Darwin is the vibrant capital city of the Northern Territory. This harbour city is great short-break destination and also the gateway to the Top End’s nature and culture experiences.
These include World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, Litchfield and Nitmiluk National Parks, the Tiwi Islands and Arnhem Land.
The city is the administrative and commercial hub of the Northern Territory and is home to a youthful population of about 110,000 people.
Darwin has a rich World War II history, so explore the attractions in the city or take a day-trip to the surrounding natural and cultural wonders.
Darwin has a relaxed outdoor lifestyle and enjoys warm weather all year round – it is a city never visited by winter.
Discover this fun, youthful and vibrant tropical city through its great markets and outdoor festivals.
Even movie-goers can enjoy independent and art-house films under the stars at the iconic Deckchair Cinema.
Travellers can explore Darwin’s World War II history at a range of significant sites, including ammunition bunkers, airstrips and oil tunnels in and around the city.
Darwin made world news when the city was rebuilt in the wake of Cyclone Tracy in 1974 - an event well documented at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
Darwin’s colourful history has contributed to its cultural diversity - more than 50 nationalities make up its 110,000 population, including the area's traditional landowners, the Aboriginal Larrakia people.
The tropical summer, from December to early March, provides a daily ritual of sunshine with afternoon showers of refreshing rain, which bring the landscape to life.
The tropical summer is famous for its spectacular, breathtaking thunderstorms that provide a free show over the picturesque harbour.
Many repeat visitors consider this to be the region's most beautiful time of year.
Situated in the heart of Darwin at Doctors Gully, this special attraction is where hundreds of fish come to shore at high tide to be fed by hand.
Feeding times change with the tides, so check the day's feeding times at the visitor Information Centre.
Australian Aviation Heritage Centre
This centre features an impressive collection of the Territory's aviation history from the aviation pioneers and record breakers to the Territory's frontier role in WWII.
There is a massive B52 Bomber, Mirage and Sabre jets, a Spitfire replica and Wessex, and Huey Cobra helicopters.
The development of the jet age is depicted through displays and photographs and the Bombing of Darwin exhibition here is a must-see.
Built in the late 1930s, Burnett House is a heritage-listed National Trust property and an excellent example of early tropical architecture.
Relax in the gardens and enjoy High Tea, served every Sunday from 3.30pm to 6pm.
Casuarina Coastal Reserve
Located in the city's northern suburbs, this coastal reserve is a great place for a walk along the beach, watch the sunset from the Dripstone Cliffs or enjoy a picnic in the shady recreational areas.
For the naturists amongst our visitors, a section of the beach has been set aside for their use.
Charles Darwin National Park
Just a short drive from the city, this park was developed to show visitors the rich mangrove habitats of Darwin Harbour.
Relics of Darwin's involvement in WWII can also be seen here – these reinforced concrete bunkers were used for safe storage of ammunitions during the wartime action.
Come face-to-face with Australia's most famous predator, the saltwater crocodile.
Crocodylous Park is located 15-minute drive from Darwin and is home to wildlife including exotic big cats, mischievous monkeys, giant lizards, spectacular birds and a fascinating museum.
Join the highly-acclaimed tour and see jumping crocodiles up-close, get a chance to feed crocodiles and tigers and even hold the photogenic juvenile crocodile.
Darwin’s newest tourist attraction allows visitors get up-close-and-personal with massive saltwater crocodiles, hatchlings and juveniles.
It also houses the world’s largest display of Australian reptiles and don’t miss the turtle sanctuary, overlooking the licensed café and function facilities.
Enjoy the underwater world within the 200,000 litre freshwater aquarium and witness metre-long barramundi being fed by divers along with 15 other species of freshwater fish and turtles, all within the city’s CBD.
Cullen Bay Marina
Featuring an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes and gift shops, Cullen Bay Marina is also the departure point for a number of sunset harbour cruise and fishing tour operators.
Vessels must pass through a double-action loch to access the sea, established to protect the marina from Darwin's fluctuating eight-metre tides.
George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens
These gardens cover 42 hectares and showcase the flora of northern Australia and other tropical habitats around the world.
Wander through monsoonal forests, coastal fore dunes, mangroves and open woodlands, with orchids, bromeliads and other striking foliage plants.
The Wesleyan church, formerly located on the corner of Mitchell and Knuckey Streets in the city, has been restored and relocated here.
Lyons Cottage, built in 1925, was the residence of the British Australian Telegraph company engineer.
Local hammered stone was used to construct this unusual and unique domestic design, which is a fine example of early Darwin architecture.
