It’s not difficult to go outback in the Top End, but sometimes it’s hard to find accommodation that ‘suits’. Here are three weekend stays in the Northern Territory that are certainly worth your attention, writes Megan Arkinstall
Road trip to a brilliant secret: Douglas/Daly, Adelaide River
Grove Hill Heritage Hotel and Museum, 16 kilometres off the Stuart Highway in the middle of nowhere, is a total local secret. Built in the heart of the area’s Gold Rush in 1935, the pub is little more than a tin shed – but on the last Saturday of every month (dry season only) the place turns into a buzzing social scene, with a free barbie and live entertainment. You can stay here in basic accommodation from $140 a night. (Kids welcome; Grove Hill Siding via Goldfields Rd, Adelaide River; 08 8978 2489.) Alternatively cattle station Mt Bundy is an hour north and offers safari-style tents for those not of the DIY persuasion plus activities like horseriding, (from $175 per night for a safari tent; kids welcome; mtbundy.com.au).
Take a tropical break, ’50s style: Batchelor, south-west Darwin
Don’t be put off by the daggy website – Historic Retreat, a charming tropical-style residence built in the ’50s, is an elegant little island in the small town of Batchelor. Originally home to the first manager of the infamous Rum Jungle Mine, you’ll find history strewn throughout the walls in the form of books, photos and memorabilia – all of which you can admire while chef Jackson cooks your homemade brekky to order. From there, head off to nearby Litchfield National Park – skip Buleys if it’s holiday season in favour of Florence Falls or Wangi Falls for a refreshing swim – or explore one of the other 1499-odd square kilometres of the park available to you. From $160 per night, twin-share; kids welcome.
Get lost (in style): Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Mary River National Park, NT
Wildman Wilderness Lodge, the spot combining adventure and luxury in the wildly beautiful Mary River Wetlands area, is a dream location. Opt for a cabin or safari tent – both spacious, well-equipped and very comfortable options – and prepare for a weekend of happily indulgent relaxation. Take one of the many tours, swim in the infinity pool, hike or cycle one of the trails, take a quad-bike tour, dine in the lovely restaurant or just enjoy the breathtaking surrounds. Accommodation from $359 per safari tent, per night; kids welcome.