11 Things To Do In Darwin

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Situated on the edge of Australia’s northern region comes its capital, i.e., the city of Darwin. Despite having more than 30% of the population born in foreign, the city has still maintained its cultural heritage. With tropical weather, broadly two main seasons exist in the coastal city of Darwin, i.e., wet and dry. And the most preferred one for touring around is the time period between May and October, which is the dry season, as you will see fewer people moving around, giving you the required freedom to wander freely.

The beaches and the beachside night markets aren’t the only things worth admiring, as there is a lot more to be explored and seen. Ranging from food tasting to visiting museums, strolling in stunning national parks, and going for an entertainment hour at the Darwin deckchair cinema, we’ve got it all figured out for you. So without further ado, let’s dive deep into what all of Australia’s northern region’s renowned city, i.e., Darwin, has to offer that you can enjoy with your friends, family, and kids in terms of activities and attractions.

Regardless of the fact that the population of Darwin is less than that of other Australian capitals, it is packed with a lot of stuff to do and be a part of. Whether you are heading out for a day out or looking to plan a week-long trip, the city of Darwin has got your back. Following are some of the best options for things to do in this city:

1. Catch An Entertain Hour At The Darwin Deckchair Cinema

Darwin Deckchair Cinema

Led by the Darwin Film Society comes the Darwin Deckchair Cinema, which has become one of the most noticeable attractions for everyone in Darwin. This cinema operates throughout the dry season, allowing everyone to enjoy their favourite movies and films while soaking up the beauty of the sunset across the ocean. The range of movies screened includes family favourites, Australian cinema-based movies, and international movies as well.

The atmosphere that gets built is truly one of a kind, as films get screened in the open air on Darwin Harbour. For the meal, grab yourself one of the dishes offered based on all the different cuisines, like Indonesian, Nepalese, Sri Lankan, and much more. For the best experience, have a meal and a drink before the film begins so as to partake in everything in a pleasurable way.

Name Deckchair Cinema
Website deckchaircinema.com/
Address Jervois Rd, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Opening Hours Monday: 5:45 am – 10:00 pm
Tuesday: 5:45 am – 10:00 pm
Wednesday: 5:45 am – 10:00 pm
Thursday: 5:45 am – 10:00 pm
Friday: 5:45 am – 11:00 pm
Saturday: 5:45 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday: 5:45 am – 10:00 pm
Distance From Darwin CBD 1.1 km
Nearby Eateries The Reserve | Snapper Rocks | Curve Restaurant and Bar | bellaBAR | Bravo Pasta & Wine Bar

2. Pay A Visit To The Mindil Beach

Mindil Beach

Nothing can beat the rush that runs through your nerves while you relish a beautiful sunset at a beach. Making it more visually attractive, the blue water at Mindil Beach. For swimmers and sun-seekers, this beach is an ideal one, making it one of the most chosen beaches in Darwin. As the beach water is a bit crowded by crocodiles and jellyfish, it’s advised to go swimming only if you’re an experienced one.

You can also head over to the Mindil Beach Sunset Market, which operates in the dry season. More than 200 stalls are there, offering a range of local as well as international food, arts, and crafts. It is good for those who want to try out an international dish based in different areas. Some of the main servings include Indonesian satay sticks, locally shucked oysters, crocodile dishes, tropical juices and ice cream, spiced laksa, charcoal octopus, and much more.

Name Mindil Beach
Website darwin.nt.gov.au/community/mindil-beach
Address The Gardens NT, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Opening Hours Open 24/7 hours
Distance From Darwin CBD 2.9 km
Nearby Eateries Nepa kitchen | Lola's Pergola Darwin | The Vue | Exotic North Indian cuisine | Dragon Court | Nirvana Restaurant Darwin

3. Take A Darwin Harbour Cruise

Darwin Harbour Cruise

Although Darwin is a city that isn’t much explored by a lot of people, it is still admired for the amazing sunsets it hosts. To take in some of the most brilliant views of the oceans, you can take a Darwin Harbour cruise. This way, you would be able to get relaxed and admire a 360-degree view while getting knowledge from onboard commentary about the region’s importance in regards to history and culture.

It’s recommended to book the cruise during the golden hour, as this way you will be able to take a look at the sun while it’s running down the waterline. Booking options include the Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise and the Gaze and Graze Sunset Cruise. The ticket for these starts at $121 only, and the whole tour is about 3 hours long. For eatables, a lot of stuff and beverages are available to choose from.

