Thursday, 19 August 2021

What's New in the NT?






NEWS & NEW PRODUCTS FROM THE NT

With amazing weather, wide open spaces and exciting new experiences, the NT has everything travellers are looking for, and much more.

LATEST NEWS

NEW CROC-WATCHING PLATFORMS AT CAHILLS CROSSING
Kakadu National Park
One of Kakadu’s most recognised sites, Cahills Crossing, is set to get two new viewing platforms, offering tourists a safe spot to catch a glimpse of crocodiles. Construction for the platforms is expected to take 12-16 weeks with completion anticipated by late 2021.
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COUNTRY TO COUTURE
Virtual
One of the highlights of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair each year is Country to Couture – a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander textiles and fashion design. The high-energy runway showcase presents innovative collections from Indigenous designers and artists from across Australia, as well as unique collaborations between Indigenous communities and well-known Australian labels.
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NEW PRODUCTS

FOOD & DRINK

WILLING DISTILLERY

Winnellie, Darwin

Willing Distillery is a new artisan distillery, cellar door and cocktail bar located in Darwin’s industrial district. The latest distillery to open and one of the few in the Top End, Willing Distillery specialises in traditionally distilled craft spirits and uniquely Australian flavours, like desert lime. Willing Distillery prides itself as the first to use a traditional pot still, single shot distillation process for their gin – an ode to its passion for the craft!
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MAYBERRY

Austin Lane, Darwin

Mayberry is the latest new bar set to join Darwin’s growing food and drink precinct around Austin Lane, home to some of the city’s best street art murals. The saloon-style venue hosts live music and offers an extensive range of beers, spirits and cocktails.
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ACCOMMODATION


NEW UNDER-THE-STARS GLAMPING EXPERIENCE
Katherine
Katherine Outback Experience has unveiled a brand-new glamping experience. Guests can expect warm country hospitality with home-cooked meals and spacious bell tents decked out with luxury comforts, including a king bed. After a day of exploring Nitmiluk National Park or horse-riding on the farm, nights can be spent cosying around the communal campfire and outback stargazing.
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HIDEAWAY LITCHFIELD EXPANDS WITH NEW CABIN
Litchfield National Park
Due to its growing popularity, Hideaway Litchfield is expanding and building a third cabin. Nestled in the native bushland of Litchfield National Park, the luxury cabins, made from shipping containers, are off-grid and the perfect retreat when exploring the park’s stunning waterfalls and waterholes. With room for three guests, the third cabin is open for bookings now.
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LAKE BENNETT RESORT REOPENS
Darwin
After a three-year closure, beloved Darwin holiday spot Lake Bennett Resort has reopened. Under new management, the rural hotel has undergone extensive renovations, including upgrades to all 50 rooms. Perfect for a relaxed getaway, the retreat offers various activities, including canoe and kayak hire, mountain biking and trail walking.
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NEW TROPICAL POOL VILLAS AT MERCURE AIRPORT RESORT

The recently completed villas offer a luxurious accommodation option for your next Darwin visit. Each room features a luxurious king bed, Nespresso coffee machine and a private verandah and plunge pool overlooking the Rapid Creek bushland.
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EXPERIENCES

CROCOSAURUS COVE LAUNCHES NEW WHIPRAY ENCOUNTER TOUR
Darwin
Crocosaurus Cove has launched a new interactive experience, Whipray Encounter, where guests can get up close and hand-feed friendly two-metre freshwater whiprays – a species of giant stingrays native to northern Australia. The guided tour is available once a day as part of their afternoon Fish Feeding Show, and up to four guests can enjoy the unique experience. Participants must be 10 years and older.
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NEW FERRIS WHEEL IN DARWIN
Darwin, Stokes Hill Wharf
Stokes Hill Wharf has debuted a colourful 35-metre-high ferris wheel, giving visitors spectacular views of Darwin’s waterfront and surrounds. Operated by Skyline Attractions, the family-friendly ride is open from 10am to 9:30pm and is available until October. The wheel, which can hold up to 144 people at one time, offers three stunning viewing experiences, from blue sky views to Darwin’s famous sunset with a lit-up attraction at night.
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NEW LUXURY TOUR EXPLORING THE TOP END, ARNHEM LAND AND WESSEL ISLANDS
Crooked Compass has announced two new luxury tours exploring the remote and picturesque regions of the NT.

