Travel Time: Darwin – 4 ½ hrs from Sydney, 4 hrs from Perth, 4 hrs from Adelaide. Alice Springs – 3 hrs from Sydney, 3 hrs from Perth, 2 hrs from Adelaide. 2 hrs flight between Darwin and Alice Springs, 1 hr flight/6 hr drive between Alice Springs and Uluru.
Weather: Darwin and the ‘Top End’ of the Northern Territory experience two distinct seasons – wet and dry.
The wet season, November to April, experiences high humidity, monsoonal rains and storms with average temperatures between 24.7 and 32°C. Considered the most beautiful time of the year when plants and animals flourish, the season experiences sunny days with storms in the afternoon. The dry season, May to October, experiences hot, dry sunny days and crisp nights with temperatures averaging 21.6 to 31.8°C. It is the perfect time to explore the more remote regions around the Top End not accessible during the wet season.
Alice Springs and the ‘Red Centre’ experience a climate of extremes, with hot summers and cold winters.
In summer average temperatures range from 20 to 35°C, and often soar to around 40°C. January receives the highest rainfall but the climate remains dry and arid. During winter temperatures range between 4.8 and 20°C with temperatures dropping below 0°C at night and thick frosts covering the ground. Autumn and spring experience warm days and cool nights with average temperatures between 12 and 30.6°C. Autumn is considered one of the best times to visit, while spring time experiences spectacular thunderstorms.
Currency: AUD (Australian dollar)
Major destinations: Darwin, Kakadu National Park, Alice Springs, Uluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Litchfield National Park
Holiday types: : City break, outback, nature, active adventure for families of all ages
Home to fascinating Indigenous culture, some of Australia’s most incredible national parks and endless days of tropical sunshine, the Northern Territory is an action-packed experience for families.
Darwin is a terrific family-friendly destination. Around the Waterfront Precinct is year-round water fun at the Wave Lagoon and Leanyer Recreational Park, as well as Aquascene’s ‘open aquarium’ where kids can feed friendly wild fish. Visit the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory for Indigenous art and culture, and the Darwin Military Museum for Darwin’s WWII history. In the evenings experience incredible sunsets over Darwin Harbour and family movies under the stars. Set off on a croc-jumping tour along Adelaide River and, of course, get out into the wild Kakadu National Park, full of flood plains, rocky ridges and croc-filled estuaries – and right on Darwin’s doorstep!
At Alice Springs Desert Park Aboriginal guides lead walking trails through desert botanical habitats home to endangered nocturnal animals. Visit the Kangaroo Sanctuary for sunset tours led by Australia’s Kangaroo Dundee and be sure not to miss the exciting Red Desert Reptiles Show. Alice is the perfect jumping off point for exploring the exceptional Uluru and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. For a unique experience, take the kids on a sunset Uluru Camel Tour over the red sand dunes or dine under a star-filled outback sky.