Trailing Behind in Australia’s Northern Territory

Trekking through the outback of the Northern Territory in Australia it’s easy to understand why the indigenous people enjoyed going on “walkabout” so much. There’s plenty to appreciate, a stark, but beautiful landscape, where long, mountain ranges rise from the plains like waves on an ocean. Their ridgelines are like vertebrae, protruding from the back of the low-lying scrub-land of small trees and bushes common throughout the outback.

Sunset on the Larapinta Trail in the west MacDonnell Ranges in the Northern Territory, Australia on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-106_northern_territory

Camping out in the Northern Territory

Steep-sided, rocky canyons break up these ridges, and bushy valleys with dry river beds cut clefts through them, evidence that it was once a more luscious, damp environment perhaps. Where water is available, it usually collects in small waterholes, punctuating the arid landscape, and offering a welcome relief from the heat of the day to trekkers.

The skies are often clear, which can make the nights quite cool, but also offer a fantastic star filled ceiling for anybody camping out to enjoy. Early morning, and evening are equally stunning, especially when clouds are present. The light from the sun bathes small trees, grasslands and waterholes in a golden or rose-tinted glow, but when it also reflects off the fluffy base of the clouds it becomes particularly spectacular. Their underside can become bright orange, subtle, golden yellows and deep crimsons, often all within a single evening, the colours seep upwards, tinting each cloud in soft hues from bottom to top.

Sunset on the Larapinta Trail in the west MacDonnell Ranges in the Northern Territory, Australia on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-109_larapinta_trail

Not you average campfire

It’s well worth hanging back when trekking in the area, soaking up the views, and getting lost in your own thoughts. When shared with friends, or even strangers on an organised tour the experience is fun. Sometimes however, even for just a few minutes having time to yourself, with the opportunity to enjoy the experience without any disturbance is preferable.

The landscape of Australia, and particularly the Northern Territory seems to fit solo trekking perfectly, it’s ideal for enjoying some alone time. It feels remote, great for spending days navigating the rugged terrain without meeting another person, it’s a place to feel at peace.

However, most people should join an organised group trek, or travel with a group of friends. Navigation is not difficult on recognised trails, and only those skilled with a map and compass should consider travelling away from these. It is also an unforgiving environment, hot during the day, cold at night, water is sparse and the terrain often rugged, it’s not suitable for novices to venture into alone.

It’s possible to enjoy any of the great trails in a group, and still enjoy a little time to yourself; just hang back a little. The bonus is there’ll be others to enjoy a few drinks with in the evenings; the best of both worlds.

The Larapinta Trail in the west MacDonnell Ranges of the Northern Territory, Australia on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography

The Larapinta Trail of the MacDonnell Ranges


Comments 7

  1. Josie

    Hi Iain,

    I too have gotten bit by the outback bug, having hiked through the MacDonnells. It is a black and burned landscape so hot and dry as to feel otherworldly. The vegetation looked literally burned black but on closer inspection I could see it was a “charred” outer skin that protected it from the heat of the searing sun.
    I would much rather be in the rainforest of the eastern coast of Australia, but have to admit the desert lands are beautiful in their desolation. Living things are tough and scrappy there.
    Love the campfire pic. Thanks for a great post.

  2. Nick Pedro

    Australia is a country with a diverse things to see and lots of activities to do there. These things makes Australia a top destination for holidays. Trekking is among one of the major and most lovable activity among tourists.


    Amazing pictures…
    Australia is an eye-catchy place where most of us wish or like to visit… the reason why I love to visit this place is that of vibrant beauty of nature and the nightlife…
    thank you for sharing this article…

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