This month, 45 Trinity College Colac Year 10 students visited the Top End, spending two weeks immersed in the culture and nature of the Northern Territory.

The fantastic tour took the visitors from Uluru to Darwin, providing opportunities aimed to develop a deeper appreciation of the cultural significance of many important sites.

The students experienced the wonder of Uluru before heading to the domes of Kata Tjuta and hiking through the Valley of the Winds. In the Watarrka National Park on the traditional lands of the Matutjara people the group explored King’s Canyon’s mighty 300m high sandstone walls and enjoyed views that stretch across the Red Centre.

At Alice Springs the students were introduced to local wildlife at the Reptile Centre, appreciating the opportunity to get up and close with scaled creatures and feathered ones too, before the group set off to the iconic Karlu Karlu (Devil’s Marbles).

A trip to the Northern Territory wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Daly Waters where Australia’s first international airport was opened and the students were treated to a look around Tim’s Junkyard with its unexpected array of classic cars before continuing to Nitmiluk, also known as Katherine Gorge. There they enjoyed the heavenly natural thermal springs on the banks of the river before enjoying a cruise down the river, appreciating the dramatic scenery of the Gorge as they basked in the sunshine on board the ferry.

Picturesque waterfalls and great swimming spots were also highlights of their Nitmiluk National Park experience and the ever-changing landscape at Yellow Water Billabong and South Alligator River provided the explorers with some further glimpses of Top End wildlife.

The cultural significance of the country offered a deeper connection for the visitors, and the Burrungkay (Nourlangie) rock art site in Kakadu National Park highlighted the ancient history of the traditional owners. The students also marveled at the rock art at Ubirr with paintings of fish, turtles and goanna, as well as a thylacine, which became extinct on the mainland more than 2,000 years ago.

The students were also privileged to attend the Anzac Day dawn service at Jabiru and enjoyed a refreshing swim at Florence Falls in Litchfield National Park, discovering the magic of the landscape that is an important area to the Koongurrukun, Mak Mak Marranunggu, Werat and Warray Aboriginal people.

At the end their incredible adventures, the group arrived in Darwin, visiting the legendary Mindil Beach Sunset Markets and enjoying their last few hours together in the capital before heading home with fantastic memories and a deeper appreciation of the culture and beauty of the Top End.