Top Destinations and Attractions – Northern Territory Traveler’s Panorama Guide

Planning to explore Northern Territory? Wanted to make it full and lasting holiday in this federal territory of Australia called as the country’s outback? You are in the right place to check and see what this full of desert landscapes has to offer.

This post will give some insights what places to see and visit in Northern Territory using some questions to know your travel preference.

1. Are you an Adventure Seeker?

I can truly say that people visited Northern Territory are adventurers. Why? Because most of the places to visit in this part of Australia requires physical activities like walking, trekking, climbing, swimming or combination.  It means that you cannot see the awesome places without doing an effort to see or experience it unless you wanted to see wonderful places from above through flying with helicopter which is different.  The lists below are a must-see.

Uluru (Ayers Rock) – Bush Walking, Walking, Trekking

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Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) – Trekking

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Kings Canyon – Trekking

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Litchfield National Park – Walking, Trekking, Swimming

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Nitmiluk National Park – Trekking, Swimming

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2. Are you a Scenic View Lover?

Northern Territory offers a lot of fascinating natural wonders, that sometimes even myself thinking how on earth these nature wonders ever created? The list below should not be missed.

Nitmiluk National Park

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Litchfield National Park

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Mount Conner Lookout

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Uluru / Ayers Rock Lookout

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Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

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Kings Canyon

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3. Are you a History and a Culture Buff?

Have you ever wondered that Northern Territory also offers its part of its history and culture based on the nature wonders that it offers? Yes, it is still correlated to each other and visitors like me wondered that the aboriginals that lives in this part of Australia are being proud of their own identity and community. Below list are recommended places for it.

Uluru (Ayers) Rock

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Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

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Strauss Airfield

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4. Are you a Shopaholic?

If you are still tend to buying stuff while in Northern Territory, I think the shopping experience you will have in this part of Australia will be a bit different compared when you are into buying things in the city, as most of the things you can buy around Northern Territory will reflect the culture of the Aboriginals or their local products which can be found in markets across the territory. Since both of my tour in the said territory are more on adventure tour, I do not have experience in doing shopping aside from basic needs like food and drinks. But I had visited and seen aboriginal arts stores across the territory.

5. Are you Just Chilling Out?

Do you want to travel in Northern Territory without exerting too much physical adventures just to reach amazing places in this part of Australia? And you just wanted to rest to unwind and become a bit of lazy? Here are some options for you to do that.

Alice Spring

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Darwin

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Notes :

Coming to Northern Territory for me is not a typical or ordinary travel that people usually does. Traveling in this part of Australia means, a great love for nature and willing to go beyond the comfort zone. And wanted to have an extraordinary travel or adventure. For people who are not adventurous enough and does not want to exhaust itself from lots of physical activities to reach the wonderful places in Northern Territory has a choice to do sightseeing in luxurious ways like bus tour or fly tour. And people like me who just had enough to do adventures chose to go in affordable way. I can’t afford luxury travel therefore I came in this part of Australia in most economical way that I can. I joined adventure tours where the cost was lower compared to other tour offerings, but these kind of tours has requirements, you must be up for adventures. If you are not, then, either you spend fortunes to travel in most comfortable way possible. In the end, everybody can still visit Northern Territory and enjoy it no matter how different ways it is.

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25 Reasons Why You Must Visit Northern Territory

Visiting or exploring Northern Territory in Australia is one of the best thing to do if you are in this continent country down under. The said territory offers variety of national parks with distinct characters on its own. Though I haven’t seen all of national parks such as Kakadu which I initially planned to explore but failed because of some unforeseen reason but the other parks that I got a chance to see did not fail me to amaze me and I truly admired them. There are so many reasons why people visiting Australia should try to explore this part of the country.

Below are the list of reasons which all of them I got a chance to see, visit, explore and experience while touring around Northern Territory.

1. Camel Farm (Camel Australia)

This camel farm was not too far from Alice Spring, anyone who haven’t experience camel ride adventure, on this farm everyone will get the chance the camel ride challenge of a lifetime.

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2. Erldunda

This place in Northern Territory is a homestead which is a great stopover station from a long drive either in Stuart Highway or Lasseter Highway. It offers accommodations, fuel refill and even shops in the middle of the remote desert.

3. Yulara

This is an isolated town where our group had spent overnight sleeping in a swag in an open camp site. A great outback experience for the night where you can enjoy stars before sleeping tight. This is also the town where most of the expensive accommodations located in Red Centre.

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4. Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Uluru is an island mountain rock with sacred significance to Aboriginal People lives in the area. Also called Ayers Rocks is commonly uses as Australia’s Outback landmark. Try to do the base walk instead of climbing the rock as respect to aboriginals request.

