Eco-Friendly Road Trip Locations and Activities in the Northern Territory
Australia is built for road trips, making it the perfect way to explore and take in the beauty this country has to offer. When travelling around the Northern Territory, it’s important that you’re taking steps to preserve the natural beauty and environment of Darwin, Uluru and Katherine, to name a few main regions. There are many eco-friendly destinations around the Northern Territory that are a must see on your next road trip adventure!
Here are some eco-friendly road trips through the main regions of the Northern Territory that should be on everyone’s travelling bucket list!
Darwin & Surrounds
Darwin is the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory and is the gateway to the beautiful Litchfield and Kakadu National Park. There are many waterfront dining locations, stunning waterfalls, crocodile adventures and rich historical experiences.
Head to the local markets of Darwin, the Mindil Beach Sunset Market. It is Darwin’s biggest and best market running since 1987, which operates between April and October. The stalls at the markets range from food stalls with local produce, to arts and culture with a spectacular sunset as a backdrop.
Explore the Litchfield National Park, only a 1.5-hour drive from the city centre of Darwin. It is the perfect location for a day trip or multiple, with many activities and locations to discover. There are many epic waterfalls to discover in the Litchfield National Park. Make sure to visit the twin cascades of the Florence Falls and go for a swim in the famous Buley Rockhole. Within the national park is the Litchfield Tourist Park, the perfect location to stay overnight in your campervan, on a powered or non-powered site.
Get up close to nature along the Mary River wetlands. The wildlife is thriving in the wetlands with birds and fish. Visit the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve, a 45-minute drive from Darwin, which has over 250 species of birds that flock there during the dry season to the billabongs. Make sure to bring your zoom lenses on your cameras to capture these colourful birds.
Uluru is considered the spiritual heart of Australia with World Heritage-listed natural wonders and is home to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Watarraka National Parks. There are many eco-friendly activities available in Uluru and its surrounds, and if you love walking with amazing views, it’s the destination for you!
Enjoy a relaxing tour around the base of Uluru with Uluru Segway Tours. They are an Australian owned small business providing an experience for travellers to view Uluru and also learn about the local culture from their Segway tour guides. The tours range between 2.5 to 5 hours long. They also give back 2.5% from every tour sold to the local Indigenous community. If you would rather walk around then base of Uluru, it will take around 3-4 hours depending on your fitness level.
As the sun sets and Uluru is silhouetted on the horizon, it’s time to visit the popular display of the Field of Light Uluru, by the artist Bruce Munro. There are over 50,000 solar powered lights that cover more than seven football fields. In local Pitjantjatjara language, it’s called Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku or ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’. The lights stem breathing and swaying to connect you with the beautiful desert of the local land.
Connect with the local Maruku artists by joining in on the dot-painting or word-carving workshops. There are over 900 Anangu artists from 20 remote desert communities in Uluru. During this experience you will learn about the ways of the desert, local bush medicine and might even learn some Pitjantjatjara from the local artists.
Stay your nights at the Ayers Rock Campground which is located just 15km from Uluru and is the ideal base for exploring the surrounding region. This campground offers a mix of powered and unpowered sites.
Katherine is where the outback meets the tropics. The region is full or gorges, waterfalls, thermal springs and ancient cultures. It is the perfect region for eco-friendly activities including walking trails, swimming, canoeing and much more!
Visit the Nitmiluk National Park and in particular the Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge. It is a 4-hour drive from Darwin. It is a great location to go canoeing, safest during the dry season, usually from May to October. There are guided tours with Gecko Canoeing and Trekking. Rather stay on land? One walking trail to explore is to the Baruwei Lookout, overlooking the Katherine River. To make the most of the Nitmiluk Gorge, you can stay overnight in the Nitmiluk Campground, which is a 10-minute walk to the Gorge. They offer powered and non-powered sites available for campervans and pitching tents.
Do you enjoy relaxing in hot springs? Then the Katherine Hot Springs is a must visit destination. The spring water has a average temperature of 32 degrees, perfect for swimming and relaxing your muscles after a busy day exploring the hiking trails nearby.
Tennant Creek & Barkly
Tennant Creek and the Barkly is known for their iconic rock formations, gold mines, million-acre cattle stations and Aboriginal culture. This is as Outback Australia as it gets!
Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) is the perfect halfway point on a drive from Darwin to Uluru. It is 95 kilometres south of Tennant Creek, 11-hour drive from Darwin and 9-hour drive from Uluru. It is a sacred site of the traditional owners the Warumungu people, formed over millions of years. The Karul Karlu Campground is the perfect place to stay overnight, with the Devils Marbles in sight from your campervan doorstep.
Every July/August, the Desert Harmony Festival is organised. It is a 5-day festival with local music, dance, art, film, food, workshops, sports and cultural activities. It is a great way to learn about the local aboriginal culture and also try some authentic Australian food.
Eco-friendly road trips around Australia are possible when travelling to locations that are sustainable and making sure that you as travellers are proactive in your ecotourism research. With so many eco-friendly destinations and activities, the Northern Territory is the place to explore for your next road trip holiday!
The Travellers Autobarn hire location in the Northern Territory is Darwin. Now that you know more about eco-friendly road trips in the Northern Territory, it’s time to start your booking today!
Harrison is the Marketing and Social Media Guru here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Bachelor of Business (International Tourism). He has 4+ years experience in the tourism industry, enjoys capturing and showcasing the beauty of the world we live in!