If you’re heading to the Top End in the Northern Territory, Darwin is the best place to begin. And with so many things to do in Darwin, you may find it somewhat overwhelming, so we’ve put together a summary of the top Darwin attractions to help make your holiday planning that much simpler.
Credit: Shaana McNaught/Tourism NT
Whether it’s in the wild or in a glass enclosure, Darwin is the place to go to see crocodiles. For the true experience, hop aboard a jumping crocodile cruise on the Adelaide River where you’ll see powerful crocs jump about in their natural habitat.
Credit: Lynton Crabb/Tourism NT
At Crocosaurus Cove, you can enjoy a 360 degree view of saltwater crocodiles including Burt, the star of the popular Australian movie, Crocodile Dundee. If that isn’t enough, step into the Cage of Death, lowered into croc-infested waters for an exhilarating 15 minute encounter.
Crocodylus Park offers daily crocodile feedings and you can even take a selfie holding a baby croc! The park is also host to numerous other animals including monkeys, tigers, snakes and dingos.
Darwin Restaurants, bars and markets
When it comes to Darwin restaurants, there’s no better place than Hanuman. Voted one of the best restaurants in Darwin, Hanuman’s menu is a delicious fusion of Thai and Indian cuisines ranging from sharing plates to curries and speciality seafood dishes.
For amazing sunset views across Darwin Harbour, head to the Darwin Ski Club. With sprawling lawns, 2 saltwater pools for the kids, live music on the weekend and a laid-back vibe, this is a must-visit Darwin establishment!
If you’re looking for a night out on the town, Mitchell Street in Darwin is the place to be. Known as the entertainment district of the city, the area is packed with cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants which operate late into the night.
Stokes Hill Wharf and the adjacent Darwin waterfront precinct feature seaside alfresco restaurants, coffee shops and takeaway options such as fish and chips if you’d prefer a picnic. Enjoy fish feeding at night and free live entertainment on Wednesdays and Sundays during the dry season.
Credit: Peter Eve/Tourism NT
The most popular Darwin markets, Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, have over 300 stalls, live entertainment, movies and more and operate from April to October on Thursday and Sunday evenings. This is the one of the best places in Australia to see the sunset, so grab a spot on the sand and enjoy the fiery view.
Nightcliff Markets are located in the Nightcliff Shopping Centre and are the place to go if you want a unique souvenir. Sit back with a coffee and enjoy local artists performing on stage or wander around admiring the various crafts. The Nightcliff Markets run from 8am to 2pm every Sunday.
National Parks, gorges and gardens
The Northern Territory is home to the oldest land in the world, so a trip to the largest national park in Australia, Kakadu National Park, with its ancient and amazing history, is an absolute must. Just three hours east of Darwin, Kakadu features rainforests, waterfalls, escarpments and wetlands as well as Aboriginal rock art that’s said to be over 20,000 years old.
Bordering Kakadu National Park is Nitmiluk National Park (or Katherine Gorge). Board a helicopter for a stunning aerial view of the 13 gorges that encompass this park and venture further to discover Arnhem Land’s unspoiled wilderness.
Approximately 115 kilometres from Darwin lies Litchfield National Park. Cold plunge pools, thundering waterfalls, historic pioneering ruins and dense forests are just some of the amazing wonders you will find in this popular national park.
For a quiet escape in the heart of the city, head to the Darwin Botanical Gardens. Take a free guided tour to learn about the extensive display of exotic and native plants, stop by the playground or enjoy a picnic under a shady tree.
Arts and culture - Darwin museums, Darwin festivals and more
The Darwin Festival runs every August and celebrates local, national and international music, theatre, dance, art and more. Enjoy 18 balmy days of pop-up food and drink stalls, free performances and a lively atmosphere as Darwin comes alive!
Credit: Tourism NT
Darwin is rich with local history, from WWII to indigenous culture, so a visit to the top Darwin museums to learn all about the city’s past is an absolute must.
Your first stop should be to the most popular Darwin art gallery, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Meet “Sweetheart”, the museum’s 5 metre long crocodile and permanent resident, get interactive with the Cyclone Tracy exhibition or check out the kids programs and workshops.
Discover the Defence of Darwin Experience at the Darwin Military Museum – an interactive display about the Japanese bombing of Darwin in WWII, which changed the city forever or take a guided tour of the Darwin Aviation Museum, with its massive B52 Bomber, Mirage and Sabre jets, engines and photos of Darwin at war.
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