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5. Uluru Sunset Viewing Area

If you are not into walking at the base of Ayers Rock, then the Uluru Sunset Viewing area is for you which offers scenic view of Uluru from a distance. It gives the visitor a chance to take photos of the whole island mountain rock stands in the middle of remote wilderness.

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6. Mount Conner Lookout (Mount Conner View With Sand Dunes and Lake Across)

Along Lasseter Highway there is Mount Conner Lookout to appreciate the scenic view of the Mount Conner itself. Then, across the lookout, there is sand dunes where anyone can play and the lake view to enjoy beside it.

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7. Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

This lookout area is positioned in a good location to see both Uluru and Kata Tjuta in different times of the day to appreciate these two natural wonders exist in Red Centre.

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8. Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

Trekking “The Olgas” was one of a kind of journey that I had while at the Red Centre. Experiencing these amazing rock formations that grown like hills and mountains made me think how such things happened in this part of the world that made these rocks became wonderful on its own.

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9. George Gill Range

Coming from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and using Lasseter Highway, the George Gill is a long mountain range which said to be purely sandstone but while we were on the road this mountain range offers scenic views to anyone who passed the road. The mountain range also used by tourism for scenic flight adventure.

10. Kings Creek Station

This is the station where we stayed for an overnight before we trek Kings Canyon. Anybody who plan to adventure in the outback, this station offers accommodations, camping, even basic supplies to survive in remote wilderness, food and tours.

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11. Kings Canyon at Wattarka National Park

We had a trek within the Canyon Walk where we reached Cotterrils Lookout, crossed “Garden of Eden”, saw Rock Domes, Kings Creek and Lost City. We also experienced the Canyon Rim Walk with a breath-taking scenery to enjoy.

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12. Alice Springs

It is a town in Northern Territory located almost at the center of Australia and said to have equidistant between Darwin and Adelaide. When I got a chance be  in the city, I had few hours spent here which mostly because of my accommodation before the Red Centre adventure and before flying back to Melbourne. For me this town is an interesting one since the common job within the town are related to tourism, I am wondering how such small community able to survive in the middle of the desert

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13. Darwin and The Cav

I haven’t had a picture of tourist spot in Darwin because I only slept few hours in the city, as I was not really able to explore this city at the top end. But I will not forget the food that I tasted in “The Cav” (Cavenagh Hotel) where I stayed for an overnight before the overland adventure took place. The restaurant is famous for its steak menu and popular in Darwin which proven to be true.

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14. Strauss Airfield

Along Stuart Highway in Noonamah, Northern Territory, Strauss Airfield is situated just beside the highway. The historical airfield was built in 1942 during World War II. Only remnants can be found in the site as reminders of the airfield and its story since it was decommissioned after the war in 1945.

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15. Batchelor Town

Batcher Town is a small town to see in Batchelor Road. The town keeps and maintain the Replica of Karlstejn Castle at Havlik Park which named after Bernie Havlik whom made the huge rock into castle. Batchelor town is considered as the gateway to Litchfield National Park.

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16. Banyan Tree Caravan Park

Banyan Tree Caravan Park offers accommodations and has shop or store for a quick break or snack before doing the adventures in Litchfield National Park.

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17. Cathedral Termite (Nasutitermes Triodiae) Mounds

Everyone driving near or within Litchfield National Park will witness lots of termite mounds around the area. But two of gigantic termite mounts can be found here and called as Cathedral Termite Mounds

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18. Magnetic Termite or Compass Termite (Amitermes Meridionalis) Mounds

Another termite mound that will amaze visitors is a cemetery look-alike termite mounds called Magnetic Termite Mounds where the termites able to create a perfectly flat mound upward.

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19. Florence Falls (Karrimura)

Florence Falls is said to be a spiritual place in a sense that it is exclusive  to individual no matter you are near or far from people.

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20. Tolmer Falls

Tomer Falls is a spectacular falls within Litchfield National Park with high distant and deep plunge pool.

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21. Litchfield Cafe

Litchfield Cafe was the place where a cold buffet lunch is being offered but need to check if advance booking is a must. This restaurant is famous of their mango cheesecake desert.

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22. Wangi Falls

Wangi Falls is the most popular pool to visitors and the most accessible falls within Litchfield National Park.

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23. Edith Falls (Leliyn Falls)

Edith Falls or Leliyn Falls is a series of cascading waterfalls and pools on the Edith River in Nitmiluk National Park. With limited time in the waterfall, everyone can enjoy either in the base pool or main pool and the upper pool. For more adventurous one, a day trek to Sweetwater pool is a great one.

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24. Katherine Gorge

A quick hike to Baruwei Lookout offers stunning scenery of Nitmiluk National Park with Katherine River.

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25. Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

A site rich of aboriginal cultures which depicts in the arts found along the escarpment walls in Judbarra National Park.