East Arnhem Land and Wessel Islands
Guests will begin their adventures by flying from Darwin into Nyinyikay Homelands via charter plane. Upon arrival, guests will be immersed in Yolngu homeland culture, from spearfishing mud crabs to gathering bush medicine and weaving baskets. They’ll then board an exclusive charter for a six-day voyage, stopping by incredible landscapes along the way. The tour is available for departure on 10 and 16 March 2022, and will host six to eight guests per trip. Prices start from $9,900 per person, twin share.
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West Arnhem Land and Top End Safari

This six day itinerary will have guests exploring the untouched wilderness of Arnhem Land, the majestice Nitmiluk Gorge and Kakadu National Park. Guests will be immersed in one of the most culturally intact Aboriginal nations. The tour is available 25 May, 25 July and 27 August 2022. Prices start from $7,199 per person.
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NEW DIRECT CHARTER FLIGHTS BETWEEN ALICE SPRINGS AND ULURU

Alice Springs and Uluru
Chartair has announced a brand-new flight route between Alice Springs and Ayers Rock Airport, creating the only direct air route between these destinations. The new route, available twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays, will see travellers fly in a Cessna 402 aircraft, with a maximum of six passengers on board.
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NEW DAY TOURS TO LITCHFIELD AND KAKADU

Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks, departing from Darwin

Small group adventure operator Autopia Tours has introduced affordable, family-friendly day tours to Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks, both departing from Darwin. For an optional extra, guests can experience a close wildlife encounter on-board a famous Jumping Crocodile Cruise or a visit to the wetlands of Fogg Dam Conservation, a bird-watchers paradise.
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Autopia's Kakadu Wilderness Escape tour explores the floodplains of Ubirr, home to ancient Indigenous rock art, with guided bushwalks, local knowledge and wildlife sightings. Tickets for adults are priced from $225, children are $150.

On their Litchfield National Park tour, travellers explore the park’s century-old magnetic termite mounds and famous waterfalls and hidden plunge pools, including Florence Falls, Buley Rockhole and Wangi Falls. Tickets for adults cost $155 and children are $90.


NEW SMALL GROUP 4WD TOURS TO LITCHFIELD
Cyaround Australia Tours are now offering two small-group tours; the Litchfield Day Adventure and the Three Pub Safari Tour. The tours aim to experience and explore the pristine natural beauty and true-blue Australian culture of our much loved Northern Territory.
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LIRRIWI TOURISM RELEASES ARNHEM LAND TOUR DATES FOR 2022

East Arnhem Land

Aboriginal cultural tour operator Lirriwi Tourism has announced new dates for its East Arnhem Land tours for its 2022 season, including their women-only Gay’Wu/Dilly Bag tour and five-day Crossing Country Tour. Lirriwi offers guests the opportunity to experience the Yolngu way of life and discover one of Australia’s most pristine natural environments.
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EVENTS

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS MUSIC AWARDS (NIMAs)
TBC Postponed
The NIMAs ceremony, held annually under the stars at Darwin’s historic Amphitheatre and broadcasted by NITV, are recognised as one of Australia’s most prominent celebrations of Indigenous music. Please note the rescheduled date to be announced shortly.
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TELSTRA NATIONAL ABORIGINAL & TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ART AWARDS (NATSIAAs)
Darwin, 7 August 2021 – 6 February 2022
Australia’s longest running and most prestigious Indigenous art awards, the annual NATSIAAs showcase a range of work from emerging and established Indigenous artists from across the country. Following the announcement of award winners on 7 August, the exhibition is now showcased at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) until

February 2022.
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Timo Hogan's, Lake Baker 2020, Telstra Art Award winner


RED CENTRENATS

Alice Springs, 3-5 September 2021

The ultimate festival of wheels returns to the Red Centre. Over three action-packed days, the festival will showcase the best in street machines, elite show cars, hot rods, classics and exotic vehicles, with an entertainment program that includes street cruising and drag racing. For the first time ever, spectators will also witness a pair of car lovers, winners of the Red CentreNATS ‘Win a Wedding’ competition, tie the knot during the festival.
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2021 DARWIN LIONS BEER CAN REGATTA

Darwin, 5 September 2021

Established in 1974, the iconic annual Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta is a Top End family favourite. With boats constructed of everything from beer cans to plastic bottles and milk cartons, teams race along Mindil Beach into the water and hope their DIY dinghies make it to the finish line. The day also includes sandcastle competitions, races, competitions and fun team events.
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KATHERINE BIRD FESTIVAL

