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Aus Waterlilies in Kakadu Darwin NT
Places - Darwin
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The capital cities of Australia

Discover Darwin

Discover Darwin, the capital city of the Northern Territory. Australia's smallest capital city is laid-back and features friendly locals, tropical vibes, and an assortment of great things to do and see. Darwin sits on the Timor Sea in the Top End of Australia. The gateway to Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park, the Tiwi Islands, and beyond. An ideal holiday destination to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Where should you visit in Darwin?

Take a wander along the waterfront
© Tourism Australia
Discover Litchfield National Park, a local's favourite

Best travel time

The Top End of Australia has a wet season and a dry season. The wet season is between November and April and the dry season is between May and October. As the wet season is characterised by a lot of rain and humidity, the dry season is definitely the best time to visit this vibrant part of Australia. However, Darwin is still a great place to visit year-round. Outside of the peak season, you can take advantage of fewer crowds and still enjoy an unforgettable holiday.

Swim in natural swimming pools
© Tourism Australia

Top things to do in Darwin

One of the best ways to experience Darwin is to visit the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. Open from the last Thursday in April till the last Thursday in October each year! Soak up the local atmosphere from Thursday to Sunday from 4 pm till 9 pm. With over 200 stalls, discover a spectacle of colour, local artwork, entertainment, and delicious food. And of course, watching the sunset over the beautiful Mindil Beach is a must-do while you are there!

The Darwin Esplanade is the perfect place to start your holiday in the NT. Overlooking the Darwin Harbour, you can wander along three kilometres of walkways, all surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Along the way, you will find an assortment of restaurants and cafes to enjoy. Nearby the Esplanade, you will also find plenty of attractions to keep you entertained.

Visit the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets
© Tourism Australia
Enjoy all that the Darwin Waterfront has to offer
© Tourism Australia

Have a close encounter with unique wildlife

There are plenty of opportunities to see unique Australian wildlife up close in the Top End of Australia. In the heart of the CBD, you will find Crocosaurus Cove. Here you can admire saltwater crocodiles in a unique and personal way. It is also the only place in Australia where you can experience the Cage of Death - Australia's only crocodile dive.

If you prefer to see saltwater crocodiles in their natural habitat, take a crocodile cruise along the Adelaide River. Or if you take a 45-minute drive south of Darwin to Berry Springs, you will reach Territory Wildlife Park. Here, you can meet all sorts of weird and wonderful Australian wildlife.

Have a close encounter with saltwater crocodiles at Crocosaurus
© Tourism Australia
Kakadu National Park is home to 10% of the saltwater crocodiles in the Northern Territory

Enjoy an assortment of family-friendly activities

With plenty of sunshine and warm weather, Darwin is an ideal holiday destination for water activities. Would you like to hand-feed fish in the ocean? Aquascene is located in the heart of Darwin, whereby hundreds of fish come to the shore at high tide to be fed.

Wave Lagoon is a popular tourist attraction in Darwin. It is a safe wave pool with plenty of fun things to do such as tube-riding and boogie boarding. The wave pool is located on the Darwin waterfront and is a perfect recreation area for kids.

If you would prefer to swim at the beach, Mindil Beach, Casuarina Beach and Nightcliff Beach are local favourites. Some of them are also patrolled beaches during the dry season. Be sure to check signage before swimming in the Northern Territory. Crocodiles can roam in lakes, rivers, and certain beaches.

Cool off at the Big Buoy Water Park at Darwin Waterfront
© Tourism Australia
Feel the laid-back vibes at Darwin Waterfront
© Tourism Australia

"A true hidden gem in the Top End (Northern Territory) is Edith Falls, an hour's drive from Katherine Gorge. Such serene natural beauty and great for cooling down in the plunge pool."

Lisette, Travel Specialist

Absorb the local lifestyle

The Adelaide River wraps around the city of Darwin and is home to an assortment of unique Australian wildlife. If you're lucky, you may spot white-bellied sea eagles, bull sharks or even blacked flying foxes.

Would you like to enjoy Australian seafood and fresh local produce? Darwin Harbour sunset cruise is a lovely way to end the day with a delicious dinner with beautiful views of Darwin as your backdrop.

Mitchell Street is located nearby the Esplanade and is known by locals as the entertainment district. Here, you can find an array of nightlife including bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Pop into an Aussie pub and try a crocodile burger!

Palmerston is the second-largest city of the Northern Territory and is located approximately 20 kilometres outside of Darwin. Cool off at the Palmerston Water Park or visit Howard Springs Nature Park.

