Northern Territory Indigenous Tours
Northern Territory Indigenous Tours is a wholly indigenous owned, locally-based tour company specialising in natural and cultural interpretation from an Aboriginal viewpoint. Based at the indigenous tourism hub of Darwin, we offer:
- intimate, small-group day tours and private charters to Litchfield National Park and beyond
- multi-day packages and private charters to Kakadu, Nitmiluk and other attractions in the Darwin and Top End region
- larger indigenous-focused events for conference and incentives groups.
Our vision is a world of understanding, empathy and respect between people of different cultures, enhanced by charismatic Indigenous guides delivering high-quality, engaging and interactive tourism experiences.
Northern Territory Indigenous Tours offers safe, comfortable and interactive tours. Being owned and operated primarily by women, they are ideal women’s tours.
Meet Tess Atie
Born in Darwin, Tess Atie grew up in the area in which Litchfield National Park was later proclaimed. She has family all the way from Mandorah, across Darwin Harbour, to Peppimenarti, beyond the Daly River.
Tess was lucky enough to receive a quality education, in her middle school years attending Lilydale Adventist Academy in Victoria before completing year 12 at Kormilda College in Darwin. Tess says:
‘I grew up where Litchfield is now, travelling and camping with my family. I developed a great respect for my old people. They showed me all the fine details about the plants and animals on our country, and how to live properly there. Now I want to teach visitors about our beautiful country.’
After working as a park ranger and wildlife guide for many years, Tess established Northern Territory Indigenous Tours in 2009 to showcase her family’s traditional country and provide employment opportunities for young indigenous people in the tourism industry. Tess and the company have developed an enviable reputation, going from strength to strength and implementing a training program for new indigenous guides to satisfy the growing demand for tours.
As visitors to her country, you will benefit from her deep knowledge of the country, its culture and its history; her exceptional customer service; her keen business acumen; and her ability to train young indigenous guides.
In 1949 Tess’s grandparents, Ray Petherick and Rosie Nangalaku, established a sawmill camp in this beautiful spot. With soft, crystal clear spring waters emanating continuously from a rocky hillside to form a creek lined with shady rainforest, it was an ideal place to live and mill the paperbark, native pine and ironwood used in Darwin houses in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.
Now surrounded by Litchfield National Park, Woolaning is the private home of Tess’s family and the site of two small schools built to educate Aboriginal children in the area. In the dry season you may be exclusive visitors to Woolaning Spring as Tess takes you into nature’s rainforest dining room for a very special lunch and therapeutic dip in its clear spring waters.