Name Darwin Harbour Cruises
Website darwinharbourcruises.com.au/
Address 7 Stokes Hill Rd, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Opening Hours Monday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 5:00 pm
Distance From Darwin CBD 1.5 km
Nearby Eateries Curve Restaurant and Bar | The Reserve | Fiddlers Green | PepperBerry Restaurant | Curve Restaurant and Bar

4. See Crocodiles At The Crocosaurus Cove

The Crocosaurus Cove

Crocodiles and Darwin go hand in hand. To get a close, real-life encounter with some of the most gigantic saltwater crocodiles, visit Crocosaurus Cove. It is the only place in the whole of Australia where you can dive in water with crocodiles in a completely safe environment. To increase awareness about these often misunderstood creatures, the Crocosaurus Cove pits have arranged feeding displays and educational talks.

On a daily basis, a total of nine reptile shows are hosted, of which the big croc feeding show is the main highlight. Under it, you are given the opportunity to feed baby crocs by yourself. For adventure teens, the main highlight is engaging with the crocodiles in a 15-minute Cage of Death dive. It is a dive that is open to kids aged 15 and over. Don’t forget to click a selfie with the baby crocs to boost the fun for yourself.

Name Crocosaurus Cove
Website croccove.com/
Address 58 Mitchell St, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Opening Hours Monday: 9 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday: 9 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 9 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 6:00 pm
Friday: 9 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 6:00 pm
Distance From Darwin CBD 800 m
Nearby Eateries Lizards Bar and Restaurant | The Tap on Mitchell | D Bar & Restaurant | PepperBerry Restaurant

5. See Animals At The Crocodylus Park

Crocodylus Park

Adding another level of fun and adventure to your Darwin trip is Crocodylus Park. It’s a premier wildlife conservation centre that was founded by a well-known crocodile Biologist Professor named Grahame Webb. Crocodiles are not the only wildlife creatures that you will catch here, as lions, meerkats, reptiles marmosets, cassowaries, spider monkeys, and various bird species are also there to be spotted.

You can also get up close with many creatures over there, like Meerkats, Monkies, and Dingos. Under it, you are allowed to feed those animals and take photos with them to enjoy yourself. Additionally, the option of taking a boat cruise is also there, through which you can see crocodiles being live-fed as they come out of the water seeking their food. The ticket prices are based on the attraction you choose and the age of the visitor as well.

Name The Crocodylus Park
Website crocodyluspark.com.au/
Address 815 McMillans Rd, Berrimah NT 0828, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Opening Hours Monday: 9 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 9 am – 4:00 pm
Wednesday: 9 am – 4:00 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 4:00 pm
Friday: 9 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 4:00 pm
Distance From Darwin CBD 14 km
Nearby Eateries Tacos and Grounds | The Midway Berrimah | Darwin Kebab and Pizza (DKP) | Elements | Gourmet House Takeaway

6. Visit The Darwin Waterfront Precinct

Darwin Waterfront Precinct

The Darwin Waterfront Precinct is Darwin’s only man-made lagoon, which all families must visit at least once. It is a safe wave and swimming lagoon that does contain a bit of marine life but is free from any kind of sharks and stingers to keep the area safe for all to visit. The whole area is patrolled by lifeguards on a year-round basis. For everyone, this precinct is an ideal location to escape the summer heat. 

Giving people a more laid-back experience, they also have deckchairs, shaded lawns, and a lot of open space where people can enjoy themselves. During school holidays, many people, including kids, come to take part in programmes like free craft sessions with a fairy, face painting, pizza parties, various sports competitions and games, and scuba diving lessons. Nearby, you can find a lot of excellent dining options, like family-friendly restaurants and cafes, as well as laid-back pubs and bars where you can enjoy your food.

Name Darwin Waterfront Precinct
Website www.waterfront.nt.gov.au/
Address 19B Kitchener Dr, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Opening Hours Open 24/7 hours
Distance From Darwin CBD 600 m
Nearby Eateries PepperBerry Restaurant | Snapper Rocks | Curve Restaurant and Bar | The Reserve | bellaBAR

7. Uncovering The Darwin Military Museum

Darwin Military Museum

Visiting the Darwin Military Museum will brief you on the importance of the city of Darwin in World War II. This museum was originated by Lieutenant Colonel Jack Haydon and some members of the Northern Territory branch of the Royal Australian Artillery Association in the 1960s. Keeping its originality, it’s still housed in the original concrete command post bunker that armies used to command the two 9.2-inch guns nearby.

