For many, Darwin is the gateway to the Northern Territory, affectionately known as the Top End. It has a tropical vibe, more Bali than Bondi, with majestic palms, bright bougainvillea and fragrant frangipani filling the air.
This is a city with a tropical climate, a youthful outlook and a multi-cultural atmosphere. Head to Cullen Bay Marina and find a spot along the waterfront where locals gather for sunset views out to the Timor Sea and excellent dining.
There’s an eclectic mix of culinary influences, particularly Asian, with loads of colourful street food vendors and foodie markets. The Mindil Beach sunset markets are especially popular with some 60 food stalls tempting you with delicious aromas as the sun goes down.
Enjoy relaxing in Darwin, take a dip in the Waterfront Wave Lagoon, discover the city’s fascinating, and often overlooked, role in World War Two, enjoy a harbour cruise, or drop a line in the water and see what bites.
Head out to Berry Springs, Mary River, Lake Bennett or the Tiwi Islands. Wherever you go you’ll be sure to experience a fabulous day.
It’s tough to decide what to do during your time here but here are a few of our favourites.
Nature lovers and adrenaline junkies alike enjoy the ‘jumping crocodile’ cruise on the Adelaide River south of Darwin. These magnificent prehistoric creatures throw themselves up out of the water to catch food, unnervingly close to the boat.
Not far away, the Window on the Wetlands visitor centre offers amazing views across the Marrakai Plains and the Fogg Dam Nature Reserve is an unspoilt haven for a variety of birds and wildlife.
Litchfield National Park
This intriguing natural feature is a patchwork of monsoon forest, craggy rock formations and tumbling waterfalls such as Florence Falls where you can learn about your surroundings, Tolmer Falls with fantastic views down to the waterhole and Wangi Falls where you can swim in the crystal waters. Most striking of all are its monolithic termite mounds…
On the return to Darwin a popular detour is to stop at Howard Spring Nature Park where you can feed the turtles and barramundi.
Nitmiluk National Park
The Katherine river cuts through Arnhem Land and creates the Nitmiluk Gorge in the heart of the national park. The 12 km stretch, actually comprised of a number of separate gorges and with towering sandstone cliffs on either side, is magnificent, perfect for a leisurely cruise or canoe excursion.
Nitmiluk has a number of hiking trails, all well signposted, and the town of Katherine is a fascinating example of a North Territory township, built on cattle and farming.
Take an excursion by boat out past Darwin harbour and the Charles Point lighthouse, landing at Bare Sand Island as the sun begins to set. The turtle team guide you around, providing a fascinating insight into these remarkable creatures and their habitat.
Guides will explain the egg laying process which you should be able to witness by torchlight, according to the season possibly even watching hatchlings emerge from the sand before scurrying to the water’s edge.