THE vast yet beautiful Northern Territory drew more local and international travellers this year than any of the past five.
The National Visitor Survey showed 1.34 million visitors ticked the Territory off their bucket lists, a 14 per cent increase. So what makes this region so special?
Apart from the obvious sights such as Uluru, Kakadu and Alice Springs, here are five things you probably didn’t know you could do up north.
1. ‘Rock’ the sky
Everyone’s seen Uluru side-on but now thrillseekers can skydive over the Rock and Kata Tjuta with an extra long free fall. For those who like things at a slower pace, there’s also a longer more silent parachute ride.
Tours available through Skydive Ayers Rock
2. Helicopter pub crawls
This ultimate pub crawl is slightly different. A helicopter choppers you to local waterholes reaching locations only accessible by boat or air such as Goat Island where you can try the pub’s famous ‘Buffalo Burger’.
Tours available through Airborne Solutions.
3. Discover East Arnhem Land
Research from Tourism NT reveals that 1 in 10 Australians believe Arnhem Land is a mythical land from a children’s book, not an actual beautiful destination.
Home to the world’s oldest living culture, and one of the last wilderness areas on earth, East Arnhem Land is an NT hotspot driving Aussies to visit their own backyard.
4. Time out with the turtles
The NT is synonymous with wildlife, and a visit to the Territory gives you a chance to get up close and personal with giant sea turtles. The Turtle Dreaming & Tiwi Islands Sailing Experience from Darwin can include seeing baby turtles making their way up the beach, and hopefully witnessing a female turtle making her nest and laying her eggs.
Tours available through Sail Darwin.
5. Catch and cook your dinner
Fancy yourself a hunter gatherer? Travellers get the chance to prove it in the NT with the catch and cook experiences on offer. They always say it tastes better when you catch it yourself.
Catch and Cook Experience available through Wildman Wilderness Lodge