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Things to do in Darwin

 

Darwin

Distances

From Litchfield National Park: 144 km | 2 hr
From Katherine Gorge: 345 km | 3 hr 45 m
From Alice Springs: 1,497 km | 16 hr 10 m
From Cairns: 2,849 km | 32 hr
From Broome: 1,871 km | 21 hr

Darwin is Australia’s northern most capital city and it feels a bit removed from the rest of the country, but that’s one of its charms. It has two seasons - wet and dry. Wet season from October to April is monsoonal, hot and humid. Dry season from May to September has a more pleasant temperature and is less humid. 

There's more to Darwin than first meets the eye. We've listed the top 5 attractions for those who are short on time. If you're staying more than a day, and we suggest you do, read on for the full list. We've also included a list of the best Darwin Caravan Parks - those that score 4 stars or more from reviewers - along with their rates and facilities. Enjoy!

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Top 5 things to do in Darwin

  1. Mindil Beach Sunset Market – the place to come for global cuisine from food trucks. Some of the cuisines you’ll find include French, Indonesian, Greek, Vegan, Indian, Bangladesh Curries, Borneo, Italian, Thai, Hong Kong, Vietnamese, Spanish Pella, Sri Lankan, Mexican, Chinese and so much more. They have all kinds of stalls here, not just food.
    FREE

  2. Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) – a large centre that houses renowned Indigenous artists and cultural exhibits. They have one of the largest photographic collection of indigenous rock art. You’ll find something that interests you here. Give yourself a couple of hours.
    FREE

  3. Crocosaurus Cove – Come swim with enormous crocodiles from the safety of a clear cage – if you’re game.
    ADULT: $35 CHILD $23
    CAGE OF DEATH: $130 per person if there are two of you in the cage.

  4. Royal Flying Doctors Service on the Stokes Hill Wharf – relive in vivid detail the 1942 Japanese bombing raid on Darwin Harbor thanks to the excellent hologram cinema and virtual-reality glasses.  There’s also decommissioned aircraft from the Flying Doctors Service, a live map showing you the current locations of the RFDS planes and stories of WWII.
    ADULTS: $28. CHILDREN: $16

  5. Turtle Tracks tour is an 8 hour tour from 4 pm to midnight (May – Sept) which includes dinner. You’re taken out to watch the ritual egg laying of Olive Ridley and Flatback turtles. Late in the season you might even see hatchlings make their way to the sea.
    ADULTS: $285, CHILDREN: $190
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Turtles laying eggs. Sea Darwin Tours.
Mindil Markets Darwin
Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. Photo: chriznobs via IG
crocosaurus Darwin
Crocosaurus Cove, swimming with crocodiles.Photo: bouch_potato via IG
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17 Things to do in Darwin

  • Darwin Waterfront – this is a fun place to hang out. There’s a swimming lagoon, a wave lagoon, restaurants, bars, and big umbrellas to sit beneath. Bear in mind it is an alcohol-free zone except in licensed premises. 
    FREE
wave lagoon DArwin
Wave Lagoon at the Darwin Waterfront. Photo: sophiepetula via IG
Mindil Market Darwin
Mindil Market, Darwin

  • George Brown Botanic Gardens -  cover 42 hectares and are very close to the Mindil Beach Sunset markets.  The Botanic Gardens are known for their northern Australia plant collection.
    FREE
botanic gardens Darwin
George Brown Botanic Gardens

  • Bicentennial Park – a popular green space in the middle of Darwin, which look onto the harbor. A great place for sunset strolls. 
    FREE

  • East Point Reserve and Lake Alexander – is a large parkland that includes a beach and wonderful ocean sunsets, a lake that is suitable for swimming in dry season (April – Sept), beautiful gardens and lawns, and WWII buildings and gun placements. Facilities include BBQs, picnic tables, toilets, showers and walking paths.
    FREE

  • Jingili Waters Gardens – a great place to have a picnic or BBQ by the lily ponds. There are walking paths, picnic tables, BBQs, a children’s playground and lots of mature shady trees.
    FREE

  • Aquascene – come and hand feed the wild fish at high tide, just as people have been doing here for over sixty years. The fish are not afraid and it’s a great experience. or over sixty years .
    ADULTS: $15 CHILDREN $10

east point reserve, Darwin
The beach at East Point Reserve.  Photo: simppstagram via IG
lake alexander, Darwin
Sunset swim at Lake Alexander. Photo: nomad_gold via IG
Darwin
Jelly fish sculptures at East Point Reserve. Photo: kunczeanna via IG
Aquascene, Darwin
Feeding the fish at Aquascene. Photo: a_travel_to_b via IG

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ART AND CULTURE

  • Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) - a large gallery and museum that houses well known Indigenous artists and cultural exhibits. 
    FREE

  • Darwin Military Museum - tells the story of Darwin during WWII, including what it was like during the bombing raid on the city by the Japanese. It includes artillery pieces; vehicles, uniforms, firearms, models, paintings and original landmarks.
    ADULTS: $18 CHILDREN $8.

