Sun’s out, fun’s out: Darwin for kids
The kids will love a tropical holiday in family-friendly Darwin.
- August 2021
Darwin is an ideal destination for kids. It’s warm and sunny, and there are beaches and pools to splash the day away in. It’s an easy-going town, where dinner can be some unusual street food from the market and kids can watch a movie under the stars. It’s a wonderland of waterfalls and wildlife parks – the kind of things dream holidays are made of. Here are some of the must-do things for the kids.
Rock with the crocs at Crocosaurus Cove
Come on, you didn’t think you could come to Darwin and not interact with at least one croc, did you? Crocosaurus Cove is right in the centre of Darwin and it gives the kids an amazing, up-close experience with these gnarly characters. There’s also a massive display of fish, turtles, reptiles and the adorable whiprays, with their cute little smiles. You can watch them being fed and see all kinds of fascinating displays. (Sorry, the ‘Cage of Death’, where you can actually swim with a massive saltwater croc, is only for kids over the age of 15.)
Ride the waves at the waterfront Wave Lagoon
Darwin’s waterfront precinct is a fantastic area to spend the day in. The big drawcard is the Wave Lagoon – a huge pool with a cycle of wave patterns so the kids can ride the waves on tubes and boogie boards. It’s a crazy amount of fun. There’s a shallow area for the really little kids.
There’s also the Recreation Lagoon nearby, with a sandy beach and saltwater swimming. The waterfront precinct includes grassed areas, perfect for picnics, a playground and a Ferris Wheel. (The waterfront also hosts school holiday activities, so check their website.)
Get to the gallery
Darwin is home to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, a family-friendly, fascinating gallery and museum. There’s an exhibition on Cyclone Tracy, a showcase of the Territory’s flora and fauna, and indigenous artworks. There’s also local celebrity, Sweetheart – a stuffed, 5-metre, 780-kilogram saltie. The Discovery Centre is set aside just for kids, offering supervised arts and crafts activities inspired by the current exhibitions. The gift store sells learning kits, which make for a great souvenir.
Splash in a waterfall at Litchfield National Park
There are some wonderful national parks close to Darwin. Litchfield National Park is 90 minutes away, and if you have impatient mini passengers, Berry Springs Nature Park is just 40 minutes away. Litchfield is full of waterfalls and swimming holes, so take the kids for a memorable childhood adventure. They’ll love Buley Rockhole, a swimming hole fed by waterfalls and surrounded by rainforest. There are barbecues and picnic tables there too. At Berry Springs, swim in clear water pools, and make the most of picnic tables, shady areas, and the walking track.
Meet the critters at Territory Wildlife Park
Just near Berry Springs, you’ll find the Territory Wildlife Park. There’s a whole host of attractions here, all linked by a shuttle train, adding an extra element of fun for the kids and making it easier on little legs. There are all kinds of habitats to explore and animals to meet. There are treetop aviaries, a walk-through aquarium, wallaby musters and whipray feedings. Of course, there’s a giant saltwater croc there too, as well as echidnas, emus, ghost bats and the magical blue-winged kookaburras.