Shaana McNaught & Tourism NT
Northern Territory
Darwin & SurroundsA stone's throw away from some of the country's most recognisable national parks, this is where your Top End adventure begins. We're talking sunset cruises, crocodile encounters, open air theatres, and a laid-back attitude to boot.
Nestled at the top end of Australia, Darwin awaits intrepid travelers with its intoxicating blend of natural wonders, rich history, and captivating cultural tapestry. This tropical paradise is a gateway to extraordinary experiences, luring wanderers with its untamed landscapes and unique charm. As you arrive in Darwin, the vibrant energy of the city will envelop you. Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Esplanade, where palm trees sway in the tropical breeze and the azure waters of the Timor Sea stretch into the horizon. Immerse yourself in the city's eclectic culture at the bustling Mindil Beach Sunset Market, where vibrant stalls, delicious street food, and live music create an atmosphere that is nothing short of enchanting. But it is beyond the city limits that Darwin's true allure lies. Journey into the ancient landscapes of Kakadu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases the raw beauty and rich cultural heritage of Australia's Top End. Embark on a breathtaking cruise along the Yellow Water Billabong, where crocodiles laze beneath the golden sun, and a myriad of bird species fill the air with their melodic symphony. Witness ancient rock art sites that tell the stories of the land's Aboriginal custodians, and feel the deep connection between past and present. For those seeking adventure, Litchfield National Park is a natural playground that promises exhilaration and tranquility in equal measure. Plunge into crystal-clear waterholes, cascading waterfalls, and refreshing natural springs that invite you to immerse yourself in nature's embrace. Discover the iconic termite mounds that stand tall like sentinels and marvel at the ancient magnetic termite mounds, a testament to nature's extraordinary engineering. As the sun sets, head to the vibrant waterfront precinct of Darwin's East Point, where the iconic Darwin Military Museum stands as a poignant reminder of the city's wartime past. Witness a fiery Technicolor sunset over the Timor Sea, casting a mesmerizing glow over the landscape, before indulging in a seafood feast at one of the waterfront restaurants. But the allure of Darwin extends even further. Venture beyond the city to the breathtaking Tiwi Islands, a cultural paradise where the traditions of the Tiwi people flourish. Immerse yourself in ancient rituals, witness vibrant artistry, and hear stories passed down through generations. The islands' unspoiled beaches, teeming with marine life, beckon visitors to dive into the clear waters and explore the wonders of the underwater world. Whether you seek adventure, cultural immersion, or a deep connection with nature, this tropical wonderland will captivate your soul and leave an indelible mark on your journey. Embrace the spirit of adventure, surrender to the rhythm of the land, and let Darwin ignite your wanderlust.
Read More
Things to do
Enjoy the Darwin Waterfront
The footbridge at the end of Smith Street is like a gateway to leisure-land. Alight the elevator at the Darwin Waterfront and enter a world of lush lawns, swimming lagoons and waterside restaurants. Darwin Waterfront is home to the Wave Pool and also safe swimming Recreation Lagoon. Darwin Waterfront's cafes and restaurants offer plenty of opportunities to refuel after a morning swim, linger over a luxurious lunch, or stop for a sundowner. Choose from the high-end Mediterranean and Mexican restaurants to more casual cafes and bars - you'll never be too far from ice cream or a barra burger. Drift along Wharf One's row of restaurants and shops, by the lagoon, or head further afield to Stokes Hill Wharf, a favourite fishing and fish-and-chip spot and popular starting point for harbour cruises.
Learn about Darwin’s History and Wartime Experience
We offer a fun and informative tour through and around the city of Darwin in an unusual mode of transport - a genuine world war 2 army truck! Discover Darwin from another perspective - see it through the eyes of at the WW2 soldiers stationed here, learn about the early explorers and visualize Darwin as it was following the devastation of cyclone Tracy. A great introduction to Darwin, we are the ONLY tour that gives a comprehensive overview of the city and its history exploring the nooks and crannies that makes Darwin the city that it is today!
Throw in a line with Darwin Harbour Fishing Charters
Short travel times mean you will be fishing within 20 minutes in Darwin Harbour with over 40 species of fish. You get to truly maximise your time and catch fish such as Barramundi, Queenfish, Goldies, Mud Crabs and much, much more. Our custom-built boats can fish all tides and take you almost anywhere - estuary, mudflats, mangroves, reefs, wrecks and live baiting ensuring your comfort and safety. We cater for every type of angler and our friendly, qualified guides with over 15 years of experience will gladly assist you with everything from baiting your hook to filleting your fish to take home. We have many packages available to suit all budgets - from half-day, full-day, group and sole charters. For an unforgettable fishing experience call us now.
Experience Crocs in the wild at Mary River
The calm waters of the Mary River are best enjoyed on a fishing trip or nature cruise. The Mary River area, between Darwin and Kakadu on the Arnhem Highway, is an angler's paradise, literally jumping with barramundi and other tropical estuarine species. Wildlife spotting cruises are another ideal way to explore the area. Diverse fauna such as crocodiles, buffalo, wild horses and migratory birds are frequently seen. Travellers come to view magpie geese, brolgas, white-bellied sea eagles, red-tailed black cockatoos, rufous owls and more. Accommodation options in the area range from airconditioned cabins to caravan parks and campsites. Corroboree Park Tavern and the Bark Hut Inn are found along the Arnhem Highway, with Point Stuart Wilderness Lodge located through Mary River National Park. Mary River House Boats offer a unique accommodation option available for hire. Four-wheel drive enthusiasts will enjoy the floodplains, paperbark forests and monsoon rainforests found on the Hardies and Wildman four-wheel drive tracks.
