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Top 8 Winter Activities in the Northern Territory

Friday 28th June 2019
By Jessica Lockhart
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By Jessica Lockhart
If you’re trying to figure out where to go in winter on your next camping trip, the Northern Territory has a lot to offer year-round. However, it’s during the dry season that the region truly comes alive. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of family winter activities, perfect for those averse to camping in the cold. 

So pack up your winter camping gear, ask your mates for their best winter camping recipes, make a booking on Camplify, and head out on one of these great adventures. 

Needing to hire a van for your road trip to the NT? Check out the vans we have available here.

Double-down on events in Darwin

No matter how you time it, if you visit Darwin in the winter months there’s bound to be a festival or event on. First up is July 1st, when fireworks over the Timor Sea mark Territory Day. Next up is the 10-day Darwin Fringe Festival, followed by the Royal Darwin Show, where you can see Brahman cattle and try your luck at the spear-throwing competition. The season is rounded out by the 18-day action-packed Darwin Festival, where you can dine at long communal tables, attend workshops, and watch performances by local and touring artists. 

Watch giant turtles hatching

Olive Ridley Turtles
Image credit: FritzF2010 (on flickr)

Just outside Darwin sits Bare Sand Island (also known as Njulbitjlk), which is exactly as the name describes—sandy, with little vegetation and almost no shade. However, this also makes it an ideal spot for Top End turtles—including Flatback and Olive Ridley turtles—to lay their eggs from June through August. Want to see the tiny reptiles in action? For one of the best kids winter activities, book a sunset tour with Sea Darwin.

Reel in a barramundi

The dry season is peak time for barramundi fishing in tidal rivers and estuaries. One of our favourite spots to hook, line and sink ‘er is Daly River, south of Darwin. It’s the home of fishing competitions (including the Barra Nationals), with camping available at the family-owned Daly River Barra Resort. Wanting to make sure you snag the big one? The resort also offers fishing charters to anglers of all levels. 

Cool off in a waterhole

Kakadu National Park
Image credit: Shane Bartie (on flickr)

Why pay for an expensive hotel room when nature offers its own natural infinity pool at Kakadu National Park? Located on Waterfall Creek, Gunlom Plunge Pool is spectacular and more easily accessible during the dry period, as are many of Kakadu’s other waterfalls. If you’re looking for unique accommodation, Indigenous-owned Cooinda Lodge has just launched 20 environmentally friendly glamping tents, including those configured for families. There are also powered sites in three sizes, catering to any type of caravan. 

Watch quirky sports in Alice Springs

Thought that Darwin was the only location with non-stop events during the winter months? Alice Springs has nearly as many, but with a kooky twist. Kicking off the season is the community-organized Beanie Festival (where you see literally thousands of knitted hats). Then, is July’s Camel Cup, which is held at the only purpose-built camel racing venue in the southern hemisphere. It’s followed by August’s Henley on Todd Regatta, possibly the world’s only “regatta” held on dry land. Book into the Kings Canyon Resort to watch it all. In addition to picturesque powered and unpowered sites, it also has brand-new glamping facilities with six premium tents on-offer. 

Field of Light at Uluru

The stunning views at Uluru
Image credit: Joanna Penn (on flickr)

If you still haven’t taken your family to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, there’s no better time to visit than now. Based on its popularity, Bruce Munro’s Field of Light installation has been extended to remain on display until December 2020. Walking through the glowing orbs can only be described as a spiritual experience, and the campground at Ayers Rock Resort makes it easy to get to. 

Bushwalk through the Katherine Gorge

As a camper, you probably already know this, but the dry season is the best time for bushwalking. In Nitmiluk National Park, there are 13 gorges to explore, including the Katherine Gorge—littered with swimming holes, scenery and Aboriginal rock art. Going for a long walk and have achy muscles afterwards? Sounds like a cheeky excuse to dip into the nearby thermal pools at Mataranka and Bitter Springs. Kids will also love the twice-daily free barramundi feeding at the Territory Manor, where you can catch a fish in your bare hands. 

Attend Australia’s most remote festival

Desert Harmony Festival is billed as “Australia’s most remote festival”. For the last 30 years, Tennant Creek has hosted the celebration of all things desert culture on the lands of the Warumungu people. Held each year in August, it’s a chance to meet a community buzzing with artists. 

If none of these ideas quite fit your idea of “winter camping” and you’re looking for a true snow camping experience, check out our list for the best caravanning activities further south to NSW or Victoria

So what is Camplify? 
We are Australia’s largest caravan hire and RV sharing community, helping connect thousands of holidaymakers with RV owners. 

What does that mean?
Essentially, we provide a unique sharing service where owners of caravans, camper trailers, motorhomes, and campervans list their RV for hire while not in use. As an owner, this enables you to earn over $10,000 each year instead of having your RV just sitting around while you’re not using it. 

As a holidaymaker, Camplify helps you find an RV that is perfect for you so you can experience the joys of caravanning - without having to own one yourself. 
Interested? Learn more about Camplify here.

Feature image photo credit: Vicki Cunningham (on flickr)

To find out how Camplify can work with you and your RV, register today here.

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