The Top Ten Northern Territory Tourist Destinations
20 000 square kilometres of wetlands, tropical rainforest, savannah woodlands and all the landscapes in between are home to a dazzling range of Australian wildlife, from the ferocious to the furry and cute. The area has 50 000 years of Aboriginal heritage to its name, and there are plenty of rock paintings and cultural sites to visit and appreciate this history. Its divided into seven distinct areas, each which can be distinguished by particular natural characteristics, for example the South Alligator area is home to the Mamukala Wetlands. The settlement of Jabiru is where you should go first to get supplies and plant the rest of your trip. A lot of the park is accessible by sealed roads, and its only a 250 kilometre drive away from Darwin.

Darwin is a multi cultural wonderland, home to one of the most diverse populations in the country. Its close proximity to Asia is evident in the smiley faces you see through the city, and in the culinary and entertainment facilities you can indulge in. Sitting on a beautiful natural harbour and with plenty of rivers nearby, fishing is a popular pastime here, especially for the voracious barramundi. Vibrant yet relaxed, Darwin is the perfect place to experience the tropics. Dont miss out on the Mindil Beach Markets, a place to experience a thousand different worlds in just a few hours.

Just a two hour drive south west of Darwin, there really is no excuse not to visit Litchfield if you are in the area- its perfect for a day trip or a weekend away. Its numerous waterfalls are spoken very highly of, cascading down from the upper reaches of the Table Top Range into clear rock pools that are safe for swimming- yep, no crocodiles here! Perfect for relaxing on a flat rock and catching some tropical sunshine. Other unique places to visit are the 'Lost City' and the 'Termite Mounds' (although when touring the park bear in mind some places are only accessible by 4WD).

Alice Springs
Australia's best loved outback town is waiting to welcome you with open arms. The strong community spirit of the locals, the rich heritage of the town and the wealth of nearby attractions make this an exciting place to visit. Numerous tourists give it an upbeat and vibrant feel, and there are plenty of friendly places to stay. The Alice Springs desert park is a must see, as is the base of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Images of Uluru have come to typify Australia- the giant red monolith rising out of the flat ground, shimmering in the rising or setting sun. For visitors to Australia its like a rite of passage, something that has to be done- an integral part of the Australian experience! The whole area is extremely important to the Aboriginal people, so enjoy appreciating (and respecting) their culture. Over 300 km from Alice Springs, you can either fly in or drive and enjoy the desert scenery.

West Macdonnell Ranges
Stretching west of Alice Springs lie the rugged West Macdonnell Ranges, 160 kms of starkly beautiful mountains. Pick up a hire car and explore the high sided gorges and sparkling rock pools, calling in at places like Standley Chasm, Ellery Creek and Serpentine Gorge. Stunning bushwalks take you past beautiful views, where you will bump into rock wallabies and other Australian bird and wildlife. Dont miss visiting the Ochre Pits, and stay over in Glen Helen Gorge before turning round and doing the drive again!

Kings Canyon
This is the main feature of the Watarrka National Park, situated on the western edge of the George Gill Ranges, 300 kms from Alice Springs. Its high sides reach a depth of 270 metres in some places, which makes for spectacular hiking and sight seeing. The gorge floor is thick with vegetation, protected from the harsh sun by the walls. Animals and birds abound, and there are other nearby attractions such as Kings Creek Station (a great place to stay) and Kathleen Gorge (which can be reached via a lengthy but beautiful walking trail.

Arnhem Land
Arnhem Land is the north east corner of the Northern Territory, most of which is owned by the Aboriginal and is restricted to tourists. There are still some areas that you are able to visit, and the scenery you will see is absolutely stunning. Some areas are only visitable if you have got a permit, such as Cobourg Marine Park and Gurig National Park. Coburg Peninsula and the East Alligator River are favourite spots to visit.

This large town is about a four hour drive south of Darwin, and is a great place to base yourself and explore the nearby attractions. The most popular of these attractions would have to be the Katherine Gorge, located in the Nitmiluk National Park. This amazing gorge is best viewed from the water, so take a tour on one of the cruises and enjoy some of the Northern Territory's most stunning scenery. From the town you can also visit the Cutta Cutta Caves, and drop into the Katherine Museum and Springvale Homestead to brush up on your history of the region.

Tennant Creek
This old gold rush town has a rich heritage and an even wealthier diversity of scenery. Its a great place to base yourself and explore the surrounding attractions. Of these, Devils Marbles is probably the most visited - they are massive round boulders that glow red in the setting sun. The Davenport Range National Park is close to Tennant Creek as well, and if you head east you reach the Barkley Tablelands.

Gavin Wyatt