Take a break from the bright lights, big cities and living in the fast lane; adventure awaits in the Outback.
Australia’s mysterious Northern Territory (NT) boasts dreamy landscapes, dramatic waterfalls and colourful wildlife, and is just under a five-hour flight from Singapore to NT’s capital city Darwin. If you are in search of rich and soulful travel experiences then it’s time to leave behind the hustle and bustle of metropolitan cities for an adventurous time in wild Australia.
A Feast For Your Eyes
If you think that Stonehenge is fascinating, then you may be surprised to learn that Litchfield National Park, a two-hour drive south of Darwin also contains alien-looking artefacts. These two-metre high mounds, scattered across the Park are actually built by armies of tiny termites looking to protect themselves from the sun.
Next, be awed by the spectacular network of waterfalls at the dual World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, a three-hour drive from Darwin. See the Twin Falls cascade over rugged cliffs from a floating boardwalk or behold the majestic Jim Jim Falls, gushing from 150-metre high cliffs.
No visit to the great outdoors is complete without a face-to-face encounter with a local saltie (the Australian term for saltwater crocodiles). Adrenaline junkies, bring your bathing suit for a chance to dive with a resident saltie at Crocosaurus Cave in the Cage of Death, located right in the heart of Darwin’s central business district. For a tamer encounter with these awesome creatures, smile for the camera while holding a baby crocodile.
Tales as Old AsTime
The Northern Territory is famous for its indigenous communities and their rich medley of culture and art. Immerse yourself in the world of the Adelaide and Mary River natives on the Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours, just a 45-minute drive from Darwin. Hear about the significance of the Pudakul, which is the name of the macaranga tree (a freshwater hibiscus) used by the natives to make spears. Get hands on by learning basket weaving and dilly bag making, throw a spear or blow a didgeridoo, an aboriginal wind instrument – playing it is not as easy as it looks! Get up close with local bush food and medicine then fill your tummy with some traditional damper (bush bread) and tea.
A Splashing Good Time
Cool off after a long day of exploration at Nitmiluk National Park, home to a series of waterfalls and natural swimming holes, about an hour’s flight from Darwin. Take a refreshing dip in the palm-fringed plunge pool at the base of Edith Falls, or paddle in the rock pools of Butterfly Gorge as Common Crow butterflies dart above your head.
If you are travelling with family, then Berry Springs Nature Park, a popular day trip destination with a series of shallow pools and deeper, plunge pools, ticks all the boxes for a fun-filled family day out. Located an hour’s drive south of Darwin, be sure to bring along your goggles for a chance to spot the colourful aquatic life in its crystal clear spring waters.
Dining in the Outback
Food is never far from a Singaporean’s mind. Why not eat like the locals and tuck into some traditional bush food while you are in the Outback? Do crocodile spring rolls and kangaroo fillet tickle your fancy? Yes, these exotic dishes are on Barra Bistro’s menu in Cooinda Lodge. Located beside Kakadu National Park’s Yellow Waters Billabong, this alfresco diner offers a true taste of outdoor Australian dining under a romantic leafy canopy.
Adventurous food lovers can try their hand at foraging and gathering bush tucker such as turtles, snakes, fruits and yams as part of the Animal Tracks safari in Kakadu National Park. Later, cook your food with meat and game like magpie goose, over a campfire and under the stars.
Beach lovers must pay Darwin’s Mindil Beach Sunset Market a visit. While here, treat yourself to a delicious array of dishes from every corner of the world as you drink in the gorgeous sunset and swaying coconut palms. Held every Thursday between May and October, this market serves dishes like taro custard on bamboo plates, Japanese omelette and fresh mango smoothies. Come armed with a picnic blanket and settle on the beach as the setting sun washes the sky in a blaze of colour.
Ah…who knew that a mango smoothie could taste this good in Australia’s bush tucker territory?