9 Otherworldly National Parks In the Northern Territory You Probably Didn’t Know About

best national parks nt

Beyond the well-trodden paths of Australia’s Northern Territory lie hidden gems just waiting to be explored by intrepid adventurers. While popular national parks often steal the spotlight, there are over 50 national parks in the state, most lesser-known natural wonders that hold a captivating allure of their own.

These underrated national parks, tucked away from the tourist crowds, offer a unique and off-the-beaten-track experience for those seeking to forge a deeper connection with nature. Let’s uncover their secrets.

best national parks nt
Photo: Audley Travel

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Before diving into the less travelled path, we can’t help but mention the iconic Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Australia’s most recognized landmarks. Marvel at the changing colours of Uluru at sunrise or sunset, and explore the domes and gorges of Kata Tjuta, steeped in indigenous culture and spirituality.

best national parks nt
Photo: We Are Explorers

Keep River National Park

Keep River National Park hugs the Western Australian border and is, for most parts, relatively unexplored compared to other parks in the NT. What makes this slice of the outback so unique are the striking sandstone formations, dramatic escarpments, and diverse wildlife. Explore the park’s hiking trails, witness ancient Aboriginal rock art, and enjoy panoramic views of the surroundings. The best times to go are during morning or afternoon light when colours dance across the landscape.

best national parks nt
Photo: VisitNT

Mary River National Park

This thriving eco-paradise is alive with wildlife, which is why it’s a popular spot for birdwatchers and wildlife photographers. The lush wetlands and meandering waterways mimic a Floridianscape more than a dusty red Northern Territory land. The park is also famous for its population of saltwater crocodiles, providing a thrilling opportunity to observe these ancient reptiles in their natural habitat. Just don’t go swimming in the waterways. It’s a standard rule for any waterway in the state.

best national parks nt
Photo: Beyond Wild Places

Watarrka National Park

Watarrka National Park is famous for Kings Canyon, a breathtaking sandstone gorge that offers awe-inspiring views and fantastic hiking trails. Explore the rim of the canyon, walk through the lush Garden of Eden, and learn about the region’s indigenous heritage.

best national parks nt
Photo: Litchfield Park Adventures

Litchfield National Park

Dive into crystal-clear waterholes beneath cascading waterfalls, marvel at the magnetic termite mounds standing like sentinels in the landscape, and wander through lush rainforests alive with vibrant birdlife. Litchfield National Park is a captivating sanctuary where time slows down.

best national parks nt
Photo: Kati Craythorn

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a living tapestry of ancient stories and breathtaking landscapes. Immerse yourself in its labyrinthine wetlands, where you can spot crocodiles gliding through the water and vibrant birdlife filling the air. Witness the age-old rock art, a testament to the Indigenous heritage that echoes through the ages and stand under a gushing waterfall to feel the raw power of nature.

best national parks nt
Photo: David Bristow

Djukbinj National Park

Djukbinj National Park, located in Arnhem Land, is known for its stunning floodplains, captivating sandstone formations, and billabongs that teem with diverse wildlife. Join guided tours to spot crocodiles, learn about the park’s cultural significance, and witness an abundance of birdlife soaring above.

best national parks nt
Photo: David Hancock

Garig Gunak Barlu National Park

Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, more notably known as the Cobourg Peninsula, offers a remote and untouched wilderness experience. This coastal paradise is home to pristine beaches, abundant marine life, and significant cultural heritage. Snorkel in turquoise waters, witness nesting turtles, and explore ancient Aboriginal sites. Before you ask, yes, the Northern Territory has beaches. This national park is a glistening example.

best national parks nt
Photo: Shaana McNaught

Judbarra Gregory National Park

It’s difficult to comprehend that the second largest national park in the Northern Territory is also one of its less-spoken about. So, let’s change that. Located in the Victoria River District, Judbarra Gregory National Park is where the tropics meet the semi-arid. The region showcases the rugged beauty of the Northern Territory with stunning escarpments, ancient rock art, and meandering river systems. Hike through spectacular gorges, camp under the starlit sky, and spot diverse wildlife, including the elusive saltwater crocodile.