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The above 25 reasons are my list and there are more reasons aside from above, to think that I haven’t visited the World Heritage Site Kakadu National Park. If I were you, I will plan to explore this part of Australia and you will not disappoint because you will enjoy the top end.

 

Top 5 National Parks of Northern Territory Visited

For the two times that I had a chance to visit Northern Territory in Australia, I got a chance to visit and experience some of its best national parks. I knew for myself that I haven’t seen all the national parks that Northern Territory has to offer but if I will have another chance to come back, I definitely plan to visit the other parks. But for now, I had visited five national parks and I described in the post my experiences as my reasons how I rate them. I truly recommend all of them to visit and other parks to be found at top end of Australia.

Top 1 – Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon)

My most favorite national park that I visited in Northen Territory is Watarrka National Park where Kings Canyon in Australia is located. The main reason why I like it the most is because it is a canyon. I really like canyon. And the best about this one was the chance to trek within the canyon where we took Canyon Rim Walk track. Following the track gave us the chance to reached Cotterrils Lookout, to cross Garden of Eden, to see Rock Domes, Kings Creek and Lost City where all of it can be found within Kings Canyon. I consider it wonders of our world.

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Top 2 – Uluru (Ayers Rock)Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) National Park

Uluru or Ayers Rock was the main reason I planned to join my first adventure in the outback of Australia. Uluru itself is the most popular symbol used for the outback of the country down under. And I had a chance to experience the walk for Lungkata Trail that goes around at the base of the sacred mountain rock for Anangu Aboriginal People. And we experienced rain which very seldom to happen at the Red Centre.

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Then, the next day was another fulfilling experience where the group trekked the “Valley of the Winds” trail within “The Olgas” or Kata-Tjuta where we reached two lookouts called Karu Lookout and Karingana Lookout that gives different views of “The Olgas”.

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Top 3 – Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

I love this national park because of the trekking we did following the Nawilbinbin Trail that goes up to the base escarpment walls where we found lots of aboriginal arts drawn in the rock shelters and cliff. We had a great scenery of the valley as well while ascending and descending the trail.

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Top 4 – Nitmiluk National Park

Nitmiluk National Park consist of stunning gorges. And some of the great waterfalls can be found here because of the rivers connected to other rivers that made wonderful falls within the park. We had a chance to swim in Edith Falls (Leliyn for Aboriginals) and witness the amazing Katherine Gorge through trekking to Baruwei Lookout.

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Top 5 – Litchfield National Park

This park offers a lot of things during my day tour and I knew for a fact that what I had seen are not the only things to see and there are still more but a day was not enough to see it all. But even it was just one day, I discovered two nature wonders that involve termites. First was about Cathedral Termite Mounds and second was Magnetic Termite Mounds. Then, the park also offers wonderful waterfalls that so great to swim even sometimes park rangers caught some crocs.

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Judbarra (Gregory) National Park – “One of the Most Prolific Sites in Australia”

The second day adventure were combination of two states activity within the whole day. In the morning, we traveled around 3 hours from Katherine to Judbarra or Gregory National Park where we did a trek. The group followed the 1.7 km loop of Nawilbinbin Walk as our last adventure activity within Northern Territory. Then, later afternoon we crossed the border to Western Australia to reach the first place of adventure which was cruising and swimming in huge man-made lake called Lake Argyle.

I woke up early in the morning so I can still pack again some of my stuff back to my luggage while inside my permanent tent. Then, I checked if I can do something to help for breakfast with the group. Some had boiled the water, some prepared bread spread, some took off the fresh milk for the cereals. Everyone has something to do. After the breakfast, we took care as well the cleaning of the mess we made and returned everything back to the truck.

After everything were finished, everyone returned to our tents to put all our stuff back to the truck. We arranged everything at the compartments at the back of the truck where all the group’s luggage, tables, chairs, gas tanks, fresh goods, groceries, seasonings for cooking and others stuff that we used every time we eat in middle of remote wilderness for the group’s survival. When the group was ready, we left the tent village to continue the second day adventure. My excitement spikes again as I was wondering what kind of adventure we were going to do for the day and what kind of place we were going to discover and experience.

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Victoria River

From Katherine, we drove along Victoria Highway towards Gregory or now called as Judbarra National Park. We stopped for few minutes in Victoria River Crossing where we had a chance to see the famous river itself which became so important in the region. Then we returned to our truck and drove straight to our destination. From sealed road of national highway, we drove a bit to unsealed road which called Joe Creek which still good for 2WD vehicle. Then, the group got off from our truck and we had at least 2 hours of trekking following the Nawilbinbin Walking Trail.

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Along Joe Creek to Parking Area

Nawilbinbin Walking Trail starts from the parking area, then goes up to its slope until it reaches the base of the cliff and continues to the trail near the escarpment walls where most of the aboriginal arts painted, drawn and printed in the rocks can be found. Then, the walk goes down back to the car park in the valley.

