Northern Territory 4x4 Safaris

4x4 Outback Safari © Ron Bennetts

One of the most memorable ways to experience the remote Northern Territory is to take to the road in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Roads in the vast state include sealed, unsealed and rough 4x4 adventure routes, and the Northern Territory Tourism Commission has some exciting recommended itineraries for those wishing to explore. The main tourist attractions, like Alice Springs, Uluru, Tennant Creek and the national parks, are accessible by good sealed roads, such as 'Explorer's Way', which follows the path of John McDouall Stuart, the famous explorer who was first to traverse the continent in 1862. A shorter journey, called 'Nature's Way', winds from Darwin through a wetland wilderness steeped in Aboriginal culture and pioneering history.

While exploring this route, a must is the unsealed 'Jim Jim' four-wheel-drive track, which is 27 miles (43km) south of Jabiru in Kakadu National Park and is 37 miles (60km) long. This track is only open during the dry season, from May to October, and travellers will require a high suspension four-wheel-drive vehicle. It's advisable if hiring a vehicle to check with the company if the vehicle is allowed on the track. The 'Twin Falls' track lies a further six miles (10km) from Jim Jim Falls and features a few river crossings which the vehicle may require a snorkel to cross. Another favourite is the 'Red Centre Way' which takes travellers west from Alice Springs along the Namatjira Drive to view the West MacDonnell Ranges before meeting the Mereenie Loop at Glen Helen Gorge. From here the Kings Canyon and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park can be reached.