36 days in Northern Territory & Lightning Ridge Itinerary

36 days in Northern Territory & Lightning Ridge Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Australia attractions planner
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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
— 3 nights
Fly
2
Alice Springs
— 5 nights
Fly
3
Katherine
— 4 nights
Fly
4
Darwin
— 6 nights
Drive
5
Jabiru (Kakadu National Park)
— 8 nights
+2
Drive to Darwin, Fly to Dubbo, Fly to Lightning Ridge
6
Lightning Ridge
— 9 nights
Drive

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Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park — 3 nights

Please note that visitors are no longer allowed to trek up Uluru.

Located right in the center of Australia, the national park boasts perhaps the country's most iconic natural symbol and a sacred place for the region's indigenous people--as well as Kata Tjuta, a collection of 36 red rocks forming an equally distinctive sight.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is known for nature, sightseeing, and museums. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic natural features at Uluru, go for a walk through Mala Walk, take in the awesome beauty at Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga, and take an in-depth tour of Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre.

To find traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park online attractions planner.

Sydney to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), which is usually a -0.5 hour difference. Traveling from Sydney in December, expect nights in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to be about the same, around 24°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 42°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Fri) so you can fly to Alice Springs.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 30:

Alice Springs — 5 nights

Situated right in the heart of Australia, Alice Springs serves as an urban oasis deep within the country’s parched, desert-like Red Center.
Alice Springs is known for parks, museums, and wildlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: get the lay of the land with Walking tours, stroll through Alice Springs Desert Park, take some stellar pictures from Anzac Hill, and get outside with Simpsons Gap.

For where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Alice Springs trip planner.

You can fly from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to Alice Springs in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In December, daytime highs in Alice Springs are 41°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) to allow time to fly to Katherine.
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Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 4:

Katherine — 4 nights

Katherine is a town in Northern Territory, Australia. Spend the 8th (Sun) exploring nature at Nitmiluk National Park. Next up on the itinerary: take some stellar pictures from Bukbukluk Lookout, explore the striking landscape at Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, stroll through Low Level Nature Reserve, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Katherine Hot Springs.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Katherine journey maker site.

You can fly from Alice Springs to Katherine in 5.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Katherine can reach 40°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can fly to Darwin.
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Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 8:

Darwin — 6 nights

The smallest of Australia’s state capitals, Darwin has nevertheless become an attractive and important urban center, being simultaneously one of the country’s most modernized cities and a gateway to both the Top End region and South East Asia.
Go for a jaunt from Darwin to Berry Springs to see Territory Wildlife Park about 42 minutes away. Spend the 9th (Mon) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's still lots to do: stroll through Crocosaurus Cove, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, make a splash at Darwin Waterfront, and examine the collection at Defence of Darwin Experience.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Darwin trip itinerary tool.

You can fly from Katherine to Darwin in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Katherine in January, expect nights in Darwin to be about the same, around 29°C, while days are slightly colder, around 37°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Jabiru (Kakadu National Park).
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Tours · Wildlife · Outdoors · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 14:

Jabiru (Kakadu National Park) — 8 nights

Jabiru is a town in the Northern Territory of Australia. Jabiru (Kakadu National Park) is known for nature, wildlife, and museums. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: delve into the distant past at Ubirr, admire the sheer force of Motor Car Falls, get great views at Nawurlandja Lookout, and take in the dramatic natural features at Nanguluwurr Art Site.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Jabiru (Kakadu National Park) day trip planning site.

Getting from Darwin to Jabiru (Kakadu National Park) by car takes about 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to travel to Lightning Ridge.
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Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 22:

Lightning Ridge — 9 nights

Lightning Ridge is a town in north-western New South Wales, Australia, in Walgett Shire, near the southern border of Queensland, about six kilometres east of the Castlereagh Highway, and is served in commercial activities by the town of Walgett, some 75 km to the south. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Lightning Ridge: Grawin Opal Miners Sports and Recreation Club Ltd (in Cumborah) and One Ton Post (in Mungindi). There's still lots to do: appreciate the extensive heritage of 3 mile Heritage opal mines, take in the natural beauty of Artesian Baths, steep yourself in history at Lightning Ridge, and get engrossed in the history at Kangaroo Hill Complex.

To see ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Lightning Ridge road trip site.

You can do a combination of car and flight from Jabiru (Kakadu National Park) to Lightning Ridge in 14 hours. Another option is to drive. Traveling from Jabiru (Kakadu National Park) to Lightning Ridge, you'll lose 0.5 hours due to the time zone difference. On the 31st (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive back home.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 31:

Northern Territory travel guide

4.3
Geologic Formations · Specialty Museums · Nature & Parks
A largely unpopulated, parched land of deep red desert, spectacular rock formations, and small, isolated settlements, Northern Territory has perhaps the most distinctively Australian aesthetic of all the country’s states. The region’s towns and cities are clustered around the Stuart Highway--the iconic road that serves as Northern Territory’s main artery--rather than the coastline, as is normally the case in Australia.
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