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. With Uluru (Ayers Rock) the Kakadu National Park and Karlu Karlu (The Devil's Marbles) as just three of the highlights, it's a popular area for anyone wanting to experience all aspects of Australia. The Northern Territory is tens of thousands of years old and is home to many direct descendants of the native Aboriginal inhabitants. The aboriginal culture is abundant here and it's easy to immerse yourself in the more traditional Australia present in the Northern Territory.
The most famous towns in the Northern Territory are Darwin and Alice Springs. You can take backpacker tours from these towns to all the famous places in Australia. However, some of the most popular places to visit are the small outback towns where you'll feel just what it's like to live in the Great Outdoors.
One of the great appeals of the Northern Territory is the remoteness - you could drive up to six hours to borrow a bag of sugar from your neighbour here. Remote doesn't mean boring though - backpackers love to relax in Darwin where the range of hostels, bars, clubs and fun mean it's quite possible to get a job.
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 states on the backpacker trail. Just make sure you put enough time aside to see it properly.