One of the main highlights at the Darwin Military Museum is the Defence of Darwin Experience (DDE), which briefs about the story of how the Japanese bombing took place on February 19, 1942. The ticket for it starts at just $10. Other than that, you will find a lot of artefacts, weapons, photographs, artillery pieces, military vehicles, propaganda, and interviews from the past related to the war only.

Name Darwin Military Museum
Website darwinmilitarymuseum.com.au/
Address 5434 Alec Fong Lim Dr, East Point NT 0820, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Opening Hours Monday: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Thursday: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Friday: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 3:00 pm
Distance From Darwin CBD 8.5 km
Nearby Eateries The O.A.K. - Original Australian Kitchen Darwin | The Chook Shed | Table Forty Three | Yogi's Way | Bamboo Lounge

8. Spend A Day At The Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park

On your trip to Darwin, visiting Litchfield National Park would definitely be a wise choice, as entry here is free. The whole of the park is spread across an area of approximately 1,500 km2. As per the locals, this nature’s haven is known as nature’s own waterpark, and some even refer to it as the Lost City. Out of all the swimming holes and waterfalls available, the main ones are Wangi Falls and Florence Falls. Visiting this park early in the morning would be the best, as this way you would be able to beat the crowd.

Instead of walking the whole path, it’s recommended to go on a 4WD. To experience everything in a detailed manner, going on a cruise would be a considerable choice, as it will take you through the Adelaide River, Buley Rockhole, Wangi Falls, and Florence Falls along the way. If visiting this place in the wet season, extra precaution is required as crocodiles might be there. A strange yet appealing site to be noticed here is the Magnetic Termite Mounds, which are 6-foot flat, broad structures and total 100 in number.

Name Litchfield Park Adventures
Website darwinlitchfieldparkadventures.com.au/
Address 19 Meigs Cres, Stuart Park NT 0800, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Opening Hours Monday: 8 am – 8:00 pm
Tuesday: 8 am – 8:00 pm
Wednesday: 8 am – 8:00 pm
Thursday: 8 am – 8:00 pm
Friday: 8 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday: 8 am – 8:00 pm
Distance From Darwin CBD 2.2 km
Nearby Eateries Yogi's Way | Ceylanthra Café and Restaurant | Hakusho Cafe | Frying Nemo Fish and Chips | Ton's Bistro at Dinah

9. Enjoy Ferris Wheel At The Skyline Precinct

Skyline Precinct

To get a bird’s-eye view of the Darwin skyline for yourself, consider taking a Ferris wheel ride at The Skyline Precinct. You will be hanging 35 metres high above the ocean. This place is great for a family adventure, a romantic outing, or a unique corporate event as well. By taking a ticket, you will be entitled to enjoy the ferris wheel ride, get access to the Strayamania mini golf course, and to the Stoked Bar as well.

The mini golf course consists of a 9-hole Australian-themed mini golf course that is an excellent way for your little ones to get along with the basics of golfing. The menu at the stoked bar consists of a variety of coffees, baked goods, the main course, drinks, and a lot of other stuff. The operating hours of The Skyline Precinct are subject to weather conditions; thus, it’s advised to first cross-check the same using the following contact details:

Name Skyline Precinct - Darwin
Website skylineattractions.com.au/darwin
Address 7 Stokes Hill Rd, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Opening Hours Monday: 11:00 am – 10:30 pm
Tuesday: 11:00 am – 10:30 pm
Wednesday: 11:00 am – 10:30 pm
Thursday: 11:00 am – 10:30 pm
Friday: 10:00 am – 10:30 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am – 10:30 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am – 10:30 pm
Distance From Darwin CBD 1.5 km
Nearby Eateries The Reserve | Oyster Bar Darwin | Siam Thai | Urban Spice Pantry Restaurant | BUB & SOOL Korean Restaurant in Darwin

10. Visit The Museum And Art Gallery Of The Northern Territory (MAGNT)

Northern Territory

MAGNT is the northern territory’s premier art space and museum. For travellers visiting this place for the first time, coming to this museum would allow them to get acquainted with the region. The featured exhibitions not only highlight the recent European colonisation of Darwin but also address the untold Aboriginal history of the state. Additionally, you will see a lot of exhibitions that feature local artists from the Northern Territory and all of Australia as well.