Get out on the Harbour with Sail Darwin
Sail Darwin! offers real sailing aboard a 50ft luxury catamaran, from 3-hour cruises on beautiful Darwin harbour, overnight escapes, or extended sailing from 2 - 14 days to Bare Sand Island, Bynoe Harbour, Tiwi Islands, Kimberley coastline, Coburg Peninsula, East Timor, The Spice Islands and beyond. They aim to leave guests with an exceptional 'real sailing' experience and memories to take home, in comfort and safety aboard Sundancer NT. A sunset sail on Darwin harbour is a must for every visitor to Darwin - join them for their signature Champagne Sunset Sail. This is a great opportunity to get out on the harbour, watch amazing sunsets, enjoy fabulous food and just to experience that feeling of freedom being on the water brings. Enjoy free champagne and delicious dinner aboard, plus the chance to spot dolphins surfing the bow, turtles, and dugongs. And of course some of the most spectacular sunset skies you'll ever see. Sundancer NT is specifically designed for cruising in tropical conditions. Fully airconditioned throughout, Sundancer NT has 4 double bedrooms, 4 single beds, 3 bathrooms and can comfortably accommodate up to 30 guests for harbour cruises and 12 for overnight and extended sailing.
A family escape at Howard Springs Nature Park
Howard Springs Nature Park has been a recreational venue for the people of Darwin since World War II. Its diverse habitats include monsoon forests and extensive woodlands, providing valuable wildlife habitat. Bring your hamper and find a shady spot, where you'll be able to picnic with ibis and agile wallabies on the lawns near the main pool. Along the 1.8-kilometre walking track, you will learn about some of the many varied plants and animals in the area. Alternatively, follow the short track into the dense rainforest to see the springs that feed the main pool. An all-season wading pool has been constructed and affords a great opportunity for kids to cool down after playing in the adventure playground. Signs on the walkway will help you identify some of the fish, including barramundi, which can be seen from the weir wall. During World War II, rest and recreation camps for up to 120 men were set up for Australian and American servicemen. The weir was built in 1944 by the Royal Australian Engineers to improve access to the waterhole.
Get up close to a croc!
Located in the heart of Darwin City, Crocosaurus Cove is home to the world’s largest display of Australian reptiles, including the iconic saltwater crocodile! Discover each of Crocosaurus Cove's 9 interactive shows daily, and learn all about Australia's incredible wildlife. Watch a huge saltie dine on his lunch during the Big Croc Feed Show, cuddle a snake or lizard during the Meet the Reptiles Show, and feed a feisty juvenile croc from the Fishing for Crocs platform. Then, capture a family photo with Fluffy the baby croc, or go for a dip in the Swim with the Crocs pool! Crocosaurus Cove is also home to the famous Cage of Death, Australia’s only crocodile dive. Swim with one of the largest saltwater crocs in the world, and marvel at his prehistoric features and mesmerising gaze. This is a truly up close and personal experience that must be done! Don’t miss Crocosaurus Cove, Darwin’s ultimate urban wildlife experience!
Have an outback experience at Mt Bundy Station
Set on the banks of the Adelaide River just over an hour's drive from Darwin, Mt Bundy Station is a working cattle property where the tropics meet the outback. Mt Bundy Station offers a range of rural accommodation options. Choose from the two-bedroom Cook's Cottage or Historical territory style Stockman's Quarters Homestead, Billabong House Homestead, Monsoon Cabin or camp out under the stars in the Brahman Bungalow set in secluded tropical bushland. Unwind in the pool, try your hand at catching the elusive Barramundi, interact with the animals or just soak up the tranquil surroundings. During the dry season, the Cheeky Bull Bar is open each weekend serving cold beers and Pizza by the campfire, WWII history surrounds you in Adelaide River. Take a walk through creeks and bushland in Litchfield National Park. At nearby Adelaide River, visit the bar at the historic inn, home of 'Charlie' the buffalo, star of the Australian film Crocodile Dundee. Located an hour away, witness the thermal pools at Douglas Daly (Tjuwaliyn) Hot Springs that create an oasis for birdlife. Four-wheel drive access to Butterfly Gorge is also a worthwhile journey for a cool dip and to admire the beautiful scenery.
Go for a swim at Litchfield National Park
With no entry fee (overnight camping fees apply) and easily accessible 2WD roads into all of the main waterfalls, it’s no wonder Litchfield National Park is one of the most popular spots in the Top End. Mix and match the variety of attractions around the region to make your own ‘Greater Litchfield Loop’ perfect for any age or any number of days. You can take in the military history of Adelaide River and Batchelor, stay in your choice of bespoke camping or nature-based lodges, swim safely at waterfalls and cascading rock pools, sip sunset drinks at beachfront fishing lodges and immersive nature and wildlife experiences at local attractions. Do yourself a favour and take a few minutes to stop in at the pubs, cafes and restaurants to get a flavour for how the locals live in and around Litchfield National Park. Swimming within the park and road access can change at certain times of the year.
Related tags
Passionate about local travel experiences
Australian Bucket List
© 2024 ABL All rights reserved Terms Privacy Contact Us
Handcrafted by ABL, in partnership with PWG
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community.We pay our respect to them and their cultures and to the elders past and present.