The Top End of the Northern Territory has an expansive terrain filled with natural wonders. There is so much to see and do at the various national parks, and learn from indigenous tribes through visits to cultural centres that you couldn't possibly hope to see it all in one trip.
So to help you choose what you should include on your Top End tour we think you should look for tours that have these eight gems.
Within the Nitmiluk National Park, the Katherine Gorge was carved out by the Katherine River through ancient sandstone. It is actually made up of thirteen gorges with rapids and falls throughout the river. Besides it being a great place for swimming and canoeing, the Katherine Gorge is also a place to see saltwater crocodiles nesting along the banks.
2. Kings Canyon
With walls over 100 metres high, the Kings Canyon is a sacred aboriginal site with vast natural proportions. The trek to the top is no walk in the park; beginning with a steep climb nicknamed "Heartbreak" or "Heart Attack" Hill, it is well worth the effort to see the beautiful Garden of Eden waterhole, weathered sandstone domes, and the magnificent view at the top.
Located on land owned by the Mirarr clan, the Visitor Centre is shaped in likeness to an Aboriginal rock shelter. The visitor centre provides many options for learning about Kakadu and the clans that live here :the Marrawuddi Galley displays local indigenous fine art from in and around Kakadu, the habitat display and library provides resources for Kakadu's environment, and the centre provides audio-visual presentations about Kakadu every half hour.
From afar, these natural architectural wonders look like gravestones. But in reality, they are the home of magnetic termites, who create tall, climate-controlled landmarks. Mounds can range from 1 metre to cathedral-sized 5 metres in hight, a feat for 5-millimetre sized insects. Each magnetic termite has a magnetic compass ingrained in their DNA passed down to their offspring, causing them to build their mounds at a particular angle. The wide variety of mound sizes are a sight to see all around the Litchfield National Park.
5. Gunlom Falls
At the southern end of the Kakadu National Park, you can find Gunlom falls and plunge pool. This swimming hole free of saltwater crocodiles has the backdrop of a 30-metre waterfall that varies in volume throughout the year.
The Mamukala wetlands are best to visit during the late dry season from September to October, when the world's largest breeding colony of magpie geese congregate to feed. With a 3-kilometre walk adjacent to the wetlands, you can also get an up-close look at egrets, darters, and and forest kingfishers amongst other wildlife.
7. Wangi Falls
The Wangi Falls are one of the most accessible falls to visit in Top End. Located within the Litchfield National Park, the Wangi Falls are beautiful during the wet season, when lush tropical fauna encases the walk. On the walk platforms, you'll get a glimpse of the diverse wildlife as well, such as the fruit bats hiding in the trees.
The famous rock art in the East Alligator region of the Kakadu National Park is not to be missed. The rock faces have been continuously repainted since 40000 BC, depicting catfish, wallabies, turtles, barramundi, and creation ancestors, among others. Not only that, but at the top of Ubirr rock is a breathtaking view of the floodplains and escarpments.
These eight places are just the starting point for your journey through the Top End. Check out the trips that go to the places or contact us now to start planning your Top End Adventure.