  • Deck Chair Cinema – in Bicentennial Park is Darwin’s free outdoor cinema  run by non-profit group Darwin Film Society. Bring a picnic blanket or a deck chair, stake out your patch of grass and settle back to enjoy the film.
    FREE

  • Royal Flying Doctors Service – a must see (see our top five list above).
    ADULTS: $28. CHILDREN: $16

  • Australian Aviation Heritage Centre – 19 civilian and military aircraft housed in a large hangar including the legendary B-52 bomber and aircraft that assisted in the clean-up missions after the devastation of Cyclone Tracy
    ADULTS: $15

  • Burnett House -  (built 1938)  is the only surviving example of architect B.C.G Burnett’s Type ‘K’ design – an Anglo-Asian inspired bungalow perfectly designed for the tropical climate of Darwin. A unique feature is the coloured compass inlay in the ground floor. It uses well-developed principles of cross-ventilation. Guided tours are provided of the house and gardens.
    ADULTS: $2

  • Aboriginal Fine Arts – A commercial gallery (free entry) with a great collection of Aboriginal paintings, works on bark, hand-woven baskets, didgeridoos, carvings from Arnhem Land and the Central and Western desert regions, a range of CDs and informative books.
    FREE

  • Mason Gallery – another commercial gallery with a wonderful collection of Aboriginal arts.
    FREE

  • Survivors Lookout – located in town, climb the steps for great views of the city.
    FREE
museum art gallery NT
Museum and Art Gallery of NT (MAGNT) Photo: mfalcinella
Burnett House, Darwin
Burnett House, Darwin. Photo: jakemarcuwarren via IG

Darwin Caravan Parks

There are no caravan parks in the centre of Darwin. These aren't too far away. We’ve listed the top five below.

  • Darwin Freespirit resort and Caravan Park – Set amongst lush tropical gardens with resort style swimming pools. Facilities include three resort style swimming pools, camp kitchens with TVs, BBQ areas, kids activities (seasonal), bar and bistro, jumping pillow, a large outdoor terrace and bar, live music, shop, laundry, tour bookings and multiple toilet and shower blocks.
    RATES: Unpowered sites $35 - $40 for two adults. $5 additional adults. Minimum 2 night stay.
Darwin freespirit Caravan Park
Darwin Free Spirit Caravan Park

  • Oasis Tourist Park – a small caravan park with grassy sites and shady tress. Facilities include a camp kitchen, swimming pool, shower and toilet blocks, Internet access ($3 for 30 minutes), 4 free gas BBQs, laundry, book exchange, shop, and tour bookings.
    RATES: powered sites $38 for two. Additional adults $10

  • Darwin Boomerang Caravan Park –  large shady trees, grassy sites, and not too far from the centre of town. Facilities include sheltered BBQ area with gas BBQs, camp kitchen, swimming pool with tropical gardens, laundry, and two shower and toilet blocks. There is a small shop and a licensed tavern and restaurant on site.
    RATES: powered site $45 - $35 for two. Additional adults $10. Children $5.
darwin boomerang caravan park
Darwin Boomerang Caravan Park

  • Hidden Valley Holiday Park – is set among shady gardens. Facilities include free WiFi, a swimming pool, café, camp kitchen, picnic areas, dump point, laundry, shower and toilet blocks, tour desk.
    RATES: Powered grass sites $50 for two adults. Additional adult rates unknown.
hidden valley Caravan Park
Hidden Valley Holiday Park

  • Noonamah Tourist Park –  a small park in rural surrounds with grassy shaded sites south of Darwin. Facilities include a Swimming Pool, Coin Op Laundry, BBQ, shower and toilet block. It’s by the Noonamah Tavern which has a bottleshop and restaurant.
    RATES: unpowered $27 for 2 adults. Additional adults $10.

Savannah Way Map

Road Trips From Darwin

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