The Northern Territory is where you'll find the Real Outback of Australia. Twice the size of California, "the Territory" is home to fewer than 200,000 people. This land of wide open spaces is full of contrasts. It's uncrowded, yet teeming with life. With woodlands, rainforests, deserts, and plains – everything is bigger, brighter and bolder in the Outback!
From the lush "Top End" with its amazing wildlife and the aboriginal art treasures around Darwin and Kakadu, down the track to the "Red Centre," home to the true pioneer spirit of Alice Springs and the ancient mysteries of Uluru/Ayers Rock, the Northern Territory is where you'll see Australia at its most Australian.
Darwin, a multicultural tropical city, is the gateway to the Top End. This is the region to experience Australia's aboriginal heritage and ancient rock art firsthand. Visit world-famous Kakadu National Park, the Tiwi Islands, and travel farther afield to Arnhemland and Katherine. The place also teems with unique wildlife, including thousands of fish, birds and of course, crocodiles.
Red Centre - Alice Springs and Uluru
Immortalized by Neville Shute in A Town Like Alice, Alice Springs is the Outback's lifeline to civilization, providing services to the far-flung residents of this vast area. Visits to the School of the Air and Royal Flying Doctor Service provide a real glimpse of the isolation experienced by these pioneers. Alice's galleries are great sources of fine aboriginal art. Uluru (Ayers Rock) is steeped in the history and dreamtime lore of the Anangu people. Here is one of the best places in Australia to experience this oldest living culture in the world. A wide range of programs and tours is available, and the settlement adjacent to Uluru offers a variety of accommodations and restaurants.
As the locals say, "You haven't been Down Under 'til you've been Outback."
Photos Courtesy of: Australia Tourism Board and Hamilton Island