Northern Territory

Updated 2016

Although not technically a state (and with no desire to become one, thank you very much), the Northern Territory has two main draws: Alice Springs/Ayers Rock and Darwin. A dry, hot, desert part of the country, the Northern Territory is one of the less frequently touristed areas in Australia.

Characterized by the classic Outback landscape of red dust and desert, this part of Australia is referred to as the “Red Center.” You’ll drive for days in a perfectly straight line. The only outposts are gas and water stations along the long way that often double as boarding houses and campgrounds.

If you take off driving in this part of the world there is only one rule: Fill up at every opportunity. With gasoline and water. In the summer, temperatures often sore in to the upper 40C range in a climate that is harsh and unforgiving.

That said, the drive from Adelaide, in the South, to Darwin, in the extreme north, is one you’ll never forget. Don’t miss Ayer’s Rock. Camp underground at Coober Pedy. Mine for opals. Learn to play the didgeridoo. And watch out for kangaroos in the roadway starting at about 3:30 every afternoon. Or Kangaroo-thirty as locals sometimes call it.