If you’re hankering for a fun-filled Easter break this year away from the crowds, stop trawling those booking apps for your usual over-priced, jam-packed haunts.
Australia’s stunning Top End could have just what you’re looking for: lush monsoonal forests, towns brimming with character, pubs with cold beer and for the adventurous, some exceptional off-road side trips.
All of those hidden treasures – and more – can be found along the famous 920km Nature’s Way drive that links the Northern Territory’s vibrant harbour city, Darwin, with the ancient cultural and natural wonders of Kakadu, Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) and Litchfield National Parks.
It takes just a week at a leisurely pace, but offers more thrills and adventure than almost any other stretch of road in the land.
So what are you waiting for?
Day 1: Darwin to Kakadu
Start your journey with an early morning swim in the Darwin Waterfront lagoon or enjoy a famous Darwin brunch. Then, head down the Arnhem Highway en route to Australia’s largest terrestrial national park and true Mick ‘Croc’ Dundee country, Kakadu. If the mood takes you, stop in and say g’day to locals at the Humpty Doo pub and grab some tucker for the road. We guarantee the adrenaline will snap into action aboard Adelaide River’s famous jumping crocodile cruise boats as you make your way towards your home for the night.
Day 2 & 3: Kakadu National Park
Time slows in Australia’s largest national park, Kakadu, and a world of wildlife, waterfalls and wonderful light displays opens itself up for exploration. Leave enough time to explore the wetlands by boat, roam around world-class rock art sites – with art just a stone’s throw from your fingertips – hike through ancient landscapes surrounded by monsoonal forest or let an expert guide you. In the dry, don’t miss a dip in
Day 4: Kakadu to Katherine
From Kakadu National Park, head to Katherine via Pine Creek, a small town that was founded in the 1800s gold rush period. Heading off from Pine Creek, cool off in an outback waterhole at Leliyn/Edith Falls, one of the NT’s many pristine swimming spots, or take a dip in Katherine Hot Springs, on the banks of the Katherine River. With a constant average of 32 degrees, the springs will soothe weary muscles and rejuvenate you for the next round of adventuring.
Day 5: Nitmiluk National Park
Set out the next morning and take in the natural and cultural splendours of Nitmiluk National Park, a short drive from Katherine. Hire a canoe and glide the serene waters of Katherine Gorge, or head out on foot along well-marked paths. Helicopter rides and gorge cruises offer the chance to admire the scale and beauty of this Cicada Dreamtime place. Keep your eyes peeled for the incredible sunset that take your breath away with their fiery intensity.
Day 6: Katherine to Litchfield
Head north west from Katherine to the incredible Litchfield National Park, renowned for its enormous termite mounds that pepper the parklands; for the lush intensity of its monsoon rainforests; and for picturesque free-flowing waterfalls. Cool off in the spring-fed Florence Falls, and pick yourself a rock pool to while away the hours at nearby Buley Rockhole – it’s a favourite with locals.
Day 7: Litchfield to Darwin
On your way back to Darwin, stop in at the Territory Wildlife Park for up-close encounters with Territorians of the animal kind. Nature flies by at pace when you’re on the road, so this oasis allows you to uncover some of the NT’s most notorious and misunderstood animals in a totally safe environment. A stop at Berry Springs Nature Park for a picnic and one last dip in the NT’s freshwater pools is always a great idea before hitting the road home.
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