January 24th , 2012 → 10:06 pm @

The Northern Territory in Australia is rich in culture, history and fun. It is the perfect vacation spot for hikers, backpackers, campers, fishermen and families. You will find trails for hiking, cliffs for climbing, water holes for fishing and even take a dip in a pool at the bottom of a waterfall. The possibilities are endless.

Hiking Trails

Larapinta Trail
This trail is one of the more famous trails of the Northern Territory and is considered by National Geographic to be one of the top 20 trails in the world. It runs about 223 kilometers long, from Mont Soner to Alice Springs. There are several access points and you can start your hike at any of them. There are certain parts of the hike that are difficult and it is suggested that only advanced hikers walk them. Many of the access points are 4-wheel drive accessible. If you are not familiar with the area, guided tours are available; providing food and water drop-offs along with the tour. This weaving trail is known for its ancient boulders and its vast variety of flowers and plants.

Jatbula Trail
This trail is a beautiful 5-day hike and runs through the Katherine Gorge National Park. The path is marked with blue triangles and spans about 58 kilometres long, ending at Edith Hills. When preparing for this walk, keep in mind that you will be hiking through different terrains like rigid gorges, grasslands and even rainforest monsoon terrain. This hike is better taken by serious hikers. The suggested time of year to take this trail on is May to September. Keep your eyes out for the Aboriginal art on the rocks throughout the hike.

Tips:

  • Map out and know your trail before attempting the hike.
  • Always pack enough food, water, first aid kit and bug repellent.
  • It is always better to hike with a partner or in a group.
  • Do not hesitate to hire a guide if you are not an experienced hiker.
  • If you are going on a hike that will take several days, pack a tent and rain gear.
  • Mark all food and supply posts on your map.

Aboriginal Culture

Guided Tours
The Northern Territory offers guided tours of the Aboriginal centres, where you will learn about rock art, traditional weaving baskets, Aboriginal hunting techniques, traditional music and instruments and hear many Aboriginal tales from the days of old. There are also many Aboriginal Festivals that you can attend year-round. Accommodations are available. Book guides and accommodations well before hand. The Northern Territory is home to the largest population of Aboriginals and high season brings in a lot of visitors.

Tips:

  • Do some research to better understand the people and the area you will visit.
  • Be respectful and open minded.

Nature Sightseeing

Watch the Crocodiles
Crocodiles have inhabited the Northern Territory for over 100 million years. There are many National parks that have Crocodiles to observe. There are even guided river tours. Some places to check out are Crocodylus Park, Alice Springs Reptile Centre, Crocosaurus Cove and Guluyambi East Alligator River Cruises. Some of the National parks are free and some have an entry fee. Of course, the guided tours will have a charge.

Tips:

  • Keep your hands clear of the Crocodiles.

Swimming
The Northern Territory is full of natural water holes that you can swim in. Many of these watering holes are found in National parks and are well kept. Some of the favourite natural swimming spots are Berry Springs Nature Park, Edith River Crossing, Elsey National Park and Katherine Hot Springs. Again, some of these places are free to enter and some will require a fee.

Tips:

  • It is always better to swim with a friend or in a group.

Bird Watching
Eighteen different rare species of birds can be seen here and four of these species can only be found in the Northern Territory. There are over 400 varieties of bird species in total. Guided tours are offered for bird watchers in places like Barkly Tablelands, Arnhem Land, Kakadu and Darwin. Get up close shots of birds and their habitat in the Northern Territory.

Tips:

  • These excursions tend to take all day, so take plenty of water and food.
  • Bring your binoculars and extra film and batteries for your cameras.

The Outback

Check out the Northern Territory’s Outback with all its fun and beauty. You can go to annual festivals, like the Lasseters Camel Cup, where jockeys on camels race for the gold. You can check out lively pubs, like the Daly Waters Historic pub where you will receive genuine Outback hospitality. It even offers accommodations ranging from hotel to backpackers specials. Look into the Outback’s history by visiting historical centres like the Adelaide House Museum. You can even drive yourself around, taking in the beauty. Get yourself a map and drive off into the sunset.

Tips:

  • Spend more time enjoying the Outback by researching and deciding what you want to do before you get there.
  • When venturing out, inform someone, like the establishment where you are staying, of your intended destinations. If you do not return, they will have an idea of where you were headed.

Fishing

If you are into catching big fish, then the Northern Territory is where you want to be. You can experience estuary fishing, reef fishing, sport fishing and even enter into fishing competitions. Fisherman from all over the world come to hunt the big bad sport fish, the infamous Barramundi. Other species of fish include the Black Jewfish, Blue Salmon, Cobia, Cod, Coral Trout, Giant Trevally, Golden Snapper, Long Tail Tuna, Mangrove Jack, Spanish Mackerel and even Mud Crabs.

Seasons
With all the different species of fish found in the Northern Territory, you can fish year-round. However, if you are looking to go after a specific type of fish, like the Barramundi, then you need to know which season is best for that. For example, estuary and billabong fishing are done during the build up at the year’s end, while Barramundi fishing is done during the run-off period of March and April. Fly and reef fishing are done in the mid-year cooler months.

Tips:

  • Be prepared for big fish. This is no promotional stunt. Some of these fish hit 50 kilos.
  • If you are not familiar with fishing in the Northern Territory, get a guide to help you.
  • Some areas may require a license or permits to fish. Make sure you have all the necessary permits you need before hitting the water.

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