Australia’s Top End in the Northern Territory is a true paradise for all nature enthusiasts. It is abundant of stunning national parks, impressive waterfalls and gorges, and full of rich culture. This itinerary takes you on an epic seven days through the best places of the Top End.
What you need to pack:
- A lot of sun cream, it gets really hot
- A lot of mosquito spray and a net for your head
- A raincoat if you are visiting during wet season
- Swimmers, you’ll be seeing a lot of waterholes and waterfalls
- Sturdy walking shoes
- A big water bottle
Day 2: Darwin
Today you can spend the whole day exploring the city. The best things to do in Darwin are:
- Charles Darwin National Park, which offers an amazing view over Darwin’s skyline and coast
- The Museum and Art Galley of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) and Darwin Military Museum
- Explore Darwin’s waterfront and take a dip in the natural lagoon to cool off
- If you’re in Darwin on a Thursday or Sunday, check out Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, where you can find lots of foods and Aboriginal art
- Head to Mitchell Street if you want to meet other travellers and enjoy a city party, but don’t stay up too late because your next day is starting early
Day 3: Litchfield National Park
Today you’ll visit beautiful Litchfield National Park. Get up early and head to your first stop – Berry Springs (30min) – where you can relax and take a dip to cool off. You can also find some remnants of World War II here. Litchfield National Park is a further 1h drive from here. Must sees in the park are Florence and Wangi Falls, Buley Rockhole and Magnetic Termite Mounds. You can stay at Litchfield Tourist Park. Litchfield National Park is absolutely stunning and if you have more time, we recommend to spend more days here.
Day 4: Katherine and Nitmiluk Gorge
Start your day again early, as it is a 3h drive to Katherine. You can make a quick stopover at Pine Creek, a gold mining town. When you arrive at Nitmiluk Gorge, hire a canoe, as this is the best way to explore the area. Make sure you visit Cutta Cutta Caves and spend your afternoon at the Hot Springs, on the banks of Katherine River, where you can relax after a day full of exploring. You can find lots of accommodation options in Katherine.
Day 5: Edith Falls and Kakadu National Park
Head to Edith Falls (45min) in the morning, where you can find more waterfalls and crystal-clear rock pools, an absolute must-see. After more swimming and walking, continue to Kakadu National Park, one of the highlights of the whole trip. Entry to the park is $25. Start with visiting the Gunlom Falls and Moline Rockhole, then head to Maguk Gorge. It is a 1h drive between these two places. You can see more waterfalls and there are easy walks you can do. End you day with a beautiful sunset at Nawurlandja Lookout (40min walk). You can stay at Cooinda Lodge.
Day 6: Kakadu National Park
Start with a Yellow Water sunrise cruise at 6:45am. Yes, it’s really early but absolutely worth it and a must-do activity when visiting Kakadu. You can see so much wildlife, like saltwater crocodiles or buffalos. The cruise departs from Cooinda. After the cruise, drive to Bowali Visitor Center in Jabiru (34min) to explore the area. In the afternoon, head to Ubirr (45min) for walks, to discover rock art and see another magical sunset. Other options for the day are visiting Jim Jim and Twin Falls, however, be prepared for hard walks and do some research before visiting as it is dependent on the season whether you can see the waterfalls. You also need a 4WD to access the roads. An alternative is to book a scenic flight for $250, departing from Jabiru.
If you have more time, you can easily spend more days in Kakadu or take a Arnhem land guided tour from Jabiru, which will take you across Cahills Crossing on the East Alligator River. Arnhem land is one of the most remote areas in Australia. If you want to explore the area by yourself, you need a 4WD and you have to apply for a permit.
Day 7: Drive back to Darwin
Spend the morning to explore more of Kakadu and then head back to Darwin (3h). If you still have some spare time, relax at Darwin Wave Lagoon after a trip full of adventures before you fly out or head to your next destination.
Have you ever visited Australia’s Top End? What are your secret tips and must-sees?