Katherine, 12-15 September 2021

Katherine Bird Festival will return in 2021 and promises even more for wildlife lovers to enjoy. Set in the heart of Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, this year’s program will immerse visitors in natural landscapes teeming with unique birdlife, featuring bird-watching cruises, expert-led tours and family activities.
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DESERT SONG FESTIVAL
Alice Springs, 10-19 September 2021

A celebration of cultural diversity and artistic brilliance, the 10-day Desert Song Festival highlights the rich musical traditions and culture of Alice Springs and Central Australia. This year’s program will draw on the theme of ‘sustainability through music and song. Headliners include a showcase performance by The Olive Pink Opera, and a fantastic musical collaboration, ‘From the Desert to the Arafura Sea’, featuring the Djari Project and the NIMA Award-winning Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir.
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KAKADU BIRD WEEK

Kakadu, 25 September – 2 October 2021

With more than a third of Australia’s bird species calling Kakadu home, the UNESCO World Heritage listed national park is a bird lover’s paradise. Kakadu Bird Week features a packed itinerary for nature enthusiasts, including wetland cruises, bird watching expeditions, specialist lectures and Aboriginal bird experiences.
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Friday, 7 August 2020

Inspire your next Western Australia adventure


To inspire your next WA adventure, a collection of our passionate operators have answered the question ‘what do you love about what you do here in WA?
GPS Adventure Tours – Perth and beyond
GPS Adventure Tours specialise in small group tours for people who want to experience a bit of adventure, spectacular scenery, see local wildlife and enjoy a bit of stargazing.
“Mother Nature is always giving you something different to look at. Different plants flower at different times of the year, native animal sightings change throughout the year and the sunsets and night sky always have some surprises. We also love meeting people from different parts of the world, it’s always fascinating to hear their story and talk to them about places they’ve been, what’s still on their bucket list.” Gavin Parker, owner
Red Sand Campers – All of WA
Red Sand Campers provides premium four-wheel drive (4WD) campers. All vehicles are individually customised with quality rooftop tents and fully-equipped camp kitchens, allowing guests the flexibility to get off-road and discover the amazing landscapes WA has to offer.
“Seeing the smiles on client’s faces and the accompanying laughter when they return from their trip is an unbeatable feeling. They have seen places they have never seen before, experienced amazing adventures and have loved their self-drive adventure.” Adam Sands, owner
Perth Waterbike Co - Perth
One of Perth’s newest water adventures, experience the Swan River on a performance waterbike, and view the iconic river and Perth city from a whole new perspective.
“It’s an absolute joy to see people try something new and experience the thrill of being out on the water. ‘Cycling on water’ is a really unique experience and the reactions we observe on a daily basis are sensational. The smiles, squeals and guaranteed laughter are absolutely sensational and totally infectious! Sharing that passion with people and creating an opportunity for them to experience it for themselves is what we’re all about.” Penny McPherson, owner
Segway Tours WA – Perth
Segway Tours WA offer guided 60 or 90 minute Segway tours of Perth CBD and the Swan River foreshore, Fremantle, Rottnest Island and Kings Park and Botanic Garden.
“Meeting new and exciting people from all over the place. From locals that say that they did not realise how Perth had developed, to the internationals that have travelled far and wide who think that Perth and Western Australia is the place to come…a hidden gem.” Belinda Hill, owner
Margaret River Discovery Co – Margaret River region, WA’s South West
The ultimate Margaret River food, wine and adventure experience for people who don't do tours. Limited to only six guests, the Discovery Tour is a wine tour with a twist, linking the region's best wines to the stunning outdoors.
“It’s not work, its pure fun! It’s like getting a couple of mates together for the day and go out and doing all my favourite things. Canoeing, hiking, 4WDing and wine tasting. I love it. I genuinely pinch myself every day that I get to do this for a job… I also love the seasons, I love watching the nuances of the bush and the ocean, how it all interconnects. I particularly like winter in the South West. I love hiking the Cape Track and beachcombing in winter and crazy wild storms. But then I love spring for wildflowers and whales, and then summer with epic beach conditions. But autumn is the best. No wind. No crowds. Balmy days. Changing colours. It’s a region for all seasons.” Sean Blocksidge, owner
The Beach House at Bayside – Albany, WA’s South West
The Beach House at Bayside offers boutique B&B hotel accommodation in the beautiful and historic town of Albany in WA’s South West.
