Australia's capital of outdoor adventure and WWII-era history
Darwin is nirvana for adventurers. Here you'll find a history-drenched harbour landscape, the tropical lifestyle you’d expect of an outdoorsy culture and some of the world's most awe-inspiring natural treasures.
You can join a fishing charter to experience the Mary River Wetlands, or take a cruise. You can marvel at majestic waterfalls and waterholes, or go on a four-wheel drive with the world’s most beautiful flora as backdrop. Or walk through the incredible Litchfield National Park. Dine like royalty at Hanuman, Pee Wee’s at the Point, Char Restaurant or il lido waterfront kitchen, to name a few.
Things to do
Every Thursday and Sunday evening from the last Thursday in April until the last Sunday in October, Darwin residents and tourists head to the Mindil Markets opens in new window on Mindil Beach, tables, chairs, rugs and eskies in tow. They're heading for an outdoor feast fuelled by the market's awesome food stalls: think Thai, Indian, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Malaysian, Brazilian, Greek, Portuguese and many more. Indulge in a massage, shop for handmade jewellery, try some natural remedies, or just take in the buzzing market atmosphere.
On your way
Why not take the scenic route? Drive from Darwin to Katherine via Kakadu National Park along Nature’s Way opens in new window. It’s a 550km journey, which you can do either as a one-way-and-stay or as a longer loop back to Darwin. We recommend you make the trip over at least seven days, so you can take a dip in waterfalls and rock pools at Litchfield, canoe down the Katherine River and discover Aboriginal rock art at Kakadu.
Every night from April to November, lean back and enjoy a film at the Deckchair Cinema opens in new window, operated by the Darwin Film Society. With the sunset over the sea as backdrop and fairy lights twinkling, you can catch the latest Australian and foreign films, family-friendly and classic movies. Snacks and hot food are available or you can bring a picnic; wine and beer are on sale from the kiosk and there's free chilled filtered water on tap.
Australia's Top End is home to the famous giant 'salties', and you can visit the saltwater crocodiles in the world’s largest display of Australian reptiles at Crocosaurus Cove opens in new window. Swim with the crocs (safely enclosed), hold a cuter-than-expected baby crocodile, and see the turtle sanctuary and aquariums. Then, if you dare, the main attraction: enter the 'Cage of Death', Australia’s only crocodile dive, with a 5m-long saltwater croc. A lifetime of nightmares awaits.
Up and away
For a breathtakingly dramatic experience of the incredible landscapes of the Top End – Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land, Adelaide River and Mary River – take a scenic flight opens in new window from Darwin. You’ll get spectacular aerial views of lush wetlands, rocky escarpments, plunging gorges and misty waterfalls, and maybe spot saltwater crocs, wild pigs and water buffalo.
Travel time 15 minutes
Taxi Approx A$30
Shuttle Meets all flights. One-way A$16 (adult), A$8 (child, 4-12 yrs); return A$29 (adult), A$14 (child). Discount for two or more passengers.Back to top
When to go
There's only one thing you need to know about Darwin weather: there's a wet season and a dry season. The wet season is from November to April, and is characterised by humidity levels in excess of 80%, followed by monsoonal rains and storms. Temperatures range from 25–33°C.
The dry season, from May to October, is characterised by warm, dry, sunny days and cool nights. Temperatures range from 21–32°C, and humidity levels are between 60% and 65%.
The dry season is the best time to come to Darwin – it offers more opportunity to explore the more remote areas that are often off limits during the wet season.Back to top