Northern Territory Backpacking

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Backpacking in the Northern Territory is a definite must for anyone visiting Australia on a gap year. The Northern Territory is arguably the most beautiful and impressive part of Australia, known fondly as 'The Outback'. The incredible landscape with its beautiful colours and vastness is what many people bring to mind when they think 'Australia'.

Anyone backpacking in Australia needs to experience The Outback. Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) is like nowhere else on Earth. From Darwin’s famous sunsets to the ancient art and wildlife of Kakadu, the majestic Katherine Gorge through to iconic Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the outback charm of Alice Springs, there is a unique experience for every traveller waiting around the corner.

The Northern Territory is a big place where the journey between is half the adventure. Despite its size, discovering it is much easier than you might expect – with two distinct regions to explore: the Top End in the north and the Red Centre in the south. From the dryness of the central deserts to the wetlands of the north, you'll see everything from kangaroos the size of houses to crocs the size of buses (almost!). You'll also experience the odd lizard, beautiful birds you never thought existed and everything you've ever seen on the likes of Crocodile Dundee and The Crocodile Hunter.

The Northern Territory is one of the most visited Australian places on the backpacker trail. Just make sure you put enough time aside to see it properly.

Getting to the Northern Territory

If you're arriving from another country, the best way to get into the NT is through Darwin's international airport. Depending on what country you're coming from and what airline you're using, you may need to catch a connecting flight. For example, one of the best options for getting to the NT from the UK is to fly with Philippine Airlines, making a quick change in Manila. You can also reach the NT via Singapore.

If you're already in Australia, you can catch domestic flights from all major cities (like Sydney, Melbourne and Perth) to Darwin. Not many people realise just how quick and easy the Northern Territory is to reach once you're in Australia. For example, from Sydney a domestic flight takes less than five hours, and from Perth it's less than four hours.

Alternatively, you can get in by road from the east, south and west, and rail using the Ghan train, which connects the top and bottom of Australia.