Things to do in Darwin
In Darwin, you can shop, drink and eat until your heart is content. But there are also some less orthodox tourist attractions to check out. Take, for instance, a trip to Fannie Bay Gaol. Opened in 1883, the jail was the major detention centre in Darwin for almost 100 years but is now open to the public as an historic site – Darwin’s ‘Alcatraz’ is well worth a visit.
While you can’t swim in Darwin Harbour, you can sail around the water or enjoy the view from the comfort of an alfresco cafe after a spot of shopping at Cullen Bay Marina or along the Waterfront Precinct. Yes, for the hundredth time – don’t swim in the water, there’s stingers and crocs! If you do want to get up close and personal with a crocodile without fear of getting eaten by one, take a crocodile tour on the water. Traverse Darwin’s nearby network of billabongs and meet giant crocs and a colourful array of birdlife, or head to a dedicated sanctuary to see all the indigenous critters.
Litchfield National Park is another popular day trip from Darwin. Just 100 kilometres southwest of Darwin, the national park boasts countless different landscapes including rocky sandstone escarpments, spring-fed streams, monsoonal rainforest, tranquil waterfalls and historic ruins. Take an easy walk and picnic at Wangi Falls or hike further to Tolmer Falls for sweeping valley views. No matter how far you make it, a plunge in a rock pool is a necessity to truly experience nature’s gift to the Top End.
For more of our fave sights in Darwin, read on.
This popular Darwin markets really sums up the city: an outdoors market on the waterfront that showcases the local laidback tropical lifestyle and the city's proximity to Asia through food, crafts, souvenirs and handmade goodies.
Not just a reprieve from the summer heat, visit this air-conditioned centre of culture to experience the art, handicrafts and traditions of the Territory plus Southeast Asia and Oceania. Don't miss Sweetheart - the huge stuffed croc!
The only safe wave to ride in Darwin, cool off in the wave lagoon, cruise the boutiques, dine alfresco, wander along the boardwalks and just generally soak up the ambience and balmy weather at the scenic Darwin Waterfront Precinct.
Spanning an area the size of Slovenia, Kakadu National Park showcases the Top End through amazing biodiversity and sacred Aboriginal sites. See cascading waterfalls, abundant wildlife in the wetlands, ancient rock art and, yes, crocodiles amid the splendour of this living gem.
If you are keen to get a croc fix in a controlled environment (read: do not go swimming in Darwin Harbour), head to Darwin's Crocodylus Park. Here, you can spy jumping crocodiles, baby crocs and plenty of other indigenous wildlife as well as big cats to satisfy your reptilian urges.