From a dry climate to a tropical climate: from Alice Springs to Darwin!
After exploring the first part of central Australia and the Northern Territory it was time to go further north, up to Darwin. This part of the journey was with Wayoutback. As you travel to North Australia, you will see a very clear change in nature and also in the climate. Whereas the road from Adelaide to Alice Springs is very dry and warm, the road from Alice Springs to Darwin is green, warm and humid. You see the desert changing into forest and it becomes a tropical climate.
So what do you really have to see when driving up to Darwin?
Tropic of Capricorn & Barrow Creek
The Stewart Highway brings you to really small places like Tropic of Capricorn where two huge aboriginal statues are and to Barrow Creek with an old telegraph station is.
If you are interested in aliens and UFO’s, go to Wycliffe Well. It is known for the place where most UFOs are spotted. The people believe that if you stay too long there you will lose your memory, so a tin foil hat was made to protect our brains. You can take really funny pictures there.
The Devils Marbles, also known as Karlu Karlu in the aboriginal languages, are a sacred place and you can see beautiful rock formations here. At the hottest moment of the day we walked around Devils Marbles. I would recommend to do this early in the day, because it is really hot in the afternoon. You will feel like a boiled egg.
Elsey National Park
In the middle of nowhere, between Alice Springs and Katherine, you can find the Elsey National Park. So what is so special about this national park? Well it has the Mataranka Thermal Pool. A healthy, beautiful and clean pool created by nature. It has minerals in it, which are good for the skin. And of course who wouldn’t want to have a swim when it is around 35 degrees outside?! So if you are traveling through the outback, make sure you stop at this park for a refreshing and healthy break.
On the last day, before we would arrive in Darwin, we stayed in Katherine. We went for an early hike to Katherine Gorge which is in the Nitmiluk National Park. You will hike for 1,5 hours before you will arrive at the best part of the Gorge: a waterfall with a small lake in front of it where you can swim. It is a small paradise created by nature. The hike started at 7 am and trust me, you want to start early. In this part of Australia the temperature drops not that much overnight, so when the sun comes up in the morning the temperature is quickly above 25 degrees. The humidity makes the hiking also harder, but it is absolutely worth doing this hike and getting to the waterfall.
Kakadu National Park & Litchfield National Park
These two national parks are nearby Darwin and you can go 1, 2, 3 or even 5 days to the parks with a tour. I booked a 3 day tour with Wayoutback and it was amazing. In these parks you can hike a lot. You can do a hike to Anbangbang to see aboriginal cave paintings or you can do hikes to visit beautiful waterfalls. We did both! Yurmikmik is absolutely my favorite place in the Kakadu National Park. In 30 minutes you will arrive at the Yurmikmik waterfalls where you can swim and enjoy some relaxing time. I do recommend to go early and especially before lunch. If you do that the chance is bigger that you are the only one at the waterfalls. After lunch it will get more busy with people who want to swim there. Another great activity in Kakadu is the Sunrise Cruise. You can see crocodiles and a lot of beautiful birds. In Litchfield you can also visit waterfalls. So if you want to have some swim and relax time, but also see some impressive views, go to both national parks!