Get Wild: Introduction 14 of the Territory’s Best National Parks

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The Northern Territory national parks and conservation areas are treasure troves of natural wonders and cultural heritage. From the ancient rock art of Kakadu to the iconic Uluru and the lush gorges of Nitmiluk, each park offers a unique experience. Whether you seek adventure, tranquility, or an immersive cultural journey, the NT’s national parks are waiting to be explored. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the rugged beauty of the Northern Territory.

We have provided either links to articles if we have written about the parks, or links to the NT Parks Service for those we have yet to get to. Enjoy.

Welcome to the magnificent Northern Territory, a land of awe-inspiring landscapes and unique biodiversity. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, adventure seeker, or wildlife lover, the NT’s national parks and conservation areas offer a wealth of experiences. In this article, we will introduce you to 14 remarkable national parks, detailing their locations, distances from major regional centers, and highlighting their exceptional natural wonders, including flora and fauna, rivers, waterfalls, gorges, and more. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the rugged beauty of the Northern Territory.

Kakadu National Park

Location: Approximately 171 km east of Darwin.

Highlights: Kakadu National Park is a World Heritage-listed park boasting stunning wetlands, ancient Aboriginal rock art sites, and diverse wildlife. Explore the majestic Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls, cruise the Yellow Water Billabong to spot crocodiles and birdlife, or discover the cultural significance of Nourlangie and Ubirr rock art. Visitors can enjoy camping, swimming, guided walks, and wildlife spotting.

Litchfield National Park

Location: Approximately 130 km south of Darwin.

Highlights: Litchfield National Park is renowned for its magnetic termite mounds, picturesque waterfalls, and crystal-clear swimming holes. Marvel at the towering Florence Falls and Tolmer Falls, dip into the refreshing waters of Wangi Falls, and visit the intriguing Lost City. Activities include swimming, bushwalking, camping, and picnicking.

Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge):

Location: Approximately 244 km southeast of Darwin.

Highlights: Nitmiluk is home to the breathtaking Katherine Gorge, a series of 13 sandstone gorges carved by the Katherine River. Take a scenic boat cruise to explore the rugged beauty of the gorges, canoe along the tranquil waters, or embark on a challenging hike along the Jatbula Trail. Visitors can also swim, fish, and experience the rich Aboriginal culture.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Location: Approximately 463 km southwest of Alice Springs.

Highlights: This iconic park features the magnificent Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), sacred sites of spiritual significance. Witness the stunning color changes of Uluru during sunrise or sunset, take guided walks to learn about Aboriginal culture and rock art, or opt for a scenic helicopter ride for a bird’s-eye view. Camping, photography, and stargazing are popular activities.

Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon)

Location: Approximately 323 km southwest of Alice Springs.

Highlights: Watarrka National Park Kings Canyon offers awe-inspiring sandstone walls, ancient geological formations, and breathtaking rim walks. Discover the tranquil Garden of Eden, hike the challenging Rim Walk for panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, or explore the weathered domes of the Lost City. Visitors can camp, enjoy birdwatching, and experience the star-filled outback skies.

Tjoritja/West MacDonnell Ranges National Park

Location: Adjacent to Alice Springs.

Highlights: This park is an extension of the Tjoritja West MacDonnell National Park, offering unique geological formations, ancient Aboriginal art sites, and picturesque gorges. Explore the ochre pits at the Ormiston Pound, marvel at the towering cliffs of Simpsons Gap, or visit the renowned Palm Valley with its ancient cycads. Visitors can enjoy walking, camping, and birdwatching.

Elsey National Park

Location: Approximately 336 km southeast of Darwin.

Highlights: Elsey National Park is famous for its crystal-clear thermal springs and lush tropical landscapes. Take a dip in the soothing waters of the Mataranka Thermal Pool, explore the Roper River’s pristine wilderness, or enjoy a leisurely canoe ride. Camping, fishing, and birdwatching opportunities abound. Judbarra/Gregory National Park

Location: Approximately 370 km southwest of Katherine.

Highlights: The rugged Judbarra/Gregory National Park offers dramatic landscapes, ancient rock art, and diverse wildlife. Discover the stunning escarpments of the Victoria River, visit Bullita Gorge with its impressive waterfalls, or explore the Aboriginal rock art at Nawilbinbin (Joe Creek). Activities include camping, bushwalking, birdwatching, and fishing.

Garig Gunak Barlu National Park (Cobourg Peninsula)

Location: Approximately 577 km northeast of Darwin.

Highlights: Garig Gunak Barlu National Park Cobourg Peninsula is a remote and pristine wilderness area renowned for its rich marine life and diverse ecosystems. Explore the pristine beaches, witness nesting turtles and crocodiles, or visit the historic Victoria Settlement. Camping, fishing, birdwatching, and snorkeling are popular activities.

Djukbinj National Park

Location: Approximately 120 km southwest of Katherine.

Highlights: Djukbinj National Park is a culturally significant park with pristine waterways and diverse ecosystems. Explore the serene Edith Falls, spot wildlife along the walking trails, or take a relaxing dip in the clear pools. Visitors can enjoy camping, swimming, and birdwatching.

Keep River National Park

Location: Approximately 470 km southwest of Darwin.

Highlights: Keep River National Park showcases unique sandstone formations, dramatic gorges, and cultural heritage sites. Take a scenic drive through the park, discover Aboriginal rock art, or hike along the Jarnem Track for panoramic views. Camping, bushwalking, and photography opportunities are available.

Mary River National Park

Location: Approximately 150 km east of Darwin.

Highlights: Mary River National Park is renowned for its abundant wildlife, including crocodiles, and scenic wetlands. Take a cruise along the river, spot a variety of bird species, or try your luck with barramundi fishing. Camping, birdwatching, and wildlife photography are popular activities.

Limmen National Park

Location: Approximately 540 km southeast of Darwin.

Highlights: Limmen National Park is a remote and rugged park featuring vast landscapes, spectacular gorges, and significant cultural sites. Visit the striking Southern Lost City, explore the stunning Butterfly Gorge, or learn about the area’s history at the historic Nathan River Ranger Station. Camping, bushwalking, and fishing are available.

Iytwelepenty / Davenport Ranges National Park

Locatation: around 500km north of Alice Springs and 200km south-east of Tennant Creek

Highlights: The Iytwelepenty / Davenport Ranges National Park is a vast and culturally rich landscape, honoring the traditions of the Alyawarr, Wakaya, Kaytete, and Warumungu indigenous communities. It offers a remote and untamed experience for adventurous visitors. As an isolated refuge, it provides sanctuary to diverse waterbirds and seven fish species adapted to desert conditions. The park also holds remnants of European heritage, showcasing its history of mining and pastoral activities.

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