One of the main attractions at this place is the taxidermied saltwater crocodile named Sweetheart. Other than that, one can see a lot of different kinds of smoking pipes from the old era and various scientific discoveries made by Darwin as well. A family can visit this museum to learn about the history of the region, as they feature a lot of public programmes for children as well, which consist of options like prehistoric picnics, creating and naming new animals, and much more.

Name Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Website magnt.net.au/
Address 19 Conacher St, The Gardens NT 0820, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Opening Hours Monday: 10 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 10 am – 4:00 pm
Wednesday: 10 am – 4:00 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 4:00 pm
Friday: 10 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 4:00 pm
Distance From Darwin CBD 5 km
Nearby Eateries Zhen's Corner | McDonald's Stuart Park | Uncle Sam's Take Away Food | Guzman y Gomez - Stuart Park

11. See The Parliament House

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

The Parliament House was opened in 1994 and is referred to as the heart of Darwin’s government district. The public area that this building hosts is open for exploration using a free self-guided tour booklet. This way, you would be able to learn about the Northern Territory’s political history and process. Heading over to the Parliament House would allow you to get a glance at how big Australia’s political landscape is.

Some of the main points of attraction include the light-coloured Tasmanian timbers used on the property that reflect the sunlight, the coat of arms over the ceremonial doors, and the stylised Sturt’s desert rose in the foyer. For a much better view, you can also go with the option of a Darwin cruise to admire the exteriors of Parliament House in a much better way. During the dry season, you can catch free tours that operate each Friday morning.

Name Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Website parliament.nt.gov.au/
Address Parliament House, 15 Mitchell St, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia
Directions Google Maps
Opening Hours Monday: 7 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday: 7 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 7 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday: 7 am – 6:00 pm
Friday: 7 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 6:00 pm
Distance From Darwin CBD 450 m
Nearby Eateries Lizards Bar and Restaurant | Alfonsino's | Darlings Pasta Club | Fiddlers Green

Final Considerations

Your hunt to explore a significant city in Australia ends with Darwin. Whether you plan a day-long itinerary or a week-long trip, one thing is sure: you are going to enjoy every second spent engaged in all the different activities to do in Darwin. Despite having the tag of carrying an aboriginal feel with it, this city still has its modern charm with it. You can start your journey by visiting the Darwin Harbour and taking a cruise ride, and then you can go for some entertainment at the Darwin Deckchair Cinema. To explore everything in a convenient manner, plan your trip in the dry season that is active from May to October.

Frequently Asked Questions

On average, about three days would be more than enough to spend in Darwin. This way, you will be able to experience everything in a brief manner. During these 3 days, you would be able to visit all the main attractions of Darwin, like the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, the Crocosaurus Cove, Mindil Beach and its Sunset Market, Litchfield National Park, and much more.

There are a number of activities and attractions that you can become a part of when visiting the city of Darwin. In here, you can find some of Australia’s most incredible wonders, like Litchfield National Park, Crocosaurus Cove, and much more. Other than that, you get the option to indulge in activities like swimming in crystal-clear waterfalls and exploring ancient Aboriginal rock art sites. The Aboriginal culture that this city has maintained till now is also worthwhile. For it, you can visit places like the Darwin Military Museum and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. The food scene present in this city is also admirable. The dishes here are based on South-east Asian flavours, Greek cuisine, and Italian influences as well.

The best time period to visit Darwin is the dry season, which lasts from May to October. In these months, you will find that the weather is quite warm and sunny, with only a little humidity. This gives people a perfect opportunity to get indulged in activities like swimming, hiking, and visiting national parks as well. Still, one thing worth keeping in mind is that the prices for flights and accommodations are supposed to be much higher during this season.

One of the main reasons why the cost of living in Darwin is high is its remoteness. Due to this, transportation costs are also quite high, and the local production level is also quite low. This ultimately leads to increased dependence on imported items. Although this doesn’t mean that living in this city isn’t feasible at all, in some industries, the wages are potentially high, giving people an overall better experience.

Yes, the city of Darwin is quite a walkable one, as it hosts a number of well-maintained walking and biking paths. Additionally, the overall layout of the city is also quite well maintained, making it easily accessible on foot.

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