There’s more to see in Northern Territory than just crocs and the rock. While these are two of the biggest draws to this remote region, the NT has plenty more to offer the intrepid explorer or wannabe Dundee. There are lush green wetlands teeming with wildlife, and barren red deserts where only dust seems to thrive. Grand gorges, colossal canyons and rugged ranges emerge from an otherwise empty expanse. Cattle stations, bush pubs and Aboriginal communities dot the map between charming outback towns and the cosmopolitan capital. From the red center around Alice Springs to tropical Darwin at the tip of the top end, through the bush and beyond, this is authentic Oz – and it’s truly awesome. Here are the top ten sights, cities and adventures waiting for you in the Territory.
1. Ayers Rock
The Irish have their Blarney, the Brits have their Henge, but no stone can compare to the world’s largest monolith, Ayers Rock, traditionally known as Uluru. This mighty presence looms out of the flat and barren desert, changing hues with the rising and setting sun. The Aboriginal stewards consider this a sacred site and prefer tourists don’t climb it, but many do. At 348m high Ayers is no Everest, but it is a steep and breezy ascent that requires a safety chain for support. There are various walks you can take around the 9km base revealing caves, waterholes, erosion patterns and ancient Aboriginal rock art.
2. The Olgas
Lesser-known but equally impressive are the Olgas, 36km due west of Uluru. The Aboriginal name is Kata Tjuta, which aptly means “many heads”. 30-odd conglomerate domes rise above the endless horizon of the desert plain. Rather than climbing up, you enter through and be enveloped by these rusty red formations. Take the 6km loop of the Valley of the Winds or the 2km Olga Gorge walk, and stick to the beaten track as it’s easy to get lost in this maze.