March 17, 2023
6 mins Read
Australia’s outback is full of rich and sometimes life-changing encounters, whether you are exploring the Red Centre or the Top End. With AAT Kings Northern Territory tours, these experiences also bring you face-to-face with the people who live here, including the Traditional Owners, people more than willing to share their stories and their culture. And it’s the people who make the memories.
From searing sunrise to spectacular sunset and the star-studded skies that follow, the Northern Territory packs its days with the unforgettable.
Uluṟu is the heart of the Red Centre, but no less awe-inspiring are the 36 domes of Kata Tjuta, the rock formations that are the other major landmark within Uluṟu-Kata Tjuta National Park, and the majestic Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park.
In the Top End, an ancient landscape of waterfalls and billabongs, wetlands, monsoonal rainforests, deep gorges and sweeping floodplains create a magnificent landscape that has been home to the world’s oldest living culture for thousands of years.
Stories are told, opening up a new world illustrated by rock art galleries. The sprawling and diverse UNESCO World Heritage site of Kakadu National Park is not to be missed. Watch out for crocodiles and abundant birdlife: Brolgas, Magpie geese and elegant Jabiru. Nitmiluk National Park, home to the Jawoyn people, encompasses the 13 gorges in the Katherine River system.
Just two-and-a-half-hours by ferry from Darwin, Bathurst Island offers an insight into the unique Tiwi Islands culture. In the Early Mission precinct, the interiors of St Therese’s Catholic Church are ablaze with Tiwi designs. Visit the arts and crafts centres and buy carvings, pottery, bark paintings, prints, fabric and tunga (bark baskets).
To travel in the Northern Territory with ease, allow the experts to plan and direct your itinerary, ensuring you don’t miss anything.
AAT Kings Group has been showing Australia to visitors for 100 years, sourcing the very best experiences and introducing guests to the people who know it best, those who live and breathe it every day.
Through these collaborations, guests are taken behind the scenes and shown things they won’t find in a guidebook, on a website, or by themselves, revealing the true heart of the Northern Territory. Guests can create their own itineraries by piecing together different tours offered by the AAT Kings Group of brands.
Five-day tours from Darwin or from a Uluṟu can provide the basis for an unforgettable Northern Territory experience, with the option to add on day or half-day tours to elevate your experience.
The first day of the Outback Highlights tour from Ayers Rock Resort – where accommodation at a range of hotels will suit all budgets – begins with sunrise over Uluṟu and a day trip to Kata Tjuta and ends with the Sounds of Silence dinner under the stars.
On other days, guests explore the majesty of Kings Canyon and Watarrka National Park, tour the base of Uluṟu and take the Kuniya Walk to the Mutitjulu waterhole, and see the fantastic collection of Indigenous art at the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre. Another highlight is the stunning Field of Light installation, viewed exclusively at dawn (the way its creator, Bruce Munro intended it to be viewed).
For guests who want to delve deeper into First Nations history and culture, the SEIT Patji 4WD day tour is an amazing experience.
Joining the traditional Uluṟu family in their Patji homelands, just outside Uluṟu-Kata Tjuta National Park, guests can hear the story of Paddy Uluṟu’s fight for Indigenous land rights and learn more about the oldest living culture in the world and the people who continue its traditions.
On a free evening, book the exclusive Mai Uluṟu La Ila (“food close to Uluṟu” in the Pitjantjatjara language) dining experience under the stars – set within Uluṟu-Kata Tjuta National Park and the only one of its kind under Uluṟu’s towering shadow.
Enjoy a barbecue dinner that begins with a quandong passion mimosa and allows guests to savour bush flavours, including native apple, bush tomato and kangaroo (as well as steak), while the sun sets and a guide shares stories of the constellations above, bright and visible in the unpolluted darkness.
From Darwin, join premium small group travel experts, Inspiring Journeys, for a five-day Kakadu’s Ancient Secrets tour.
It takes guests into an ancient landscape of waterfalls, deep canyons and gorges, rock art and wildlife. This adventure takes in Litchfield National Park, Kakadu National Park (with a Yellow Waters Billabong cruise included, and optional scenic flights) and Nitmiluk National Park.
Continuing the tradition of getting to know the locals, guests on this tour spend time with Manual Pamkal, who plays the didgeridoo, shares stories of growing up in the bush and teaches the art of rarrk painting using reed-brushes.
The day ends with a candle-lit sunset dinner cruise along the Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, for some croc-spotting and a chance to learn more about the history and culture of the Jawoyn people.
Accommodation is at the unique Crocodile Hotel in Jabiru and the five-star Indigenous-owned Cicada Lodge within Nitmiluk National Park and another highlight is the Adelaide River War Cemetery, part of Darwin’s fascinating role in World War II.
Stay an extra day in Darwin to visit the Tiwi Islands with AAT Kings (ferry fee included). This extraordinary day trip to Bathurst Island gives an insight into the Tiwi people’s rich culture and lifestyle.
A local guide takes guides to the main points of interest, including morning tea with Tiwi women performing a smoking ceremony, demonstrating and explaining totem dances, and their weaving and painting. Few guests can resist leaving the island’s arts and crafts centres without a souvenir.
See the best of South Australia and the Northern Territory with the experts. This epic tour traverses record-breaking canyons and gorges, national parks and World Heritage Sites. Be inspired by nature writ large.
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