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In Love with the Outback: Australia's Northern Territory

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Australia's Northern Territory is one of a kind: huge but sparsely populated; desert dry at its Red Centre but tropically wet at its Top End; solidly represented by iconic monuments like Uluru (Ayer's Rock) and lively cities like Darwin; a Mecca for the incredible nature preserved in its national parks (Kakadu, Litchfield, Nitmiluk and more); and an important focal point for the world's oldest surviving culture, the indigenous Aboriginal groups with more than 40,000 years of history.
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Petermann NT 0872, Australia
Ayers Rock – known asUluru to the Anangu Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory – is perhaps the most well-known symbol of Central Australia, though there are no photos, no stories, no tales of wonder that can prepare you for seeing the Rock...
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My first moments within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park with the majestic and magical Uluru in the background. A truly awe inspiring experience where pictures simply can not begin to convey the magnitude of this Aboriginal historic site.
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Make the effort to get to the center of Australia and see Uluru. I spent over three hours walking around the rock, and never saw another person. It was spooky, spiritual, and calming all at the same time. Then take a helicopter ride over this...
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Lasseter Hwy, Uluru NT 0872, Australia
Uluru, or Ayer’s Rock as many know it, is one of the most recognized landmarks anywhere in the world. This strange giant rock in the middle of the Australian Outback has long kindled imaginations, going back millennia. It may be an important...
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After meeting the locals in the arts center, we endured a steep climb to the top of the Gunbalanya Hill in Arnhem Land, where Glen told us all about the Dreamtime stories of his ancestral land. Every stop revealed a different gallery with hundreds...
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West Arnhem NT 0822, Australia
The rock art in Northern Territory of Australia is different than what I've seen in other places and in other countries. There is a variety of subject matter -- animals, anthropomorphs and abstractions. Images that are hundreds of years apart...
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11/54 Authur J Gallagher Centre,, Reg Harris Lane, Alice Springs NT 0870, Australia

Aboriginal art is on abundant display in and around Alice Springs, an Outback town at the heart of Australia's Northern Territory. For travelers, it is probably the most visible manifestation of Australian Aboriginal culture—the colorful...

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Uluru, or Ayer’s Rock as some may know it, runs like a well-oiled tourist machine. The only lodging options are owned by the same company and are all adjacent to each other. Tours and activities run with the precision of a small Aussie army and it...
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Yulara NT 0872, Australia
The Sounds of Silence tour at Ayers Rock Resort begins at sunset, when the iconic rock formations of Uluru and Kata Tjuta glow fiery red. Take a short walk through the dunes to a panoramic viewpoint, then dine outdoors on Aussie fare, including...
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1 Yulara Dr, Yulara NT 0872, Australia
Every day for one hour starting at 4pm, the Town Square lawn area of Ayers Rock Resort yields to the rhythms of the body-painted Wakagetti Cultural Dancers. One of an assortment of free activities now available at the resort to encourage visitors...
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A tour of the Outback from atop a wild camel seems like something you'd find in a Terry Gilliam film, but once you've saddled up and climbed about one of Uluru Camel Tours' “ships of the desert,” you'll wonder why this activity was never higher on...
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Gorge Rd, Nitmiluk NT 0852, Australia
Most visitors to Australia have heard of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, but few realize that neighboring Nitmiluk National Park, four hours south of Darwin, is actually more spectacular. During the wet season, from November to...
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Tiwi Islands NT 0822, Australia
The Tiwi people lived in their islands for as far as they can remember. So they have developed their own heritage and history, isolated from the mainland Aboriginals. When the white people found out about their isolated community, they sent a...
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Adelaide Parklands Terminal Richmond Rd, Keswick SA 5035, Australia
The two-night journey traverses 1,851 miles from Adelaide in South Australia to Darwin in the Northern Territory. As the train traces the route taken by 19th-century Afghan camel drivers, Platinum Service travelers have the opportunity to...
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This stunning trail has been ranked one of the planet's Top 20, though many Australians would nudge that a little higher. The 223-kilometer path follows the rocky spine of the West MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs Telegraph Station to Mount...
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Litchfield Park Road, Litchfield Park NT 0822, Australia
Even in the cooler months, Darwin can be a hot, scorching place. Make a day trip to the waterfalls and plunge pools of Litchfield National Park, a one and a half hour drive from Darwin. Swim in the crystal-clear swimming hole at the base of ...
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Kakadu Hwy, Jabiru NT 0886, Australia
This World Heritage-listed national park is fed by pristine river systems, and it's alive with the various calls of over 280 bird species. But the best way to explore the floodplains, billabongs, and rugged stone landscape of Kakadu and Arnhem...
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2/13 Travers St, Coconut Grove NT 0810, Australia
Darwin's proximity to Indonesia is evident at the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, a gorgeous place to be on a balmy tropical evening in this Northern Territory city. Held every Thursday in the dry season months between May and October, this fabulous...
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Birdsville QLD 4482, Australia
In the Simpson Desert you will find some of the best four-wheel driving in Australia. Literally take the four-wheel drive (and plenty of water) off road. The Binns Track runs parallel to the Stuart Highway from South Australia to Timber Creek, NT...
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Lot 1900 Heffernan Rd, Connellan NT 0873, Australia
This authentic Vietnamese restaurant is one of Alice Spring's many surprises. Set in a gorgeous market garden illuminated by lanterns, it does all the favourites: traditional steamboats, spring rolls and soups, as well as Vietnamese-style fare...
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Luritja Rd, Petermann NT 0872, Australia
Watarrka National Park is another significant stop for any Outback tour of Australia. Known as Kings Canyon, the canyon itself is 100 meters high above Kings Creek. The 6 kilometer Rim Walk takes 3-4 hours and begins with the "Heartbreak Hill," a...