa (dreamtime) story of Liru and Kunyia. Later watch the sun set over Uluru and discover its beautiful changing colours.

Visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Culture Centre to learn more about this fascinating region, including information about activities and an introduction into Anangu culture.

See a diverse range of art including woven baskets, punu (woodwork) and traditional paintings on canvas.

Located only 50km (31mi) from Uluru, the 36 rounded domes of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) are just as impressive.

Rise early to experience the magic of a sunrise over the ancient sandstone domes of Kata Tjuta, then stroll on a guided walk to Walpa George and learn how nature created this spectacular rocky outcrop.

More about The Red Centre & Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Latest update: Northern Territories: 16 November, 2020

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