Judbarra (Gregory) National Park is the second largest national park in Northern Territory after Kakadu National Park and according to Wikipedia, the name will be permanently called as Judbarra National Park on 2021. The hike we did along Nawilbinbin Walk  was discovering the aboriginal rock arts that can be found along the escarpment walls and rock shelters. The area is considered the largest site in Australia for having large number of composite engrave and painted figures.

Along Nawilbinbin Walking Trail towards Escarpment

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The Valley Views

Within the walking trail when we reach the elevated slope, it gave the group a birds view of the valley of Judbarra. And when I saw it with my own eyes I felt relief that the trail was an enjoyable one.

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With Livistona Palm Trees

When we were so near in the escarpment walls, the Livistona Palm Trees are wide-spread in the area that makes that part of the plateau so fascinating. It is one of the reason that I liked the walking trail because of these trees which partially covers the group half of its trail from direct sunlight.

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Along the escarpment walls trail of Nawilbinbin Walk

We reached the Escarpment Walls where we found mostly the aboriginal arts created in the rocks which depicts the richness of the aboriginal cultures in that part of the park. We stopped many times in different point along the Escarpment Walls to see and discover the many arts that was drawn, painted, stenciled and printed in the wall rocks. Scotty our guide emphasized some of the aboriginal drawings and paintings for the group to see, to appreciate and to be able to take photos of it. And the amazing thing of these arts is the thousand of years of its existence, which a wonderful discovery. Judbarra is sacred place for the aboriginal people, therefore this place are still visited by their community as religious site.

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Aboriginal Arts in the Escarpment Walls

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The Group near Escarpment Walls

After enjoying our time with the arts in the ridge walls, we decended back to the ground where our truck was park to end our adventure in this “One of the Most Prolific Sites in Australia”.

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Descending along the Nawilbinbin Walking Trail

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Escarpment Walls from the ground

Discovery : Victoria River (aka “The Vic”)

Discovery (Post#39) : Victoria River (aka “The Vic”)

“The Vic”, the passionate name of Victoria River is the backbone of the region was explored by European Captain J.C. Wickham in 1839 when he arrived at the mouth of the river with HMS Beagle. And he was the one that name the river after Queen Victoria. It was said to be the longest river in Northern Territory but in international standards, it was only second from Katherine/Daly River. These photos are part of Day 2 (Judbarra/Lake Argyle) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.

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View At My Window : Valley of Judbarra

View At My Window (Post#34) : Valley of Judbarra

Along the base of the ridges or escarpments, seeing the park’s valley was amazing and enjoying the scenery while hiking or even resting helps us to get going and enjoy what we were doing at that time. Nature viewing is a great way to chill in wilderness. These photos are part of Day 2 (Judbarra/Lake Argyle) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour Oct 2016.

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Still Expression : Judbarra, NT – Trekking

Still Expression (Post#9) : Judbarra, NT – Trekking

Even trekking sometimes difficult for me as I am not expert on such kind of physical activity but its the activity that I love to do as it always makes me feel that I am living the world because of the nature that I experience and passed on. Trekking brings back all the memories that I had from the past mountains that I climbed and add more memories for myself. These photos are part of Day 2 (Judbarra/Lake Argyle) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour Oct 2016.

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Arts and Craft : Aboriginal Arts at Judbarra

Arts and Craft (Post#18) : Aboriginal Arts at Judbarra

Trekking Nawilbinbin Walk towards the ridges made the trek not only worthy as physical adventure activities within Judbarra (Gregory) National Park but also worthy as discovery adventure of aboriginal rich cultures for Australian history. An extensive amount of rock arts, variously created by painting, stencilling, drawing, printing, and “pecking and pounding”. These photos are part of Day 2 (Judbarra/Lake Argyle) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour Oct 2016.

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Featuring Our World : Red Escarpment of Judbarra

Featuring Our World (Post#10) : Red Escarpment of Judbarra

Another thing to appreciate within Judbarra (Gregory) National Park from the ground are the red color of its escarpment where the richness of aboriginal arts in the rocks can be found. Ridges itself offers photographic scenery for visitors. These photos are part of Day 2 (Judbarra/Lake Argyle) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour Oct 2016.

 

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Name Of The Place : Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

Name Of The Place (Post#43) : Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

Australia or let’s be specific, Northern Territory boasted many of its huge national parks and one of them to enjoy is Judbarra or Gregory National Park. The park still considered religious place even up to this moment for Australian aboriginal people who own and protects the said park. And the park itself showcases the amazing arts stenciled in almost all parts of the escarpment walls. The photo is part of Day 2 (Judbarra/Lake Argyle) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.

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