If it’s raw, natural drama that you’re looking for, there are few places better able to provide than the Northern Territory in summer.
A good performance takes its audience through a range of extremes: light and shade, varying emotions – all of that great dramatic stuff. And if it’s extremes that float your boat, you’ll get them in the Northern Territory’s tropical summer: high temperatures, humidity pushing 80 per cent, intense lightning storms, brilliant sunshine and heavy, restorative rain.
The long, dry months have come to an end, and it’s all about the water. You might think that the steamy heat of Darwin in summer would slow folks down, but Darwinians are accustomed to the summer weather, and it’s largely business as usual, with open-air markets continuing to operate, and plenty of culinary delights and unique Top End sights to enjoy.
Not far from Darwin is Litchfield National Park, a place that’s visited year-round for its stunning waterholes, rainforest walks and incredible waterfalls. You can’t have any of those things without water, and if you want to see the park really come into its own, visit in the wet season. The waterholes are brimming, the rainforest is awash with colour and life, and the waters of the falls – Wangi and Florence falls being the two most widely visited in the park.
If Litchfield is the West End of theatre, then Kakadu National Park is the Broadway – larger and a little flashier, but with equally incredible attractions. They are both home to major players, and Kakadu’s are indeed impressive: take a cruise into the wetlands, and you can watch the incredible native birds of the region perform.
Connected into the Katherine Gorge system is Leliyn (also called Edith Falls), which is reached by following the challenging Jatbula Trail. Water levels allowing, you can wash off the heat of the trek with a swim in the stunning pools below the falls, surrounded by lush tropical foliage and impressive rock walls.