Never have we ever been in more need of a holiday than now. A true Aussie holiday at that.
When we think of classic ‘Straya, we think of the beautiful red centre, spectacular sunsets and snapping crocs roaming the Top End. But the stunning Northern Territory for many of us has been off-limits due to the hefty price tag…but that’s no more.
Thanks to the Never Before NT Summer Sale Aussies can visit the bucket-list territory with discounts of up to $1000 off already reduced packages available until Wednesday 31 March 2021.
So with the biggest hurdle out of the way, borders open and a hunger for adventure, here are five reasons why you should spend your Christmas or New Year in our sunny Top End.
How hot does the temperature in Darwin, Australia get in summer?
From the months of November to April, Darwin will be in its wet season which is characterised by high humidity, monsoonal rains and storms. Average temperatures range from 24.7 – 35 °C, and humidity can push past 80%. January is the wettest month in the city, however, January and February are considered as the most beautiful times of year to visit the Top End.
1. Because you’re a seafood lover.
Skip the pre-Christmas Day queues at the seafood markets this year and, instead, dine in the Top End. Known as an angler’s paradise, the Northern Territory boasts some of the freshest seafood and hottest restaurants that are perfect for Christmas and New Year get-togethers with family and friends.
If you’re looking for Territory-inspired seafood, be sure to head to Snapper Rocks, located on the Darwin waterfront. Their signature dishes include their wild-caught barramundi or their snappy salt and pepper crocodile salad (not for the faint-hearted). Cathy’s Place at Cullen Bay is famous among locals for their tasty chilli mud crab. If you’ve spent the day on a local fishing tour, there’s also an option to bring your catch of the day to Cathy’s and they’ll serve it in any style you request.
Or for a fuss-free, fancy option, Darwin Hilton is offering a Christmas lunch, hosted at their signature restaurant, PepperBerry. With premium buffet selections and a range of beverage options, the experience also includes a glass of sparkling wine on arrival, a seafood platter and carving station.
2. Because you love a street market.
Though Europe’s Christmas markets are off the cards, Darwin’s outdoor market scene is equally as exciting. Darwin City is a multicultural melting point, and its markets are jam-packed with rich aromas, bright colours, international cuisines and entertainment. Go gift-hunting at Parap Village Markets, the city’s oldest market which runs every Saturday hosting a variety of stalls from local arts and crafts, beauty products, clothing, jewellery to local produce and Asian snacks. After shopping, try a famous bowl of laksa at Mary’s. Christmas shopping sorted.
3. Because you’re a sunset- (or storm) seeker.
Coinciding with Christmas and New Year, “Tropical Summer” host some of the most dazzling sunsets and electrical thunderstorms – an unmissable sight wherever you are in the Territory. Watch the orange sun dip below the Arafura Sea and picnic along Darwin’s iconic Mindil Beach or for the adrenaline-seekers, grab a harbour-side seat of the storm action at Darwin’s beautiful Stokes Hill Wharf, lined with shops and restaurants.
4. Because you’re an explorer.
During “Tropical Summer”, the Top End comes alive and is more beautiful than ever – waterfalls are in full flow, rivers are brimming, and wildlife is swarming. Our top picks are Litchfield National Park, an hour-and-a-half drive from Darwin, or the dual World Heritage-listed National Park, Kakadu – perfect for the adventurers at heart.
Looking to relax? Then enjoy a stress-free Christmas at Kakadu this year. Mercure Croc Hotel is currently running a two-night staycation package which includes a Christmas Eve Yellow Water Cruise and Christmas Day buffet lunch, valued from $800 (save $260). You also get 25% of all artwork purchases, perfect for taking home a souvenir.
A definite way to take in Kakadu’s pristine scenery and cascading waterfalls is via a scenic flight with Adventures NT, where you’ll be flown across the park’s vast paperbark forest and floodplains, and spot glimpses of saltwater crocodiles, buffalo and magpie geese. Though most waterfalls and waterholes are closed for swimming, Litchfield’s Florence Falls is usually open and offers panoramic views of the valley, sandstone plateau and lush monsoon forest.
5. Because you love Christmas (especially the lights).
Why not celebrate Christmas in the beautiful Darwin, a tropical city with an incredible harbour and plenty of family-friendly attractions. This December, Cullen Bay is “Lighting up the Bay”, making it the perfect place to dine at the waterfront restaurant or enjoy a picnic at the beach. It includes lighting up the Christmas tree and turning on the Revitalisation Project coloured lighting for the first time. Running till Thursday 31 December, take the family down to the Darwin Waterfront and experience their Christmas Wonderland light displays. To cool off from the Aussie summer, round up the family and take a splash in the palm-fringed Darwin Wave Lagoon.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.
So now you’re convinced the Northern Territory is the spot for you! Then take a look at these five gems you can also uncover in the Northern Territory. Or, discover these 24 perfect stargazing locations around Australia.