The Automobile Association of the Northern Territory (AANT), 79-81 Smith St., Darwin, NT 0800 (tel. 08/8925 5901; www.aant.com.au), is a good source of maps and road advice. See also the Northern Territory Tourist Commission's site, www.travelnt.com, which has sections designed specifically for those setting out on a driving holiday.
Normal restricted speed limits apply in all urban areas, but speed limits on Northern Territory highways (introduced only in 2006) are considerably higher than in other states. The speed limit is set at 130kmph (81 mph) on the Stuart, Arnhem, Barkly, and Victoria highways, while rural roads are designated 110kmph (68 mph) speed limits unless otherwise signposted. However, drivers should be careful to keep to a reasonable speed and leave enough distance to stop safely. The road fatality toll in the Northern Territory is high: 27 fatalities per 100,000 people each year, compared with the Australian average of 8 per 100,000.
Most Aboriginal land is open to visitors, but in some cases you must obtain a permit first. If you are taking a tour, this will be taken care of, but independent travelers should apply to the relevant Aboriginal Land Council (visit www.nlc.org.au for more information) for permission. Most permits are free, but some entry fees may apply.
Always carry 4 liters (1 gal.) of drinking water per person a day when walking (increase to 1 liter/ 1/4 gal. per person per hour in summer). Wear a broad-brimmed hat, high-factor sunscreen, and insect repellent containing DEET (such as Aerogard and RID brands) to protect against the dangerous Ross River Fever virus carried by mosquitoes in these parts.
Deadly marine stingers put a stop to ocean swimming in the Top End from roughly October to April or May.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.