When it comes to postcard images of Australia, nothing encapsulates it quite like the Darwin region of the Northern Territory. It’s here where tropical beaches give way to stunning red cliff faces, outback wonders and cultures forgotten by civilisation.
There’s no better way to explore this area than taking a classic Australian campervan holiday on a week-long trip to this wondrous wilderness.
Find your perfect Darwin campervan for rent using our instant comparison tool. Find the best deals and choose from plenty of options like one-way rentals in the Top End.
Before heading inland, why not explore what NT’s main city offers? Darwin's laidback charm is a vibe you won’t find in any other Aussie city. So what does this city of 150,000 have to offer?
Australia is famous for having wild crocs, and nowhere else offers an authentic crocodile experience like Crocosaurus Cove. Here, you get the chance to swim with fearsome saltwater crocs in their iconic Cage of Death. This 15-minute experience puts you face to face with a croc in the water and feels what it is like to deal with these forces of nature.
Alongside that, you also get the chance to hold, touch and feed crocodiles in a sustainable setting. The park also includes turtles, whip rays and other native creatives to view at your pleasure.
Darwin Military Museum
Darwin has a unique place in Australian history: the only place to see modern combat since the country became independent. The Darwin Military Museum draws the experience of the 1942 bombing and the efforts of WWII in a touching way.
Learn through interactive experiences what city residents experienced and how the bravery united a country—a must-see for any history buff or anyone seeking to broaden their horizons.
Museum of Art Gallery of NT (MAGNT)
The Museum and Art Gallery of the NT (MAGNT) showcase spectacular traditional and modern art by some of Australia’s best indigenous artists.
The ever-changing exhibitions always guarantee a new and exciting feel which has turned Darwin into one of the country’s true art havens.
After sampling Darwin’s sights, it’s time to head west to Litchfield National Park. This park is known for transparent swimming spots nestled amongst spectacular waterfalls and fascinating rock formations.
Berry Springs Nature Park & Territory Wildlife Park
A popular spot for locals, Berry Springs, gives you a snapshot of why this area is so famous. The Berry Springs Nature Park offers a spectacular place for a morning swim surrounded by gorgeous natural surroundings. Next door, the Territory Wildlife Park allows you to meet with native Australian animals in a serene setting around a 4km loop.
One of Litchfield National Park’s most accessible sights, Florence Falls, has something for everyone. The natural waterfall over Shady Creek flows all year round, and the Florence Falls campgrounds are a perfect spot to park the camper overnight. Make sure you book in advance!
A specialist 44km track for 4WD vehicles to explore, the Reynolds Track takes in two spectacular sights: Tjaynera Falls and Surprise Creek Falls. In addition, this loop takes in two of Litchfield’s alluring crystal-clear swimming spots and a chance to visit the Blythe Homestead to see what life in the Bush is all about.
Wangi Falls is perhaps the best spot to do some of everything in Litchfield National Park. The swimming lagoon and waterfall provide tranquil scenery, and the area has some of the only amenities (BBQs and Wi-Fi hotspot) to enjoy a nice break. One of the area’s premier sites. Prebooking is required!
Once you're finished exploring Litchfield National Park, navigate southeast towards Katherine. Before reaching Katherine, though, head over to the area’s signature attraction—Nitmiluk National Park. Known for breathtaking gorges formed by the Katherine River, watch the greenery give way to impressive red rockfaces and fascinating formations carved away over time.
A picturesque spot on the northern side of the National Park, Leliyn (Edith Falls), is a dazzling introduction to the area’s outstanding natural beauty. Situated at the end of the Jatbula Trail, Edith Falls is a great place to take on bushwalking or a dip in the main lagoon's super cool waters.
Nitmiluk Visitor Centre
There’s something for everyone at the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre. The centre—located 90km south of Leilyn—is the main hub for all access to the 13-gorge system. Explore the area by boat, helicopter or foot and see the incredible landmarks formed in the region.
