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Introducing Northern Territory

The Northern Territory (NT) is the kind of land where clichés are born. The vast Tanami Desert mocks polite attempts to penetrate it; Darwin and the tropical north is a wild, untameable place, with cyclones whipping the coast and dumps of rain that cut road access to many settlements and sights. And then there are all of those deadly animals poised to snap, sting and strike.

Though there’s access to the prolific natural areas like Kakadu National Park, the place has a particular edge. There really are wild crocodiles in the waterways of Arnhem Land, and another car might not come down the desert road for weeks. There are bottlenecks through which travellers are safely funnelled, but, equally, there are huge tracts of country that mightn’t have seen a person in decades. There are art galleries in the outback oasis of Alice Springs. And of course, there's the mesmeric changing colours of the iconic Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Crossing this vast country on a legendary road trip, or on a slow train, provides the chance to watch for wildlife and admire art, to hike through rainforest and rocky gorges, to sleep in a swag and eat bush foods.