Holiday Hotspots: Northern Territory

The holiday season is upon us and it’s not too late to squeeze a much needed getaway. The Northern Territory is full of wild natural beauty and places of Indigenous significance. Environments varying from freshwater wetlands to sandstone gorges and monsoon rainforest make the NT a true natural treasure. Here’s some of our top holiday spot picks - special places that will help you get in touch with country and culture.

Arnhem Land

Image source from Northern Territory Travel.

Arnhem Land is a vast wilderness area that features a gorgeous coastline, rocky escarpments, gorges, rivers and waterfalls. It is an area rich in culture, the traditional homelands of the Yolngu peoples. Arnhem Land is home to 12,000 Yolngu peoples many of whom continue to live traditionally on country. In order to enter Arnhem Land, you will need a permit. You can find out more about permits through the Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation. Arnhem Land is a place for exploration, there are many ways to experience the culture and beautiful environment including through unique tours, check out our blog post “Indigenous Tours and Experiences” for information about authentic tour experiences such trips to the Mäpuru community.

Here’s some must see sights of Arnhem land:

Injalak Arts & Crafts Association - This incredible art centre has been operating for almost 30 years and features the works of over 200 talented artists. Climb Injalak Hill with a member of this artists community and learn about the rock art and cultural traditions of the area. Learn more here. 

Macassan Beach - A 30min drive from Arnhem Land's largest township Nhulunbuy. The town is the site of the Yolngu peoples first interaction with Indonesian traders. You can take Wurrwurrwuy Macassan Beach Interpretive Walk and learn about the Macassan traders.

Nhulunbuy - Nhulunbuy is the Northern Territories fishing mecca, the perfect spot if you love a day by the water fishing. Just outside the town there are a number of beaches and picnic spots including East Woody Island (Dhamitjinya) and East Woody Beach (Galaru) from which you can enjoy the incredible Northern Territory sunset.

Find out more about what Arnhem land has to offer here.

Kakadu National Park

Jim Jim Falls, Kakadu National Park. Image by Tracy Ryan, sourced from Australian Traveller.

Kakadu is a world heritage listed national park that covers almost 20,000km. It is truly one of the most remarkable national parks in Australia, a place of contrasting landscapes and diverse habitats. From freshwater wetlands, rugged cliffs to lush rainforests featuring spectacular waterfalls, Kakadu is a true natural treasure. You must see Jim Jim falls, an incredible waterfall which comes to life in the summer monsoon. Yellow Water and Mamukala, wetland areas of international significance are also must sees.

The traditional owners of Kakadu National Park are Mirarr and Bininj peoples. They continue to play an active role in environmental management of the area through the Indigenous rangers program, Djurrubu Rangers. You can learn more about their culture and history guided tours of the incredible rock art galleries at Uburr and Nourlangie Rock. Learn more here.  

Find out more about what Kakadu National Park has to offer here.

Tiwi Islands

Image sourced from Jandakot Flight Centre.

The Tiwi Islands are renowned for their thriving Indigenous arts culture, fishing, beautiful coastal landscapes and breath taking sunsets. The two main islands are Bathurst and Melville, 80km north of Darwin. The Indigenous peoples peoples of the Tiwi Islands continue to live a largely traditional lifestyle. The clans of the area include the Mantiyupwi, Yimpinari, Wulirankuwu, Mirrikawuyanga, Munupi, Malawu, Wurankuwu and Tikalaru peoples.

We highly recommend checking out some of their renowned artworks and textiles at the Munupi Art Centre and Jilamara Arts and Crafts. The incredible artists draw inspiration from their lush national surroundings and Tiwi Dreaming stories. They are highly regarded for their carvings, ochre and acrylic paintings, ceramics, etchings and screen prints, natural fibre weavings and traditional bark tungas. There are many tours available on the Tiwi Islands including art workshops, guided walks and fishing adventures.

Find out more about the Tiwi Islands here.