I recently spent two weeks travelling through the Northern Territory and I had such an amazing time. I had been to Darwin before once for a work conference but it was in the middle of summer – hot, humid, muggy, uncomfortable, hot, sweaty, balmy and did I mention hot? Otherwise known as notaverygoodtime. But this time the weather in Darwin, and the rest of the Territory, was entirely perfect. Warm, dry, sunny, cloudless days. Exactly the way you want to spend your holiday when you know it is freezing and rainy back home.
I was so blown away by how beautiful the NT is. Truly. I guess I was just expecting red dust and a whole lotta nothin’. There definitely was an abundance of red, but there was also so much greenery. Litchfield National Park was truly spectacular. There were so many incredible waterholes and cascading waterfalls, beautiful creeks and swimming holes that we often had all to ourselves. We went on some beautiful hikes and bushwalks and I was really impressed with how clean all the campsites and picnic areas are. They are well maintained and most were really quite comfortable for campsites in the middle of nowhere.
No matter how many pictures you see of Uluru, nothing could prepare you for it’s magnificence. It’s such a truly spectacular sight. So, so much more than a giant rock. When you get up close to it you see that this spiritual place has so many intricate and beautiful details, so much colour and life and history. There is luscious greenery surrounding the base, as well as caves and waterholes that once were the shelter and sustenance of many Indigenous tribes. I can see why they call it the heart of Australia.
The West Macdonnell Ranges were also a highlight. I expected so much of the NT just to be flat desert but the Ranges made sure to prove me wrong. Gorge after gorge after gigantic fire red valley after crater after gorge after mountain. There are a lot of really impressive hikes you can do in this area and I wholeheartedly recommend them. Standley Chasm, Ormison Gorge and Palm Valley were absolute standouts. Hiking the Kings Canyon rim at sunrise was also really special.
I ended this trip on such a high. The night skies in the desert are unlike any I have never seen before. I could look up and literally trace the shapes and swirls of the Milky Way with my hand, the stars and planets were just so bright. I love a good sunset too and the Territory sure did not disappoint in that respect – it delivered in fact some of the best sunsets I have ever seen in my life. After this little getaway to our red centre the love I have for the colourful and bountiful island that I live expanded beyond where I had ever thought it could – stretched the whole way across our biggest desert plain.
[All photos taken with Canon 7D or iPhone 6.]