Be enchanted by Wangi Falls
© Liam Neal
Discover a local gem, Tolmer Falls
© Liam Neal
Yellow Water Kakadu National Park NT

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Cultural experiences

This part of Australia is ideal if you would like to learn more about Indigenous Australia. Be sure to visit an Aboriginal art gallery such as Mason Gallery Aboriginal Art of the Museum, Aboriginal Fine Arts Gallery, and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

If you are a history buff, the Darwin Military Museum and the Darwin Aviation Museum are definitely worth a visit. Fannie Bay is a suburb of Darwin and is famous for the Fannie Bay Gaol which closed in 1979.

Darwin is a great place to immerse yourself in Indigenous art
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Marvel at ancient Indigenous artwork at Kakadu National Park
© Tourism Australia

Flight advantages

As Darwin is located at the top of Australia, a big advantage of starting your holiday here is that it is faster to reach than other Australian capital cities from the UK. For example, the flight distance from Singapore to Darwin Airport is approximately 4 hours and 25 minutes. As opposed to Sydney which is approximately 7 hours and 53 minutes. When flying as far as Australia, this can make a huge difference.

Arrive to Darwin relaxed and ready to explore!
© Liam Neal

A brief history of Darwin NT

This special part of Australia is filled with ancient Indigenous history dating back thousands of years. The traditional owners of Darwin are the Larrakia (meaning saltwater) people of Australia.

Europeans arrived back in 1839 and some time afterward the city of Darwin was named after Charles Darwin. Known for his contributions to the evolution of science, Charles Darwin was credited with the theory of natural selection.

Darwin has been hurt in the past; Cyclone Tracy hit on Christmas Day in 1974, and earlier in 1942 during World War II, the Bombing of Darwin occurred. Despite the hardship of the past, Darwin is a vibrant and friendly city.

Did you know? Darwin was bombed extensively during World War II
© Liam Neal
Authentic Darwin | Australia cultural holiday
The Larrakia people established the first trade routes in the region

Surrounding areas

The Top End of Australia is a natural wonderland, filled with spectacular flora and fauna. There is plenty of day or multi-day trips that you can choose from. Take a tour with a local guide or embark on a self-guided tour in a 4WD. Or hop on board a helicopter and marvel at the natural beauty from above.

Litchfield National Park is a local's favourite and is located 100 kilometres southwest of Darwin. The park covers 1500 square kilometres and features termite mounds higher than you, natural swimming holes, and an array of beautiful walking tracks.

Nature Litchfield | Australia holiday
Go on tour with an Indigenous guide in Litchfield National Park
© TravelEssence
Kakadu National Park | Australia holiday
Take a tour and discover untouched nature
© Tourism NT | Shaana McNaught

Kakadu National Park is Australia's largest national park

UNESCO World Heritage Listed, the park covers an area of 20,000 square kilometres. There is plenty to explore in this part of Australia! Keep an eye out for crocs and other unique wildlife. On your way to Kakadu, be sure to take a cruise at the Yellow Water Billabong. Here, you can spot crocs and a large variety of birds. It is truly authentic Australia and a must-do during your time in NT.

If you are heading south to the Outback, stop by Katherine/ Nimiluk. Approximately 320 kilometres southeast of Darwin, you will find Katherine Gorge. A system of canyons that have been carved by the Katherine River over hundreds of years. Go on a tour and spend an unforgettable night under the Milky Way in a traditional swag (a type of sleeping unit)!

Admire rare Australian birds at the Yellow Water Billabong
© Lords Safaris
Discover Barramundi Gorge in Kakadu National Park
© Tourism Australia

Tiwi Islands

Another highlight is a visit to the nearby Tiwi Islands. Explore dense rainforests, beautiful sandy beaches, and picturesque rock pools. While hundreds of different birds frolic on the islands, with a bit of luck you can catch a glimpse of turtles, dolphins, whales, or manatees in the sea.

Rich in Indigenous culture, here you can find world-class fishing, stunning coastal landscapes, and much more. With the majority of the population being of Indigenous descent, it’s an ideal destination to learn more about Aboriginal culture. Arnhem Land is also worth visiting if you would like to get better acquainted with Aboriginal culture.

Take a trip to Tiwi Islands
© Tourism Australia
The Tiwi Islands is known as the island of smiles
© Liam Neal

The Red Centre

Would you like to take a trip to the heart of the Outback? While some may think that Uluru is nearby Darwin, it is actually 1433 kilometres away and takes approximately 20 hours to drive there. Luckily there are plenty of flights departing from Darwin Airport to save you some time! If you would like to conquer the drive, you will travel along the Stuart Highway and have the opportunity to visit places such as the West MacDonnell Ranges. Uluru is located approximately 470 kilometres west of Alice Springs.

Watch the sunrise and sunset over Uluru/ Ayers Rock
© Unsplash | Jason

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