Getting to the Northern Territory is easier than you might think. Alice Springs is only a 3 hour flight from most Australian capital cities. And the tropical, close-to-Asia vibe of Darwin is accessed by several airlines domestically and internationally.
Major air services
Qantas operates regular services into Alice Springs and Darwin from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Cairns. Plus direct flights from Canberra to Darwin, flights into and out of Yulara (Ayers Rock Airport) and links around the Territory.
Jetstar offers low-cost direct flights between Darwin and Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Jetstar Asia services Denpasar (Bali), Singapore, Manila and Tokyo from Darwin, with connections through to other major Asian cities on their network.
Virgin Australia serves Darwin from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, with flights to all Australian States and Territories, New Zealand and selected Pacific islands. They also offer direct flights from Sydney to Uluru.
Airnorth, northern Australia’s major regional airline, flies between Darwin and destinations including Elcho Island, Broome, Kununurra, Gove, Groote Eylandt, Milingimbi, Maningrida and McArthur River. Interstate and international services include Perth, Mt Isa, Townsville and the Gold Coast, and Dili in Timor-Leste.
Western Australia’s major regional airline, Skywest, flies three times a week between Perth and Darwin via Broome.
Jetstar Asia services Denpasar (Bali), Singapore, Manila and Tokyo from Darwin. SilkAir, Philippine Airlines and Malaysia Airlines service Singapore, Manila and Kuala Lumpur respectively from Darwin. AirNorth services Dili and Air Asia services Denpasar (Bali) from Darwin. Plus Darwin, Yulara and Alice Springs are easily accessed with domestic services from most airports, so you could also include the Territory as part of a wider Australian program.
The Ghan, running nearly 3,000 kilometres between Adelaide and Darwin, is an epic railway journey with stops at Alice Springs and Katherine. The Ghan also offers Platinum Service as a great incentive option, as well as private carriages for meeting space as you travel.
Turn your journey to the Territory into the ultimate road trip. Even the names of the highways ring with romance: the Explorer’s Way (Stuart Highway) from Adelaide; the Savannah Way that bisects the continent east-west, or the Overlander’s Way from Mt Isa.
Many cruise ships now include the Northern Territory in their schedules, often including a day stopover in Darwin. Expedition cruises are becoming a popular way to visit remote north coast Aboriginal art communities in Arnhem Land and Groote Eylandt.