1. Meet The Local Crocs
The Top End is croc country and there is a number of options to see these magnificent beasts both in the wild and in captivity. The Jumping Crocodile Cruise and Adelaide River Queen are both awesome ways to experience crocodiles up close and personal. Tour guides encourage crocodiles to jump for tasty morsels only metres from spectators. Crocasourus Cove is a crocodile attraction right in the heart of the city and runs Australia’s only crocodile dive.
2. Chase Waterfalls
The Top End plays host to some of Australia’s most spectacular waterfalls. Litchfield National Park is home to Florence and Wangi Falls both breathtakingly beautiful and with refreshingly cool swimming holes year-round. Kakadu National Park boasts three spectacular falls; Jim Jim Falls, Twin Falls and Gunlom Falls. All three falls provide amazing photo opportunities and a place to cool off during those hot afternoons.
Tip: While swimming is generally ok in these areas, it’s important to always keep an eye out for crocodile signage. Don’t take crocodile warnings lightly! And DO NOT dive into waterholes. Many people still do this but without knowing depths and temperatures, it is really dangerous.
3. Explore Darwin’s History
Darwin has a rich history and it is evident wherever you go. From Aboriginal Dreamtime stories and rock art sites in Kakadu and Arnhem Land to evidence of the city’s involvement in WWII, exploring this region’s history makes for a great day out.
Visit Darwin’s WWII gun turrets and memorabilia at the Darwin Military Museum. Discover exactly what happened when Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin with an exhibit at the Museum and Art Gallery of The NT. Or spend a pensive afternoon at the Adelaide River War Cemetery.
4. Do The Greater Litchfield Loop
This self-guided loop is a great option for travellers to see everything Litchfield has to offer without taking a tour. You can take 2-4 days on this trip exploring the swimming holes, waterfalls and typically NT sites. You’ll be able to venture to Florence Falls, Buley Rockhole and Wangi Falls (or head further into the park to discover more). You will head into Berry Springs Nature Park, and you’ll visit the famous termite mounds. On the final two days, you can opt to head to Dundee Beach and the Crab Claw Island Retreat (both amazing for fishing).
5. Go For A Swim
The Top End is not short of beautiful places to take a dip. The plunge pools in the National Parks are spectacular, but there are other areas to swim too. The Darwin Wave Pool, Darwin Recreational Lagoon, Leanyer Recreation Park, Lake Alexander and Darwin’s public swimming pools are good options. There are a few patrolled beaches in the region but crocodiles and stingers are present in these waters so the ocean doesn’t make for the safest swimming spot.
6. Experience Arnhem Land
It’s a little out the way of the usual tourist route around this area but if you visit Arnhem Land, you won’t be disappointed. With its beautiful coastlines, fishing galore and picturesque scenery, it’s a magical place! From incredible cultural experiences and historical sites to some of the most pristine beaches you’ll see, this region really feels like an exotic other world. You need a permit to visit so make sure you get one in advance.
7. Go Fish
The Top End is a fishing paradis. The Top End’s coastline has a number of purpose-built boat ramps and fishing structures and there are amazing fishings spots everywhere. Darwin Harbour, Nighcliff Jetty, Channel Island Bridge and Dundee Beach are some locals favourites. The Top End is also famous for it’s million dollar Barra competition. Each year a number of barramundis are released into the waters off the coast of Darwin, each tagged with a dollar amount. If you’re lucky enough to catch one, you get the dollar amount on the tag… and 1 is tagged with $1million!
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