Today it houses a fascinating collection of photographs and artefacts depicting the early history of Darwin.
Mindil Beach Sunset Markets
Held every Thursday and Sunday night from April to October, these are Darwin's largest and most popular weekly markets.
They feature a multitude of stalls offering international cuisine, arts, crafts and entertainment.
The combination of great food and an electric atmosphere make a visit a must-do.
Enjoy a picnic dinner on the beach while watching a spectacular tropical sunset.
Darwin’s has a number of all-year-round markets including Saturday morning Parap Village Markets, Sunday morning Nightcliff Markets and Rapid Creek Markets (Darwin's oldest market) and Palmerston's Friday night markets.
Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
The museum, situated at Bullocky Point, features collections of the region's art, natural science, history and culture.
The museum encompasses Aboriginal art and culture, arts and craft from south-east Asian and Pacific regions, maritime archaeology and Northern Territory history.
It also houses a great Cyclone Tracy exhibit and the chance to meet Sweetheart, the Top End’s most famous crocodile.
Northern Territory Parliament House
This is Australia’s newest Parliament House and the Northern Territory’s premier public building.
Opened in 1994, it is a magnificent example of tropical architecture and also houses the Northern Territory Library.
Self-Guided Tours - Free brochures are available in the foyer near the front entrance to Parliament House. The brochure allows visitors to explore the public areas of the building at their leisure.
Free Guided Tours - Free guided tours last about an hour and depart from the foyer at 9am and 11am every Saturday. During the Dry Season, from May to September, an additional tour is offered on Wednesdays at 10.30am.
USS Peary Memorial
Salvaged from the wreck of the USS Peary, the gun is now situated on The Esplanade.
Today, it serves as a memorial, dedicated to the officers and crew who lost their lives when the vessel was attacked and sunk during the first air attack on Darwin by the Japanese during WWII.
Darwin Wharf Precinct
This precinct, which is currently undergoing a $1.1 billion makeover, has many historical and modern attractions and offers a variety of eating options, ranging from alfresco eateries to top-class seafood.
Stokes Hill Wharf can be seen in Baz Luhmann’s Australia and here you board a sunset harbour cruise, relax and enjoy the seasonal live entertainment, or drop a line from the fishing platforms.
Australian Pearling Exhibition
Situated at the entrance of the Darwin Wharf Precinct, this exhibit offers a fascinating and informative insight into the pearling industry in northern Australian waters.
It takes you through years of pearling history - from the days of the lugger and hard-hat diving to modern farming and pearl culturing techniques.
Located in the Wharf Precinct, this is Darwin's only open-air cinema and inspired a scene in Baz Lehmann’s Australia.
Bring your fish and chips and relax in Territory-style in canvas deckchairs under the stars, with frangipani-scented breezes and bats flying overhead, with a drink from the bar.
The cinema is open nightly from April through to November.
Indo Pacific Marine
Darwin's only living marine environment centre gives the public an unparalleled opportunity to see and learn about this fragile world.
It is one of only three such exhibitions in the world and has won 13 awards for excellence and ecotourism.
The centre’s popular ‘coral reef by night’ program (bookings are essential) is held on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
It features a tour of the complex followed by a four-course dinner and a tour of the reef systems in the dark.
WWII Oil Storage Tunnels
One of the more interesting constructions in Darwin during WWII, the oil storage tunnels are located near the Darwin Wharf Precinct.
Today, there are two tunnels open to the public, which house a collection of photographs of Darwin and the men and women who served here during the war.
An experienced guide will give you an informative talk about the Bombing of Darwin and you can then explore the tunnels on a self-guided walk.
East Point Reserve
This recreational area has extensive walking and cycling paths, picnic areas with free barbecue facilities.
The reserve is also home to Darwin's East Point Military Museum, which houses an extensive collection of photographic and informative displays.
East Point is also well known as one of the best places to view Darwin’s famous sunsets.
There is safe, year-round, swimming in Lake Alexander.
Fannie Bay Gaol
Opened in 1883, Fannie Bay Gaol was the major detention centre in Darwin for almost 100 years and is now open as an historic site.
The buildings still convey the oppressive atmosphere for which they were originally intended and the precinct is well worth a visit.
For the adrenalin chasing, action starved, energy traveller…the Top End of Australia’s Northern Territory offers a frontier adventure of a different kind. A real outback kind.
Here it gets real personal. You can make it challenging or rewarding. You’ll probably leave a different person. Stonger, confident with a new...read more