Head to the warm top end for winter holidays
NORTHERN Territory's dry season is the time to be enthralled by nights filled with spectacular starry skies and days filled with excellent adventures and cultural experiences in endless sunshine.
Choose from the list below of super things to see and do, hook up the caravan or jump on a direct flight and have experience the centre of Australia.
AT THE CENTRE
Megafauna Central Museum
Megafauna Central gives locals and visitors the opportunity to see, explore and interact with the unique megafauna of Central Australia from the Alcoota Scientific Reserve.
Home to the fossilised remains of the Dromornis stirtoni, which stood over three metres tall and thought to be the largest bird ever to walk the planet, the museum brings together 8-miilion-year-old fossils from Central Australia in the one location. While you're in town, don't forget to check out the Museum of Central Australia which reopened in May this year.
Explore Finke Gorge
Finke River Adventures offers a unique way to explore the world's oldest river system and surrounding countryside of unforgettable landscapes and sacred culture. Hop into an ATV vehicle to travel down private trails and along the river beds, all while taking in places of extraordinary beauty and cultural importance. Full and half day tours are availabl, starting at $195 per person.
Home to Australia's biggest wild brumby population, go out bush to the Kings Creek Station to catch wild brumbies with a real-life horse whisperer. Based in Kings Canyon, learn to gently and ethically break in the brumbies which will be fully trained and ready to ride.
Over five days in August you'll also delve into the outback with safari tours, catch guest speakers from North America and Europe, explore Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park and cap off each day with bush poetry around the fire. Brumby Week is priced at $855 for the five days, with additional costs for accommodation and transfers.
Red Centre Bird Festival
It's on again as the Centre comes alive September 19 to 23, 2018. Home to 180 bird species and a range of stunning, diverse habitats, Central Australia is a bird-watcher's oasis with a rich array of native species, including the Spinifex Pigeon, Bourke's Parrot and Mulga Parrot. The festival boasts a range of experiences to suit everyone from amateur twitchers to experienced birdwatchers and nature lovers.
TOP END EXCITEMENT
August Means Arts and Culture
Arts and culture lovers rejoice as August sees Darwin play host to a bumper array of arts events, including the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (August 10 to 12), Darwin Festival (August 9 to 26) and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (August 11 to November 25).
There are events across art, fashion, music and food and continuing throughout the month, there's something on offer for circus, music lovers and art aficionados alike.
Darwin's first retail, exhibition, cultural and tourism and events hub, Provenance Arts opened in late July. An initiative owned and governed by Injalak Arts, an Aboriginal art centre in Arnhem Land, Provenance Arts operates as a social enterprise, offering visitors an insight into local artists and promoting ethical art, crafts and souvenirs from a range of Aboriginal-owned art centres as well as non-Indigenous artists from the top end of Australia.
Explore Arnhem Land
Lirrwi Tourism has introduced two new day tours offering travellers the opportunity to explore the pristine ancient landscapes of East Arnhem Land - one of the last wilderness areas on earth.
Developed by Yolngu traditional owners, the immersive tours of Bawaka and Gove Gululu provide income for the Yolngu people helping them to remain on country and maintain their culture, while offering visitors an off-the-beaten-track adventure in the heart of Indigenous land. The Bawaka and Gove Gululu day tours run in the dry season and start at $330 per person.
Culture and Photography combine with new East Arnhem Tour
In May next year, Cultural Connections will immerse visitors in one of the world's oldest continuous cultures, with a once-in-a-lifetime intimate cultural and photography tour of East Arnhem Land.
Beginning with a stay on Bremer Island at the beautiful Banubanu Beach Retreat, visitors will explore the island and its unspoiled sandy beaches before heading into Yolngu homelands to stay within the communities, learning the stories of their ancestors as well as foraging and fishing techniques. Hosted by two professional photographers, the tour is an extraordinary opportunity to capture the pristine landscape of the Top End while learning the ancient stories of its people.
Kakadu Seasonal Ranger Program
With the turkey bush blooming, Kakadu National Park's Seasonal Interpretive Ranger Program is up and running for the dry season. Join a park ranger and traditional owners as they explain Kakadu's diverse habitats with art site talks, guided walks, twilight presentations and traditional painting or weaving. The tours run until September.
Darwin: Self-Guided Audio Tour
Strap on your walking shoes and start exploring the Territory's capital with the recently launched audio tour of Darwin. The first of its kind in Australia, Darwin: A Tale of Four Cities is a narrative driven, immersive sound experience that takes users through a set of historic locations around Darwin's CBD.
The one-hour tour is woven around the personal story and narration of legendary broadcaster and campaigner Charlie King and can be downloaded at darwinaudiotour.com.
The Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel is 30
Situated in the heart of Australia's largest national park sits one of the world's most identifiable hotels, the Mercure Crocodile Hotel is an Indigenous owned, four-star hotel is shaped like a saltwater crocodile and is one of the region's most famous inhabitants. Conveniently located in the township of Jabiru, it's the perfect base to explore the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.
TAKE IT ALL IN
Hit the road
Adventure Rentals NT offers the ultimate self-drive safari experience across the Northern Territory. Visitors can experience the incredible scenery of Australia's Red Centre or Top End in a five-star quality four-wheel drive vehicles fitted with all the extras for off-road touring. Each vehicle is self-contained with quality camping equipment and a rooftop tent, giving you the freedom to set up camp wherever you choose. Adventure Rentals NT
For more Northern Territory visitor information, go to northernterritory.com.