Read our top tour picks in the Northern Territory to complete your next holiday in the Red Centre or Top End. From a guided Segway tour around the base of Uluru or incredible views from above in a helicopter, to the lush and ancient national parks and cultural experiences in the Top End, touring the NT couldn’t be better.
Hot Air Ballooning
Outback Ballooning offer the incredible experience of floating over Alice Springs with the MacDonnell Ranges being illuminated in the distance as the sun rises. There’s no better way to see the outback than 1,000 feet up, floating silently above the desert. Complete with sparkling wine and light refreshments, this experience is worth every minute of the early start to the day!
Uluru Segway Tour
Circumnavigate the rock a little differently, via a Segway! Uluru Segway Tours are hugely popular, providing a unique and unforgettable experience as you cruise around the full base of Uluru. Along the way, you will learn of the Anangu (local Aboriginal) people, their culture and way of life. Plus, your guide will lead you into the famous Mutitjulu Waterhole, and depending on which tour you choose, experience an Uluru sunrise or sunset with either a light breakfast or drinks and nibbles.
Another great way to experience the vast Red Centre landscape and its iconic natural wonders of Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and more is from above! Helicopter tours provide a spectacular scenic showcase and truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. With various tours to choose from, short experiences up to half day itineraries, the memories and photographs are worth every minute.
Sunrise or Sunset Camel Ride
There is something nomadic in meandering across the red desert landscape on the back of one of the world’s earliest forms of transport. With camel rides offered in both Alice Springs and Uluru, you can watch the desert come to life as the sun rises, or watch it transform as desert colours change and deepen while the sun sets. A perfect start or conclusion to your day.
Field of Light
If you didn’t think it was possible for Uluru to become more spectacular than it already is, then the Field of Light art installation will blow your mind. As the day comes to an end and darkness begins to fall, the giant red monolith is thrown into silhouette and the surrounding bush into a serene darkness. This is when Field of Light illuminates, lighting up the landscape for as far as the eye can see in a gentle rhythm of interchanging colours.This critically acclaimed light installation is the brain-child of internationally celebrated artist, Bruce Munro, and is aptly named Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku in the local language of Pitjantjatjara, or, when translated means ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights. It is his largest work to date with the installation covering the overwhelming size of more than seven football fields and includes over 50,000 spindles of light set on swaying stems creating a never-before-seen fantasy garden. The Field of Light has in fact been so popular that its end date has been extended indefinitely, so there’s no excuse not to take the time out and visit this impressive spectacle. Pair it with the renowned Sounds of Silence dinner or sunrise or sunset camel tour or include evening canapes with a Field of Light Star Pass.
Outback Cycling Tours
Outback Cycling offer signature Red Centre experiences via some of the most prominent and unique riding destinations in the country. The E-Bike Overnight + Brewery Tour explores the bush, geology, history and culture of Alice Springs and the MacDonnell ranges with a quintessential outback experience of sleeping for a night under the stars in a swag topped off by a visit to the Alice Springs Brewing Co. The Uluru bike ride is a fantastic and unique way to view the majestic monolith from the base as you circumnavigate the rock, cycling the roundtrip track, giving greater insight into the cracks, ridges and caves of the walls in a truly up close and personal experience. Outback Cycling offer this inexpensive encounter with the iconic rock with options for all ages and hotel transfers to and from Ayers Rock Resort for Uluru available at an additional cost.
Litchfield National Park Tour
Favoured by many locals, Litchfield National Park is a fantastic mix of waterfalls, streams, and pools amid stunning and lush nature. For visitors it is a much welcomed cool off in the rejuvenating, mineral infused waters. With spectacular views from atop and ‘pinch me’ swims in the natural plunge pools below, the waterfalls and waterholes of Litchfield are an absolute must-do. Visit Wangi Falls, Florence Falls and more as you learn of the history, environment, and local wildlife on a comprehensive day tour from Darwin.
Tiwi Islands Experience
The Tiwi Islands are 80 kilometres north of Darwin, where the Arafura Sea joins the Timor Sea, with the main two islands being Bathurst and Melville. Travel to the Tiwi Islands via a ferry from Darwin or alternatively take a 30-minute flight from Darwin to this tranquil paradise. Residents of the islands are predominantly of Aboriginal descent resulting in a rich culture and heritage and thriving arts and craft scene for a truly authentic experience. The stunning and unspoilt collection of islands are renowned for outstanding fishing, secluded lodges and welcoming locals.
Darwin Harbour Sunset Cruise
Darwin Harbour offers a perfect setting for a sunset cruise, particularly as the deep pinks and oranges light up the sky above and reflect beautifully off the water below. Being a perfect vantage point to watch the peaceful twinkling night lights begin along the city’s shoreline, it provides a fitting and relaxing way to embrace the laid-back Top End life. Add on a sumptuous Territory inspired dinner for a complete evening out.
Jumping Crocodile Cruise
Whatever you do, do not forget your camera or phone, you are going to want footage and evidence of seeing an almost vertical, very large saltwater crocodile, jump from the muddled water ready to take the bait. Again, this is a must do for visitors wanting to get up close and personal, but not too up close, to these fascinating, ancient reptiles in their natural habitat as your cruise the Adelaide River.
Katherine Outback Experience
The Katherine Outback Experience makes for a unique afternoon. Run by Tom Curtain, a multiple Golden Guitar winner and horseman extraordinaire, the show offers real insight into outback life in the Top End. It’s a show but unlike you’ve ever seen before. No show is ever the same, with the ‘cast’ continuously changing depending on the animals Tom and his team are training at the time. Enjoy watching and learning how the team at Katherine Outback Experience trains horses and working dogs, and witnessing their progression on the spot, all entwined with live music and humorous bush tales.
Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge Cruise
The majesty of Nitmiluk National Park, incorporating 13 beautiful gorges including the renowned Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, needs to be seen to be believed. A relaxing two-hour cruise through the sandstone walls of Nitmiluk Gorge will present you with plenty of opportunities to spot local wildlife including freshwater crocodiles, vibrant birdlife, and native plants. See Aboriginal rock art depicting images steeped in the deep spiritual culture of the traditional owners of the land, the Jawoyn people all while you sit back, relax, and take in the beauty. Experience the serenity as you take in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Pass by Aboriginal rock art, stunning escarpments and of course the local freshwater crocodiles in their natural habitat sunning themselves on the embankments
Yellow Water Billabong Cruise, Kakadu National Park
Yellow Water is a landlocked billabong brimming with native flora and fauna and is one of World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park's best-known landmarks. Take a relaxing journey through the waterway on board a Yellow Water Cruise and spot the teeming wildlife that inhabit the area. View the Paperbark forests, pandanus and fresh-water mangroves that line the shore and the surface of the billabong, dotted with beautiful pink and white waterlilies. When the waters recede, take the walk across the floodplains to a viewing platform on Home Billabong - a great place to take in an unforgettable Top End sunset.
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