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Australia’s Northern Territory

April 4, 2011 By: Jena Tesse Fox Travel Agent



Wildman Wilderness Lodge
Wildman’s freestanding eco-cabins come with maximum privacy and views.


While one of Australia’s most iconic attractions is in the Northern Territory, there’s much more to the region than Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock). New resorts and a number of tourist hot spots are making the territory more attractive than ever.


Agent Advice

Nancy Buncher of Gulliver’s Travels recommends a unique experience when visitors head to the Northern Territory’s Red Centre to explore the Outback and Uluru. The Sounds of Silence is an amazing experience, she says: “Guides pick people up at the resort before sundown, and they go to Uluru where all the colors change. Then they go out into the desert to where none of the light from the resorts reach and set up this amazing dinner with crystal and china and linen tablecloths, and they have an astronomer talk about southern sky.” At certain times of the year, she adds, Aboriginal elders talk about the region’s history, heritage and culture.

For accommodations in the Red Centre, Buncher recommends Longitude 131°. “Tented camps shouldn’t be deluxe, but this is!” she says. “This one has a view of Uluru…You can get up in the morning and watch the sun rise over Uluru and light change.”


New Resorts

Due to open this month, Wildman Wilderness Lodge is generating buzz in the territory as the next big thing. The resort will be part of the Anthology: The Traveller’s Collection, which focuses on experiential destinations.

Situated on the Mary River Wetlands, about halfway between Darwin and Kakadu, the new lodge has both eco-cabins and Safari Tents. The 10 cabins, called Habitats within the resort, are all free-standing structures, ensuring privacy and maximum views. The 15 Safari Tents sprawl out over 540 square feet and have en-suite bathrooms. Five tents will be configured for families and will sleep up to four people. Good to know for eco-concerned guests: Much of the building material has been repurposed from the former Wrotham Park Station Lodge in Queensland

Of course, at a wilderness lodge, the real attraction is what visitors can do outside of the tents and cabins, and Wildman is no different. The property will offer extensive touring and activities such as cruises, 4WD outings, guided walks and quad bike tours. Before arrival, guests can register any special interests and have guides plan tailor-made trips around fishing, landscape and wildlife photography and bird watching. We hear the signature tour will be the Mary River Rockhole Cruise—suggest your clients opt for the night cruise, which provides a better chance of seeing a crocodile.

Wildman will be open from April 1 to November 30 annually and closed for the wet season.

Agents should reach out to Alison Conroy (011-61-2-9181-3155, [email protected]), director of sales and marketing, at Anthology.

Work is also under way on a 25-villa luxury beachside resort in Darwin that will complement the existing 120-room Skycity hotel complex. What makes it special? A lagoon swimming pool with a pool bar and beach at one end, swim-up VIP villas and a day spa. An ideal base from which to explore Mindil Beach and the iconic night markets, the resort is set to open mid-2012.

What Else Is New?

Wild bush luxury camp Bamurru Plains has introduced helicopter tours of 30 minutes to two hours to give guests an aerial view over the floodplains and coastline of northern Australia. In addition to bird watching, visitors can look down on the largest population of salt-water crocodiles in the world and the 5,000 head of buffalo. 

On Darwin’s waterfront, prime beachside dining takes the shape of new Il lido restaurant. The restaurant is surrounded by the sea on three sides, and has three unique dining spaces: the enormous alfresco 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.

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About the Author

Jena Tesse Fox
Jena Tesse Fox covers Europe, Africa, Australia/South Pacific and business travel for the Questex Travel Group's publications. The daughter of history teachers, she can spend...

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By Jena Tesse Fox | April 4, 2011
The Northern Territory’s new properties are as much about the on-site amenities as the destination itself.