Visit the Territory’s 24 national parks, and 73 nature reserves, conservation areas, historical reserves and marine parks to see the important heritage and the flora and fauna they protect.
Northern Territory national parks are both accessible and spectacular. Activities to partake in include observation of native plants, birds and animals, going for a bushwalk, swimming under waterfalls, joining an Aboriginal cultural tour and camping under the stars.
The Northern Territory is the only Australian state with two World Heritage-listed national parks.
Kakadu National Park is a vast expanse of exceptional natural beauty, unique biodiversity and Aboriginal rock art sites, and is recognized for both its rich cultural and beautiful landscapes.
A place filled with enormous ecological and biological diversity, Kakadu National Park is considered a living cultural landscape. Covering approximately 13,000 miles (20,000 sq km), Kakadu is Australia’s largest terrestrial national park, populated with a number of wildlife and home to one third of Australia’s bird species - Kakadu is an adventurer’s dreamland.
Don’t miss Australia’s best Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr, take an award-winning Yellow Water Billabong cruise, swim along the edge of the earth in the Gunlom plunge pool, take a four-wheel drive to the gorgeous Kooplin Gorge, and enjoy a natural rainforest swim in the pools at Maguk. It’s no wonder it’s called the “Crown Jewel of the Top End”.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is home to the iconic landmark Uluru and the 36 weathered rock domes known as Kata Tjuta. They are at their most spectacular when viewed at sunrise or sunset, and have strong cultural and spiritual significance to the local Anangu people.
Dominating the Central Australian desert, approximately 280 miles (450 km) from Alice Springs and plunging 4 miles (approx. 7 km) underground, the Uluru monolith stands solid. With every sunrise and sunset, Uluru varies in extraordinary color. Known as the largest rock formation in the world, Uluru is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Northern Territory. Traverse Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park on the hop-on, hop-off bus rides or private tours.
Treat yourself to a unique dining experience under the stars, or see the once in a lifetime limited time art installation, the Field of Light - a display of nine football fields-worth of whimsical solar-powered art installations. Visit the cultural center to learn about Aboriginal discovery and art, tour camelback through the Red Centre, and learn more about the domes of Kata Tjuta and Mount Connor (aka “Fool-uru”). Within a number of valleys, peaks and trails lies the Mutitjulu waterhole that gives Uluru its burst of greenery in a dusty landscape and home to 300 Aboriginal peoples. Uluru is the iconic star of Australia’s adventurous Red Centre.
Make sure you visit Nitmiluk National Park to cruise the network of 13 gorges carved out of sandstone by the Katherine River. Located just 75 miles (120 km) from Darwin, Litchfield National Park is a great place to cool off in a permanent spring-fed waterfall or one of the many swimming holes.
West MacDonnell National Park encompasses a vast and spectacular section of the MacDonnell Ranges. Set out on foot to see chasms and gorges, waterholes, and ochre pits. Gregory National Park, the Territory’s second largest national park, encompasses spectacular ranges, sandstone escarpments, gorges and eucalypt woodlands, boab trees, limestone landscapes, and the Victoria River.
Go underground into limestone caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites at the Cutta Cutta Caves Nature Park. Berry Springs Nature Reserve, near Darwin, is a popular area for picnics and is a great swimming spot. Wander around Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve, the best preserved of the 12 stations along the Overland Telegraph Line, which links Darwin and Adelaide.