What’s hot and happening in Australia’s Outback Northern Territory

16th Mar 2011
What’s hot and happening in Australia’s Outback Northern Territory

Into the Wild: New Luxury Wildlife Retreat – opens 1 April

Stylish new accommodation experience, Wildman Wilderness Lodge, opens its doors to visitors in April 2011.  Located on the banks of the Mary River half-way between Darwin and dual World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park, the lodge will offer guests world-class wildlife experiences amid the lush wilderness of the Top End.  Accommodation comprises of 10 cabins or ‘habitats’ and 15 luxury safari tents, allowing guests to feel closer to the beautiful surrounding environment. The epitome of small-scale, high quality lodging, Wildman Wilderness Lodge is founded on sound conservation principals and nature based activities, and is poised to become one of Australia’s must-visit sites.

Safari tent standard rates start from £133 (AU $215) per person per night based on two adults sharing including breakfast and a two-course dinner, whilst Habitat standard rates start from £176 (AU $285). www.wildmanwildernesslodge.com.au

Darwin’s Newest 5-Start Resort Underway
Work is also underway on a 25-luxury villa beachside resort in Darwin. The new resort will complement the existing 120-room SkyCity hotel complex. The resort will see the creation of a lagoon swimming pool with a pool bar and beach at one end. The new property will offer luxurious VIP villas (which guests can swim-up to) set amidst lush landscaped gardens as well as a day spa. It will be an ideal base from which to explore Mindil Beach and the iconic night markets, and is set to open mid-2012. www.skycitydarwin.com.au

New Birds Eye View of Kakadu


Wild bush luxury camp, Bamurru Plains has introduced helicopter tours, affording guests an exclusive aerial experience over the spectacular floodplains and coastline of Northern Australia.  The birds’ eye view of the thousands of Magpie Geese, Egrets, Whistling Ducks and flocks of Corellas provides a unique and inspirational perspective of one of Australia’s most significant ecosystems, the coastal region between Darwin and Kakadu National Park.  Other wildlife highlights include croc spotting - the rivers of this part of Australia play host to the largest population of salt water crocodiles in the world – along with the chance to glimpse the 5,000 head of buffalo which call this area home.

Flight options can be pre-booked and include a 30 minute scenic flight for AU $390 per person and a one hour scenic flight for AU $550 per person.  Guests can also opt for a romantic sunset flight, landing at an isolated beach for sundowner drinks and canapés for AU $490 per person or the two-hour Kakadu scenic flight for AU $1,100 per person.  www.bamurruplains.com

Get a ‘Pizza’ the Action with Italian Beachside Dining in Darwin

Fancy relaxed dining straight from the beach? Darwin’s buzzing waterfront dining scene has a welcome new addition with the recently opened Il Lido (Italian for ‘the beach’), boosting the legendary Jimmy Shu’s stable. The restaurant is surrounded by the sea on three sides providing stunning views as well as three unique dining spaces: the enormous al fresco area perched right at the water’s edge; the waterfront restaurant with its huge floor-to-ceiling windows; and the intimate tapas lounge.  The restaurant also houses Darwin’s first and only Italian salumi bar, displaying hand-picked varieties of traditional salami and an impressive refrigerated case of ingredients imported directly from Italy.  Treats served up directly from the wood-fired pizza oven include authentic pizzas and dense breads, ideal for sharing, dunked and mopped in sauces in the traditional Italian way. http://www.illidodarwin.com.au/

Shop Whilst the Sun Drops

Snap up everything from indigenous and bush art to didgeridoos, clothing and handmade jewellery at Darwin’s Mindil Beach Sunset Market, which re-opens on 28 April.  Shoppers can also relax with a massage, have their palms read, or take in the colourful array of live music and performance art. The markets are open every Thursday from 5-10pm and every Sunday from 4-9pm throughout the Top End’s tropical winter from April to October. www.mindil.com.au

What’s On: June, July, August

24 – 27 June 2011 - Alice Springs Beanie Festival, Alice Springs

Tea pots, ships, birds and flowers - these aren’t beanie hats as we know it, they’re pieces of art. Celebrate this much loved woolly headwear at the annual Beanie Festival where there is no end to the fibre creativity! Music, crafts and fun bring together craftspeople from remote areas across the Northern Territory and beyond. Workshops, craft displays and a gala opening night is all part of the event and beanie wearing is essential for all attendees! www.beaniefest.org  

9 July 2011 - Lions Imparja Camel Cup, Alice Springs

A ‘must-see’ event in Alice Springs - watch brave/crazy riders whizz past the crowds on unpredictable camels! Created in 1970 as an unusual way to settle a bet between friends, camel racing up the dry riverbed of the Todd is a fun day out and also which includes rickshaw races and camel polo! www.camelcup.com.au

10 July 2011 - Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta, Darwin

Build a boat from beer cans and test your skills by sailing out into Darwin Harbour aboard your ‘tinny’ vessel. This ever-popular event is great to participate in but even more fun to watch! Darwin Harbour is twice the size of Sydney’s and the beautiful Mindil Beach area is the perfect spot from which to watch the action if you didn’t pack your sea-legs! www.beercanregatta.org.au

11 – 28 August 2011 - Darwin Festival, Darwin

The Northern Territory’s capital city celebrates the diversity of the region with an annual celebration which includes a feast of local, national and international performances to excite, inspire and entertain.  Darwin boasts the perfect weather for this 18 night extravaganza and all participants really get a feel for what embodies Darwin – fun, sun and lots of fantastic food. www.darwinfestival.org.au

20 August 2011 - Henley on Todd Regatta, Alice Springs

One of the NT’s most unusual events is the ASSA ABLOY Henley-On-Todd Regatta where teams of people race their bottomless boats up the dry Todd River, Alice Springs – think Fred Flintstone! In 2011 this iconic territory event will celebrate its 50th anniversary. www.henleyontodd.com.au


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