Travelling Australia with Alex Pails

A step outside of their comfort zone, Alex and partner Kye, packed up their lives into their newly revamped home-on-wheels and set off for a year (or more) of travel around Australia and ready for
'new places, friendships, life experiences and memories on the horizon.'
Join us as we follow Alex and Kye to the top end of the Northern Territory where we discovered her top tips for van life and travelling Australia.


What surprised you about travelling in this part of Australia?

Firstly how busy the roads are at this time of year! We travelled in the school holidays which made everything very packed and all those highlight destinations crowded. We, however, woke most mornings at first light and did all our exploring then! It made for a much cooler hike too! 

What did you get up to? What is there to do?

We travelled first from Katherine to Umbrawarra Gorge where we did the bitter springs which had beautiful crystal clear blue water and were WARM! Kind of like your day at the spa when living on the road but it’s all FREE.

We then went to the gorge and met up with some friends we met along the way and had campfires most nights. We would star gaze in the beanie and jumper for a good hour as there is minimal artificial light so the sky was incredible. We went swimming in several water holes along the gorge and spent a whole day out there exploring the rock art and lounging in the sun with a good book. There was so much wildlife around and only us, you could hear the sounds of birds and the rustle of the wind but it was utter peace and serenity. 

We then ventured to the famous Kakadu National Park where we spent afew nights checking out Ubirr Rock known for its artwork and then spent sunset on Nawurlandja Rock. We sipped gin and tonics and waved goodbye to the sun, it was something out of this world.

We also enjoyed Litchfield National park, where we did TOLMER falls, Florence falls and Wangi Falls. All so beautiful and the fresh water was so nice to cool off in! The days were a perfect temp up until lunch to which we retreated to the Museum in Darwin for a tour through some incredible young aussie artists and a viewing of the damage from hurricane tracy. It also was free and air conditioned so that was a plus!  

Favourite time of day in the NT:

Sunsets: out the back, the flies go to bed and sometimes so do the mozzies!

Sunrise: when the temp is perfect and we can pop the back open and lay watching the a new day begin

Now for the fun stuff, we want the inside scoop on your top travel tips for the NT:

  1. Always where sun protection! We sunscreen up daily, wear hats, long sleeves can be perfect like the mini dress you sent! 
  2. As much as it is hot it can also be quite cold inland, so pack something cosy like the Venus Jumper in Lavender- the Venus Beanie in Lavender was great for those bad hair days! 
  3. If your travelling in peak season like we did, book your camps via the national parks app (it’s a new system that is online) and it saves the stressful night looking for camp.
  4. Get a good playlist sorted and some podcasts for those long days driving! 
  5. Immerse yourself into the culture, talk to locals, read the signs and do your research before hand. The people are so caring and giving and the whole top end of the NT has a real sense of community, something we often miss in cities. 
  6. Spend your mornings and afternoons walking and doing those bucket list hikes and your lunch time swimming in the bitter springs and the waterfalls. 

We absolutely loved the NT, the change of scenery from blue water was actually refreshing and the sheer size of some of the cliffs and mountains was incredible to see in person. Photos don’t do this place justice, you will have to see it for yourselves! 

Shop Alex's Arnhem Picks