Our Favourite Stays in the Northern Territory
Right through the center to the top end of Australia we loved travelling the Northern Territory there’s nothing quite like the outback adventure that awaits. We spent 8 weeks in our caravan travelling around the NT we embraced the long roads and the endless amounts of red dirt and absolutely loved it! We wanted to share with you our favorite stays of our trip, some have been the simple one night stays while others have been longer but they all have left an impression on us and we hope this may help with some ideas on stays in the Northern Territory.
Devils Marbles Camping Area
Located right at the Devils Marbles we planned for one night but got there and decided on 2 it was a great place to stop after some big km’s we had been travelling. Huge granite boulders formed by erosion millions of years ago with some rocks looking like they balance on each other it was quite the site. A stunning area with great significance to the Aboriginal people. Plenty of easy walks to do and a beautiful location to take photos in and ideal if you want to switch off and take in the surroundings.
- No power or water
- Campfires allowed
- Drop toilets
- $6.60 per night
- Make sure you catch the sunrise or sunset from the rocks
- Not much shade around site
- Get in early it starts getting busy around 12
Ayres Rock Campgrounds
Located in the Ayres Rock Resort this campground is the closest campground to Ayres Rock the resort has restaraunts, bars, petrol station and its own IGA Supermarket. A swimming pool and playground made it fun for the kids and a short walk to beautiful views of Ayres Rock. We found the sites spacious enough but It wasn’t a busy time when we were there, we can imagine when it is peak time that it would be quite a full park but the facilties and location were spot on and made it easy to explore the rock and make the trip to Kata-Juta, The Olgas. Unfortunately we lost a heap of photos and we don’t have any of the campground itself. It is expensive and the only place you can stay close to Ayres Rock but we still enjoyed our stay there and the facilities.
- 15km away from Ayres Rock
- Still need to pay a park entry fee for National Park $25 per adult, kids 5-15 years $15 each valid for three consecutive days
- Free activities on at the resort daily- Bush food experience, bush yarn, guided garden walk and more
- Kids under 6 stay free
- $53 per night powered
Banka Banka Station
With the long distances travelled through Northern Territory this was a great place to stop for the night to break up the trip, if your not keen on stopping in Tennant Creek then this is a great option about 100km from Tennant Creek. Banka Banka Station is a place which served as an army camp during World War II, Bob the host was a great guy who made you feel at home as soon as you drove through the gates. The place does fill up quick and by the end of the day there were heaps of vans around but it all added to the atmosphere, we had a lovely shady spot right on the grass which was also a welcome break from all the dirt and dust we were use to. At night there is a communal campfire, live music and there is also a licensed pub. Plenty of room for the kids to run around in and a 2km walk to a lookout if you are feeling up to it for a nice sunset view.
- $10pp per night, no cost for kids under 5
- No power, but water is available
- Communal Campfire each night
- Showers and toilets
- Sites aren’t huge but for a one night stopover more than enough
- Animals for the kids to see
Little Roper Stockcamp
Our stay at the Little Roper Stockcamp has been a standout especially with Ella, with animals to feed, hay bales to jump on, campfires morning and night plus a large area to ride her bike in and lots of kids to play with you could not wipe the smile from her face! Bodhi loved the open space to roam free and crawl around in, as he was still crawling at that stage. We loved the peaceful feel of the place and the bush surroundings, Des and Telka do an incredible job in making this an experience for their guests, they have an option for camp oven dinners around the campfires plus cook Johnny Cakes in the morning and they even bring the snakes out for a hold on Sundays for the kids, all this and they had a 4 month old to look after, not an easy feat! Located close to the Mataranka Hot Springs and Bitter Springs. The showers and toilets were styled with a modern rustic look which felt like you were having a outdoor shower which added to the experience.
- Powered and unpowered sites available – Powered $30 per night/ Unpowered $20 per night
- Kids stay free
- Water is bore water only
- Camp oven dinner Saturday nights, dry season only, booking required $50 per adult, kids under 5 free
- Johnny cakes around the fire each morning, $1 each
- Showers and toilets available
- Freshly baked bread available to purchase in the mornings
Daly Waters Pub
The iconic pub in the outback, Daly Waters Pub was an experience in itself and one we are glad we stayed at for the night, although sites are small, it’s the pub and charm of the place that is the real highlight. So many quirky things throughout the pub, live music and even a pool to cool off in, there is a kids playground across the road and the food at the pub was great. Even if you don’t stay its worth the stop to visit and check out the place, there is meant to be a quieter and cheaper place to stay not far from the pub if you prefer a stop like that.
- Powered and un-powered sites available – Powered $16pp per night/ Un-powered $10pp per night
- Kids under 16 stay free
- Pool available at the pub
- Showers and toilets
Cooinda Lodge Kakadu
We stayed at 2 different spots in our time in Kakadu and this one was the stand out for us, with a restaurant, music, large pool with a separate kids splash pool and playground it felt like a resort in the middle of a National Park. The sites were generous and it was the perfect place to relax after a day out exploring Kakadu. If you are thinking of planning a trip to Kakadu and have young kids, we have written a blog post with where we stayed, walks that we did and sights that we saw in our time in Kakadu.
- $46 per night powered – On the pricey side but great location
- Showers and toilets
- Kids under 4 are free
- Close to Yellow Water River Cruise
Victoria River Roadhouse Caravan Park
This was a pleasant surprise with a large open area you can pick where to park up with powered and unpowered sites available. Peaceful location with a short walk that takes you to the bridge overlooking the Victoria River it was a beautiful spot.
- $25 powered/ $7.50pp unpowered
- Showers and toilets
- Kids free
- No internet or phone reception
Others worth a mention which are all found on Wiki Camps app
- NT/SA Border Rest Area – Right on the border crossing if you park in the bushlands opposite you will get lots of space, campfires allowed and you can still cross the road for the amenties. This is free
- Big 4 MacDonnall Range Holiday Park in Alice Springs a great one with top facilities for kids
- Kames Camp Ground – Free camp located near Edith Falls, when we went Edith Falls Campgrounds was fully booked we came back here after spending the day at Edith Falls, no facilities but a lovely quiet spot to spend the night which had a really nice feel to it.
For us these were the standout stays while travelling through the Northern Territory, everyone will have a different experience depending on weather, if it’s a peak time to travel, and even kids and our moods! What we may love another person may not like but we can only hope if you decide to stay at any of the above it’s a memorable experience for you too, if you know of any others we would love to know, let us know.