Australia has so much diversity, but away from the more popular tourist spots of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, get out into the open and enjoy the great outdoors in the awesome Northern Territory.
Here’s what’s new and why you should think about going there on holiday.
Ancient Living Culture comes to life at Cicada Lodge -New for 2013
The Northern Territory’s newest luxury property, Cicada Lodge, is due to open its doors on the 1st March 2013 to coincide with the start of the new season. Currently under construction, the lodge will be situated in Nitmiluk National Park on a ridge overlooking the Katherine River, 300km south of Darwin and 32km from Katherine town centre.
The stylish 18 room-lodge will boast panoramic views of the vast rock country with its abundance of native flora and wildlife, a vista that you will be able to enjoy from your own private balcony. The central reception and welcome area will have an open deck pool looking out over the Katherine River.
Cicada Lodge is a joint venture between the local Jawoyn people and the Indigenous Business Australia (IBA). Prices start from £210 (AU$322.50) per person per night on a bed and breakfast basis including a courtesy bar and canapés. Package rates including room, breakfast, gorge dinner cruise and courtesy bar and canapés cost from £305 (AU$467.50) per person per night.
Revitalisation of Ayers Rock Resort
Premium Ayers Rock Resort hotel, Sails in the Desert, has undergone a complete refreshment with a new contemporary, indigenous design throughout the public areas and within the 228 guest rooms.
A range of new dining options has also been launched. The main restaurant, Ilkari, establishes its dining philosophy in the natural flavours of the finest produce available along with a sense of theatre provided at live cooking stations. The new premier dining experience, Mayu, serves up an innovative and modern a la carte menu, while the lobby bar, Walpa, offers a more relaxed setting. Poolside bar, Pira, offers a sun-kissed setting for casual dining or relaxed cocktails with a menu of tapas style dishes and classic Australian staples.
New tour showcases the cream of the Top End
A new six night self-drive ‘Best of the Top End’ tour will show off the very best of the Territory, staying at the cream of the Top End’s accommodation whilst taking in all the sights from Darwin to Katherine.
The package includes two nights in one of Darwin’s most unique properties, Mandalay Luxury Stay, two nights exploring Kakadu with Wildman Wilderness Lodge and two nights in thenewly opened Cicada Lodge on Nitmiluk Gorge.
Mandalay Luxury Stay is Darwin’s most exclusive accommodation offering, providing guests with the ultimate level of self contained luxury and location in the state’s vibrant capital. The property features three king bedrooms, a lavish lounge, separate dining room and a fully equipped kitchen. Wildman Wilderness Lodge offers an extraordinary wetlands safari experience, situated in the Mary River Wetlands area half way between Darwin and Kakadu National Park. Cicada Lodge is the new premier accommodation property operated by the Jawoyn Association, set overlooking the Katherine River and centrally positioned below the escarpment and entrance to the Gorge system.
The tour costs from £1,132 (AU$2,042) per person including accommodation on a self-catering basis at Mandalay Luxury Stay, half board at Wildman Wilderness Lodge and Cicada Lodge, and is valid for travel 1 April 2013 30 November 2013.
Campfire yarns for free
Guests at Ayers Rock Resort can now enjoy an iconic Outback experience for free, as part of their popular Guest Activities programme. The new Campfire Yarns experience is offered nightly within the Resort campground. Travellers will have an opportunity to hear and share stories and music whilst toasting marshmallows and drinking billy tea under the stars, the perfect end to the day’s adventures. This is offered nightly between 8-9pm.
Cage of Death…feeding time at Australia’s only crocodile dive
Why not live a little dangerously and choose to take the plunge and come face-to-face with the crocs? Well, you will now have the opportunity to see them feed as part of the enhanced Cage of Death experience at Crocosaurus Cove.
The Cage of Death, one of a kind in Australia, offers plucky visitors the opportunity to dive within the protection of a Perspex cage, into the depths of a giant salties’ lair and come face to face with the crocs. Every dive will now include 15 minutes in the enclosure with one of these massive reptiles, while they are fed by the experienced reptile handlers from outside the enclosure. The cage has recently been transformed to a cylindrical design, making for better viewing.
The experience operates ten times a day and participants can either go it alone or bring a friend. From £72 (AU$110) per person.
New Defence of Darwin Memorial Wall
A new Memorial Wall is being developed at the Defence of Darwin Experience to pay homage to soldiers who passed through the Top End in WWII en route from Western Australia to Queensland.
The Defence of Darwin Experience opened in February 2012 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin, providing an opportunity for visitors to glean an insight into the impact the war had on Darwin and its inhabitants, both civilian and military.
During WWII many civilians and service personnel fought, died, or were dispossessed, and the interactive exhibition acknowledges the sacrifice of those who lost their lives, and the courage of all who served in the defence of the Northern Territory. Admission to the Defence of Darwin Experience includes entrance to the Darwin Military Museum Precinct and costs AU$14 per person.
The Memorial Wall is scheduled to open in February 2013.
You can get more information about Australia’s Northern Territory by going to http://www.travelnt.com.