Located 3 hours south of Darwin, Katherine is a thriving town in the heart of the Top End. Katherine is the gateway to several exciting natural beauty spots that are worthwhile day trips. Alongside that, the town is known for its invigorating hot springs.
Cutta Cutta Caves
Just south of Katherine, the Cutta Cutta Caves Nature Park offers a window into the past. This complex of caves is highlighted by intriguing rock formations mixed with ancient tribal art
Elsey National Park
About 2 hours south of Katherine, you will find Elsey National Park—a major network of natural thermal springs. With the water staying at a temp of 34°C, you can relax and soak in the natural springs whilst seeing native residents pass by with sheer curiosity.
Katherine Hot Springs
Anyone who visits Katherine itself is there to try one thing: the city’s famous hot springs. Formed from natural pools left by the Katherine River, these turquoise pools provide a spa experience only nature can provide.
After a day in Katherine, it’s time to head east to Kakadu National Park, based around the small town of Cooinda. Australia’s largest national park can’t be seen in one day, so use your first day in the region to explore the vast water systems in the park's southern end.
Jim Jim Falls
Jim Jim Falls is the iconic waterfall that you see in Kakadu photos. Best reached via a 4WD track 60km off the nearest sealed road, this remarkable waterfall sees the Jim Jim Creek plunge 200m off the cliff. With the spectacular waterfall supported by gorgeous red and brown backdrops, this sight takes anyone’s breath away.
Twin Falls Gorge
Near Jim Jim Falls, the accompanying Twin Falls Gorge is not to be sniffed at either. This series of falls sees the South Alligator River plunge over 50m down the cliffs in stunning fashion. After parking your vehicle at the summit, you can trek down to the bottom, where you will be treated to some of the most transparent waters in the park—perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
If you fancy a trip off the beaten park, you will be rewarded by the scenery around the Maguk Falls. Only accessible with a 4WD vehicle, this lagoon and waterfall system is set within a gorgeous gorge and crystal clear waters. You see everything from tropical rainforests to rugged bushland on the same trip.
After seeing the natural wetlands around Cooinda, it’s time to head north to the region around Jabiru. Jabiru, the main town in Kakadu, offers a window into the history, culture, and livelihoods of the local Indigenous tribes. Prepare to see the Arnhem Land come alive as its local inhabitants show you the region's true character.
There are very few sites like Ubirr anywhere in Australia. This rocky plain contains dozens of rock paintings and carvings showcasing a collection of native animals—modern and extinct. It’s a collection quite unlike anything else. Trekking to the top levels provides impressive views over the nearby plateaus, making for some splendid shots you won’t find anywhere else.
Nourlangie provides a trip back in time that predates most civilisations. The rock art and carvings are estimated to be 20,000 years old and show that even animals like the Tasmanian Tiger once prowled these lands. If this isn’t enough, the area is surrounded by pristine mangrove swamps and billabongs that you can explore to see why this region is one of Earth’s last great wildernesses.
If seeing the ancient art takes your breath away, the Marrawuddi Gallery in Jabiru lets you discover how their culture has adapted to the modern world. Locals create pieces in person, and these charming creations won’t be seen in any city gallery.
The trip from Kakadu to Darwin may bring your journey to an end, but there’s still time to explore some more of what the Top End has to offer. The trek back via the Arnhem Highway crosses stunning scenery and locations well worth exploring.
Mary River National Park
There are few natural wetlands in the Northern Territory quite like the Mary River National Park. The vast wetlands are a birdwatchers’ paradise, with over 250 species calling the area home. With creatures of all sizes and colours easily spotted from the road, you never know what you might see on your visit.
Djukbinj National Park
Nestled at the mouth of the Adelaide River, Djukbinj National Park is one of the best examples of eco-tourism in the country. The billabongs and swamps let you discover fish, birds and even crocodiles in a natural and eco-friendly setting.