Explore the adventure, wildlife and aboriginal culture that awaits you in Darwin in this list of top 10 things to do.
Get ready for adventure in the Northern Territory's capital. An exciting and unique part of the world, the Top End is rich in Indigenous culture and natural beauty. Not only does the Territory boast some of the planet's most incredible wildlife, but the “tamed” parts of the city also offer superb restaurants, classy bars and luxury accommodation.
Get close to nature’s most fearsome creatures at Crocosaurus Cove. Feed some of the world’s biggest saltwater crocodiles, take a selfie with a baby croc and be lowered into the water with the prehistoric reptiles in the “Cage of Death”. See barramundi, sawfish, archer fish and whiprays in the freshwater aquarium. Don’t miss the Turtle Enclosure and Reptile House.
Territory Wildlife Park
Discover the incredible variety of wildlife in the Top End. The Territory Wildlife Park, a 45-minute drive south of Darwin, is the place to see dingos and more. A train runs between the attractions, which include a walk-through aviary, nocturnal house, goose lagoon, aquarium, billabong and monsoon forest walk. The Flight Deck bird show is a highlight.
Mary River Wetlands
Can you imagine a more Australian name than Corroboree Billabong? This is the starting point for your two-and-a-half-hour cruise of the Mary River Wetlands, home to the largest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the world. The boat will get you close enough to fill your camera’s memory stick and the expert commentary will have you on the edge of your seat. For those who want to stay in the area longer to wander the bush tracts, go birdwatching and catch a fish try the Mary River Wilderness Retreat with accommodation options that range from budget to deluxe.
Join this half-day tour that takes in a monsoon forest, rocky coastline, savannah woodland and a two-kilometre (1.2 miles) walk through mangroves and along a boardwalk to the mudflats. The tour includes pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation and the use of binoculars and spotting scopes to help you see exotic species like honeyeaters, flycatchers, kingfishers, finches, cockatoos and drongos.
Litchfield National Park
Head into the heart of Australia on a day tour filled with adventure and discovery. Explore the rich greenery of Litchfield, see towering termite mounds, swim near cascading waterfalls and take a boat ride on the Adelaide River to spot huge crocodiles. Relax and watch the sunset over prawns and sparkling wine before you return to your accommodation.
Darwin Military Museum
Step back in time to the dark days of World War II and get an understanding of Darwin’s important role in the conflict. Students of military history will enjoy the interactive, multimedia Defence of Darwin Experience, which includes a multi-sensory theatre depicting the bombing of Darwin in February 1942. Darwin has nine World War II military heritage sites to explore.
Cruise Darwin Harbour
Discover the history, intrigue and natural environment of Darwin Harbour on four different nature-focused tours. See the local marine habitats, shipwrecks, mangroves, and sites of cultural significance and learn what happened when World War II came to Darwin. You may even be able to meet nesting or hatchling turtles on the Turtle Tracks tour between April and October.
Explore the enthralling culture of the local Pudakul people on this authentic, nature-based experience. Learn about bush tucker and traditional medicine, try to play a didgeridoo, play the clapsticks, throw a spear and see basket and dilly bag making demonstrations. You’ll also discover the significance of Dreamtime and Djukbinj, the Rainbow Serpent and enjoy damper (bush bread) and tea.
Kakadu National Park
See the rugged landscape of the iconic Kakadu National Park from the air and on the ground – all in one day. From the air you will appreciate its vastness, seeing savannah forest, the Arnhem Land Plateau, winding rivers and Mary River National Park. You’ll also cruise the Yellow Water billabong, home to plenty of birdlife and countless saltwater crocodiles.
Mindil Beach Sunset Market
Sample a range of exotic cuisines and pick up beautiful handmade craft pieces at the Mindil Beach Sunset Market. Every Sunday and Thursday night, crowds gather on the shore of the Arafura Sea to watch the sun slip below the horizon, browse hundreds of stalls and enjoy the buskers. You can also grab a massage while you’re there.