Fun family activities in Darwin

Darwin is home to some of Australia’s best beaches and enjoys a warm or hot climate all year round. As you may have guessed, the city is named after the famous evolutionist, Charles Darwin who had enjoyed a previous voyage with the captain that discovered it. We asked our GM at Mantra on the Esplanade to share some more exciting, lessor known things about Darwin. Read on to learn the best spots to go for fun, food and flair, both with the kids and without!

Best spots in Darwin to take the kids

Darwin Waterfront
With some dangerous critters in the ocean, Darwin has created a magnificent and much safer precinct, complete with two swimming lagoons, a wave pool and a recreation lagoon situated along the Darwin waterfront. Or take over the kids and their boundless energy to the Raw Spirit Waterpark. It will feature an obstacle course, a trampoline station, balance beams, multiple slides and many floating structures to provide fitness and fun in a safe environment.
After a day in the water, make your way over to Stokes Hill Wharf for a meal with a view. Enjoy alfresco dining and a cocktail; you may even see some local dolphins swimming about, which the kids will love. With stunning sunsets and a multitude of cafes and restaurants to choose from, this place is great for children and adults alike.

Image: Darwin Wave Lagoon

East Point Nature Reserve
Just a short drive from the CBD, the walk, drive or ride down East Point Road is a memorable one with stylish houses on the right and stunning seascapes on the left. East Point offers a military museum, swimming at the famous Lake Alexander, areas for barbecuing, a large playground for children and some of the most stunning views in all of Darwin.

Best Darwin restaurants

Albeit a bit of a unique name, the Ducks Nuts is great for a casual brunch and is located just 200m from Mantra on the Esplanade.  They also offer live entertainment in the evenings as well as movie and trivia nights. For delicious seafood with a modern Australian twist head to Finz, conveniently located at Mantra on the Esplanade. Great for both couples and families, choose from indoor or outdoor seating to set the scene that is right for you.
A short drive from the Esplanade is Cullen Bay. With a variety of cafes situated around a small Marina, this is the perfect place to watch the sun set over the Arafura Sea.  For a couple’s night out without the kids, try Seafood on Cullen, a popular choice among locals and visitors for their extensive all you can eat buffet and amazing views.

Best Darwin outdoor attractions

Litchfield National Park
A favourite among locals who are often found here on weekends, it is a great place to enjoy the magnificent rock pools and cool off under the cascading water of the fresh waterfalls. Litchfield offers a range of bush walks, four wheel drive adventures and bird and wildlife sightings. It truly is local nature at its best.

Image: Wangi Falls, Litchfield National Park

Mindil Beach Sunset Markets
Taking place from April to October on Thursdays and Sundays, these culturally diverse markets are entertaining and delicious. Showcasing food from all over including Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, China, Malaysia, Brazil, Greece and Portugal – the sunset markets offer something for everyone. Enjoy the local vendors who make everything from jewelry to natural remedies or come simply for the entertainment. Take in the local musicians, nightly fire dancers and other talented performers all with a beautiful sunset in the background.

Image: Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, Darwin

Fun Darwin insider secrets

  • Located just 100 meters away from Mantra on the Esplanade, Crocosaurus Cove is the home of one of the Northern Territories most famous saltwater crocs – Chopper! Visit him at the Cage of Death for one of his amazing shows.
  • Did you know that more bombs were dropped on Darwin during the World War II Bombing of Darwin Harbour than during the attack on Pearl Harbour?  Find out more with a tour of the Darwin Military Museum located on East Point.

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