Vacation -The Northern Territory
Way up North
The Northern Territory is a wild place where nature is always in charge.
I lived in Darwin at the top of the Northern Territory in a cyclone proof house in Parap and then one of the newest cyclone proof houses in Fanny Bay.
Fanny Bay is a surge zone for cyclones, so a very sturdy house is pretty important if you are staying for the wet season!
I was glad both homes were cyclone proof, as we had two good storms in the first few months we were there,.
We lost our entire rose fence and all the barbecue area
enclosure both of which wound up in the Darwin racecourse and a river
replaced the back yard and car port in the first house only 3 months
after we arrived. Scary!
I was there for two years and it is one of my favorite places. When you walk on the beach at night in the warm tropical air, with the stars looking so very close in the clear sky you will know this has been a great choice of travel destinations!
The tide rises 28 feet in Darwin. The rivers fill up inland for many miles when the tide come in, and when it is out you may have to walk a mile out on the beach to reach the sea.
It is a very dramatic place in that way, the huge tides seem to affect every part of life as a local.
are a couple of Huge rivers full of crocodiles and you can feed the
crocks from a boat if you want to risk an arm! There are boat cruises
that may prove safer.
You can see big saltwater crocodiles often from the wharf, and huge barramundi swim in the channels as well.
The weather is spectacular in the winter with warm nights and temperatures in the high 20C's low 30C's during the day.
You can go for months without seeing a cloud in the winter. It is not until the wet season that it gets very hot.
is typical of the Australian tropics with some downpours causing flash
floods that can cut roads hundreds of miles inland! In the wet season
be prepared to be stranded at least occasionally in the wet season as
the weather can even close the airport, although with new and better
planes this is less often the case.
I drove through the Northern Territory in the wettest wet season we had suffered in 34 years.
At one point we went through a river crossing when the water got low enough to pass. As we climbed up out of the crossing and up a hill, we could see a "tinnie" or aluminum boat stuck in the fork of a gum tree at least 100 foot above the river!
At another point we went down
into a creek bed to cross it, with the railway tracks to Adelaide
hanging unsupported in the air 80 foot above us!
That is how extreme it can get up there.
Uluru or the rock, as it is often referred to locally is reached by plane, helicopter or road and is a tourist attraction like no other sacred aboriginal place in Australia.
People can climb the rock, but know that you need to be in reasonable health to do so. It is very steep and although there are places to rest it is a solid climb.
Great accomodation is available, and I do mean great! Resort style and luxury all the way around Uluru.
The Edith falls are beautiful and tranquil in the dry season, and a raging torrent in the wet.
The falls are a great place for a dip.
The water is never cold in the territory, only cool! There are many beautiful places to visit in the parl with a variety that is a bit unexpected.
Humpty Doo is a little outback town near the Ranger uranium mine 8 kilometers away.
The fishing and aboriginal art are both outstanding.
The wet season, (Usually October to April) the rainfall is very high and flooding occurs often.
May to September are the best months to visit this area.
Down what the locals call "the track" (named by the locals as it is the only road out of Darwin) or the Stuart Highway about an hours drive is Berry Springs.
Warm safe river water to enjoy a swim! No crocodiles in the water is always attractive to me!
A common day trip for those who live in Darwin, when I was last there they had a huge croc in a cage called "Sam" he would be gone by now I hope, as the enclosure was too small.
This is a beautiful ,safe spot in the National Park, a great place to visit. You will have a ball, and may even meet some of the local aboriginal children swimming there.
You can't miss the local kids, they have permanent smiles on their faces!
Arnhem Land is in the middle of Australia's northern coast and bounded by Kakadu National Park, the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Some of the worlds best fishing is in this area, but. access is available only from April to September
You need a permit through the Northern Land Council to go in to Arnhem Land (telephone 1800 645 299) and discuss the best places to camp with the regional permit officer. At least 10 days is required for permit processing.
Katherine is world famous for the beautiful Nitmiluk Katherine Gorge and is a must see when in the Territory.
The Katherine are covers as much land as the state of Victoria yet has a total population of 24,000 people.
The town of Katherine has about 9 thousand inhabitants, many are aboriginal people.
One of the worlds most amazing sandstone rock formation, 280 miles from Alice Springs by road, and not much shorter by air, due to the terrain being largly flat.
Ulur is sacred to the aboriginal people of the Piantjatara and Yankuntjara Aboriginals.
When you see it up close you may understand why.
As well as being the jump off point to Uluru, "The Alice" as Alice Springs is known locally has a large American space Station, and a great golf course designed by Peter Thompson.
I knew Gary Hunt the architect and entrepreneur who owned the course and provided the club house and the golf course itself.
For a more complete view of Australia, why not visit our Vacation Guide?
- Australian Vacation Guide
The Australian Vacation Guide will show you the best places to visit in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Canberra (ACT)