“We love that we offer such a personal experience – we get to know our guests and assist them to personalise their Albany experience to ensure they leave loving the place and wanting to return! We love welcoming guests from near and far to The Beach House at Bayside to experience the very best of our beautiful town - Albany never fails to surprise and delight our guests and it gives us such pride and joy to share the stories of their daily adventures to gorgeous spots like Little Beach, Bluff Knoll, The Gap and their hikes, bike rides and drives around the region. We love showing off the best wines and produce of the Great Southern and surprising our guests with the quality of the boutique producers around us and sharing the stories of other dedicated family businesses who are part of our lovely community.” Sally Pullin, owner
Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages – Balingup, WA’s South West
Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages offers six fully self-contained bush cottages nestled amongst jarrah and marri trees near the quaint Great Southern town of Balingup.
“We love seeing people arrive from the city all ‘wound up’ and leave ‘relaxed and refreshed’. When you’re surrounded by magical vistas and immersed in our hilltop forest, it’s very easy to unwind and reconnect. We also love seeing the joy on the children’s faces at our morning farm animal feeding sessions. There’s so much fun to be had in feeding a horse a carrot, bottle feeding a lamb, meeting a llama or collecting fresh eggs from the chickens.” Deb and Brian Vanallen, owners
Naturaliste Charters - WA's South West
Naturaliste Charters offer Whale Watching Tours and Bremer Canyon Killer Whale Expeditions, with five different departure locations along the stunning South West coast of WA.
“We are incredibly lucky, we get to wake up each morning and feel genuinely good and excited. It is easy to feel that way when we get to work on the water on our amazing vessels, showcase the beautiful locations that we work from, see the stunning marine life in their natural habitats, enrich customers lives with knowledge and joy, it truly is the best job in the world. We have encountered special interactions with orca that had only ever been documented in the world twice before, we have assisted research teams with important work on understanding the mammals and their homes, it’s an amazing feeling. The best part of it all though is seeing the smiles from our customers, for many it is a life time dream to see orca in the wild, or the largest animal in the world the blue whale, to be a part of that dream turning into reality, well there really is no words to describe.” Paul & Alison Cross, owners
Kimberley Air Tours – Kununurra and Broome, WA’s North West
Kimberley Air Tours offer spectacular air tours by seaplane and fixed wing aircraft to the many iconic destinations in the Kimberley, such as the World Heritage-listed Bungle Bungle Range, Lake Argyle, Mitchell Falls, the Kimberley Coast and the Horizontal Waterfalls.
“We really can’t describe how excited we get about delivering personal, high quality touring experiences. As the Kimberley is so remote we love taking our seaplanes into areas seen by very few people. It is incredibly rewarding seeing how amazed and bewildered our customers are after experiencing the Kimberley from above.” Leigh Rawlings, owner
Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Adventures – Shark Bay, WA’s Coral Coast
Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Cultural Adventures offer Aboriginal cultural experiences, kayak and wildlife adventures, four wheel drive tours, overnight and extended tours in the magnificent Shark Bay World Heritage Area.
“I love my job because I get to be out in nature and to be able to educate our guests to better understand and respect our local Aboriginal culture and our amazing eco systems. My job sustains me both spiritually, emotionally, mentally and culturally and I want to share this with our guests.” Darren ‘Capes’ Capewell, owner
Exmouth Dive and Whalesharks Ningaloo – WA’s Coral Coast
Exmouth Dive and Whalesharks Ningaloo specialises in swimming with mighty whale shark tours, humpback whale watching and humpback whale swims, scuba diving, snorkelling, and enjoying what the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef has to offer.
“Being able to share our wonderful underwater experiences with guests and watching their reactions when they encounter a whale shark or humpback whale for the first time.” Debbie Ferguson, owner
Esperance Chalet Village – Esperance, WA’s Golden Outback
Esperance Chalet Village offers a collection of laid back cabins, rustic chalets and shacks all individually styled, located in an idyllic hideaway on the edge of Esperance town.
“Learning from our guests and hearing their stories and travel experiences …injecting their perspective on the village and bringing it to life. I also love that my office is set on beautiful acreage by a creek and commute to work a short bike ride.” Fiona Shillington, owner
Wooleen Station – WA’s Golden Outback
Wooleen Station is a working cattle station in the outback of WA dedicated to landscape regeneration and conservation. Guests can choose to stay at the homestead, the rammed earth guesthouses or camp in the outback.
“The outback has a very strong spiritual effect on many people. A romantic notion which lingers within all Australians from the early settlers when Australia was born off the sheep’s back. And never more so as we learn to acknowledge and celebrate our vast and connected cultural heritage. Connection to Country is what it’s all about! We love nothing more than facilitating and nurturing that connection within people.” Frances Pollock, owner