There’s no better way to see everything the Northern Territory has to offer than in a 4WD. If you’re planning a Northern Territory road trip, off-roading it allows you to explore NT’s hidden gems and geographical landmarks up close and at your own pace.

Thinking about exploring NT’s backroads? Give the off road tyres a workout at these must-see spots.

Please be advised that access to areas covered in this blog may be affected by water levels, so we advise you to check road conditions before traveling!

1. Red Centre Way

Spanning a whopping 1135-km, the loop around Alice Springs and Uluru via the Red Centre Way offers the chance to explore some of NT’s most iconic landmarks as you travel through red desert sands, spinifex and mulga forest, lush valleys and towering gorges.

Split the journey over five or six days and take some time to appreciate the renowned galleries of Alice Springs, the Indigenous art capital of Australia, before four-wheel driving west. There you will come across the gorges, waterholes and ochre pits of the Tjoritja a.k.a. the West MacDonnell National Park. For an unforgettable experience, sit back and watch the red giants of the outback change colour at sunset.

2. Greater Litchfield Loop

Just over an hour’s drive from Darwin, Litchfield National Park is the ideal spot to take in spectacular landscapes and cascading waterfalls. Enjoy some of the country’s best fishing and try your hand at catching a Barramundi, or go bluewater fishing from Dundee Beach or Crab Claw Island.

Although many highlights along the Greater Litchfield Loop are accessible by sealed road, adrenalin junkies will find lots to love about this region with exciting 4WD tracks, such as Reynolds River Track, dotted throughout Litchfield National Park.

3. Nature’s Way

This 735-kilometre loop takes you from the Territory’s capital, Darwin, through World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, Nitmiluk National Park and then back up the Stuart Highway, through Litchfield National Park.

The main route is a sealed road and takes in spots such as the famous Aboriginal rock art galleries at Ubirr and the Bowali Visitor Centre, but taking the trip with a 4WD allows you to visit even more incredible waterfalls and waterholes such as Barramundi Gorge (Maguk) and Gunlom Plunge Pool in Kakadu National Park.

Whilst in Nitmiluk National Park, take a cruise or hire a canoe down Katherine Gorge and be sure to visit Leilyn/Edith Falls for a refreshing swim or a rocky bushwalk.

Ready to explore the NT in a 4WD rental? Explore the Top End with Thrifty.