Lookig for things to do in Darwin? You have come to the right place! Welcome to Darwin, the Northern Territory’s capital city. Darwin is one of Australia’s remotest towns, and it is much closer to Singapore and Bali than it is to Sydney or Canberra. With its tropical climate and multicultural population, Darwin has an exotic charm that could almost make you think you were in Asia, rather than in one of Australia’s major cities. Nevertheless, many visitors to the Northern Territory see Darwin as a gateway to all of the attractions laying beyond this tropical town, such as Kakadu National Park, the Katherine area with Nitimiluk National Park, Litchfield National Park, or even the Kimberley Region. However, there many things to do in Darwin and visitors can easily fill a couple of days up to a week without getting bored. Apart from enjoying our temperate climate, lazing at the hotel pool and working on your tan, you can learn about Darwin’s intriguing history, including Cyclone Tracy and our War history, you can take part in our seasonal festivals and events, learn about and admire our impressive “Salty’s” or grab delicious street style food at one of our vibrant markets. Darwin also has excellent museums and art galleries that are well worth a look, and once you are done with all that sightseeing, you can always relax at one of our beautiful beaches. Who said there was nothing to do in Darwin? Read on for more detailed information on some of the great things to do in Darwin.
THINGS TO DO IN DARWIN
- Have a wander around Darwin’s CBD. Darwin is currently in a phase of change, and is turning into a bit of a modern metropolis. New fantastic shops, cafes and restaurants are popping up everywhere, and with our multicultural population, Darwin has the potential to become a cosmopolitan town in no time. If you are craving that great coffee that you enjoy down South, try the Milk Bar located at Smith Street Mall or Alley Cats next to the Greyhound terminal on Mitchell Street.
- Explore Darwin’s Heritage Precinct by foot. Either grab a map from your accommodation or online, or join a guided walking tour (http://walkdarwin.com.au/darwin_heritage_walk/). You can also head to our Tourism Office Tourism Top End on Bennett Street and grab a map from their friendly staff. From here, you are already in close proximity to many of our historical buildings around the Smith Street and the Esplanade area.
- Have a swim at the Waterfront, Darwin’s prime destinations for relaxing and sun bathing with friends or family. This relatively new Darwin development includes a Wave pool (entry fee $7/ adult; $5 child) and a safe, croc free lagoon free of charge. You can relax on the vast green lawns or grab an ice cream, coffee or meal at one of the many cafes and restaurants. From contemporary Australian to Mexican, Vietnamese, Italian and excellent Sea food, you can tuck into whatever tickles your fancy.
- If you are looking for a casual and very good value meal, head to the Darwin Wharf Precint, around a 5 min walk from the Waterfront. A number of food stalls including mainly Asian foods and fresh seafood are located here. Tables and chairs are provided in a common area, which is handy if you feel like Indian food but the kids want fish & chips.
- The Darwin Wharf is also home to Darwin’s latest tourist attractions, the Darwin World War II and Royal Flying Doctor experience. This new interactive museum uses the latest technology to display the history of the Royal Flying Doctor services and the Bombing of Darwin.
- For more War history, head to the very comprehensive Military Museum at East Point, or join the self guided World War II Tunnel tour on Kitchener Drive at the Waterfront. For those especially interested in war history, there are also a number of operators offering war themed day tours around Darwin.
- If you are looking for a museum with a little less somber theme, head to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory at The Gardens. This excellent establishment includes comprehensive displays of Darwin’s history, including impressive footage of Cyclone Tracy, our local flora and fauna, indigenous culture, marine history and more. There is also a great art Gallery with lots of amazing local indigenous art. The museum also hosts a cafe/ restaurant that serves good food overlooking the Arafura Sea. It is easy to spend half a day, or even a full day here (http://www.magnt.net.au/).
- To get close up with our local fauna, and maybe for a bit of an adrenaline rush, try Crocosaurus Cove on Mitchell Street (http://www.crocosauruscove.com/). It hosts the world’s largest display of Australian reptiles, and the more adventurous can swim with crocs in the “cage of death”.
- One of Darwin’s most popular tourist attractions are the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets (Thu 4-9pm, Su 5-10pm, April- Oct.). A massive choice of food stalls and local Arts & Crafts in combination with a beautiful beach and some of the best sunsets in Australia lures visitors for all the right reasons. There is always a great atmosphere with music and entertainment and a lively mix of locals and visitors enjoying the night together.
- Apart from Mindil Beach, Darwin has a number of great local markets on offer that are a little less known but just as enjoyable. Try the Parap Markets on Saturday mornings and the Nightcliff Markets on Sunday mornings for some local flair, great food and a relaxed atmosphere. Rapid Creek Markets on Sundays have the greatest choice of fresh local produce and are a popular shopping choice with the locals, while also having a good number of food stalls.
- And if you need some time to relax after all that action, Darwin has some great beaches and parks. Casuarina Coastal Reserve is a popular choice with local families, and the relatively new Cafe La Plage serves great snacks and meals right on the beach. The Nightcliff Foreshore is great for some exercise. You can run or walk along a paved walkway along the Ocean or swim at the local pool, which also has a great new cafe with ocean views. East Point Reserve is a great spot for a picnic at one of the public tables overlooking the ocean, or for a swim in croc free Lake Alexander.
- There is a lot to do in Darwin, but don’t forget to explore the Top End environments beyond. Discover Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park and Nitmiluk National Park on one of our small group 4WD Tours below.