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5 Hidden Gems at the Top End

Posted by Ben Mos on
5 Hidden Gems at the Top End

If there’s one thing you should know about the Top End is that it’s impossible not to be wonderstruck by it. Everywhere you look there’s something new to discover. Wide waterways filled with giant crocs and native birds, to ancient rainforests and endless wetlands. It’s a place where the milky way stretches right across the horizon and dips straight into endless red sands. We have rounded up five hidden gems that are perfect for your next trip to the Northern Territory.

Elsey Park Hot Springs

Can you think of anything better than sinking into impossibly clear hot springs at the end of a long, sweaty drive? Elsey National Park has not one, but two croc free hot springs.

A natural wonder, Mataranka Thermal Pool’s stunning turquoise green water stays 34 degrees all year round.

Keep wandering and you’ll find yourself at Bitter Springs, with currents that will have you gently bobbing down the river on your pool noodle.

With Jalmurark Campground right nearby, it’s as easy as wandering back to your RV, pulling out your table and chairs and firing up your gas stove for dinner under the stars.

Elsey Park Hot Springs
Litchfield National Park
Litchfield National Park

While she might be a little less famous than her sister Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park is full of her own stunning secrets.

Just a three-minute walk from the car park you’ll uncover the twin waterfalls of Florence Falls. Surrounded by monsoon forest, find yourself walking down the gorge to the incredible plunge pool below.

If you still haven’t had your fill of picturesque swimming, Burley Rockhole is right down the road. If you’re experienced with challenging four-wheel drive tracks, travel another 10km and you’ll be rewarded with unearthing The Lost City.

A sublime formation of sandstone that looks like ancient ruins, estimated to be over 500 million years old.

Ubirr Walk, Arnhem Land

Located in Arnhem Land, Ubirr Walk might be a little more popular but it’s the sheer number of Aboriginal art sites that makes this a must see.

With rocky outcrops featuring art that was painted during the freshwater period 1500 years ago, Ubirr is an inspiring place where the past seems to blend into the present.

Remember to bring your water bottle and pack a few snacks because once you reach the summit you won’t want to leave as you gaze over an endless vista of floodplains. We recommend taking a ranger guided tour to fully immerse yourself in this experience.

Ubirr Walk, Arnhem Land
Ngurrungurrudjba Wetlands
Ngurrungurrudjba Wetlands (Yellow Water)

Is there anything more awe inspiring than watching the sun melt across the horizon? If you’re an early riser or a night owl, Sunset Yellow Water Cruises has you covered.

With Cooinda Camping Ground located right next to Yellow Water, it’s as easy as parking the caravan and grabbing a ticket. The dawn cruise will have you leaving very early, but it’s absolutely worth it.

You’ll be treated to watching native birds forage for breakfast, crocs slinking around and buffalo grazing — all from the safety of your guided boat.

If that has you feeling peckish — it even includes a buffet breakfast.

Lirrwi Tourism, Arnhem Land

A 4WD adventure, the Bawaka Yolŋu Day Tour takes you right into the heart of Yolŋu homeland life. The tour is hosted by Lirrwi Tourism, which is Aboriginal owned and guided with a focus on traditional Yolŋu culture, as well as providing sustainable tourism.

The Bawaka Yolŋu Day Tour will have you learning about traditional spear fishing and crab hunting, with any tasty seafood you catch included for lunch. Hosted by Aboriginal guides, you’ll learn about the seven seasons as well as traditional land care and ownership.

The Top End has some of the most beautiful natural sites in the world. Always check with rangers and NT Govt online to make sure your journey is both safe and respectful of traditional land owners and customs.

If it’s your first time in the Top End, or if you’re a seasoned traveller, Camec will get you there.

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