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Trekking Australia's North Country
Adventure-approved excursions for right now.  By Costas Christ 
Photo: Jim Jim Falls, Australia

The Plan: Bushwalking, spear throwing, pool-hopping (bonus side-trip: visiting
Ayers Rock)

Days: 7

Outfitter: Odyssey Tours & Safaris (www.odysaf.com.au)

Cost: $1,995
 
Why Go: Of the six seasons identified by the Indigenous Australians of the Northern Territory, Gurrung (August through October) is considered the finest: It's hot but not too humid, dry but not parched. It's also the right time to explore three of Australia's most spectacular national parks—Kakadu (see Jim Jim Falls, pictured), Litchfield, and Nitmiluk—by going on a multiday walkabout (Australian for "hike") among the parks' sandstone bluffs, tidal estuaries, and shaded billabongs (seasonal river channels). Indigenous people have lived in the area for 45,000 years, and at Manyallaluk village, elders instruct guests in spear throwing and basket weaving. Nitmiluk, packed with hidden waterfalls and lush valley rain forests, is called "the Dreaming Place" in the local tongue. You'll see why.
 
Need to Know: Be sure to pack your bathing suit for pool-hopping in the many natural swimming holes. And since you'll be so close to Australia's red-rock icon, Uluru (Ayers Rock), add on a stop at Alice Springs to observe its ever changing colors.


Photograph by Richard L'Anson/Lonely Planet Images

Pick up the September 2005 issue for more great adventure travel ideas!



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