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​The Romance Guide: Darwin & Surrounds

Why the NT’s capital is the ultimate city for lovebirds...

Known for its tropical climate, colour and vibrancy, Darwin is the idyllic place for you and your lover to connect and fall in love. The city is surrounded by rich and rugged landscapes, cascading waterfalls and pristine shorelines for you to explore together, hand-in-hand, drinking in one precious moment at a time. Find out how you and your other half can enjoy a romantic rendezvous in Darwin.

What to do

Darwin’s sunsets are world renowned, so take full advantage of cuddles in your darling’s arms under the burnt-orange sun as it fades over the horizon. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, do it in style, bubbly in hand, on a luxurious sunset cruise hosted by Darwin Harbour Cruises.

There’s nothing more romantic than sweeping your crush off their feet with an exclusive helicopter flight over the Timor Sea with Airborne Solutions. Marvel at Darwin’s picturesque coastline before landing on a private beach. At dusk, indulge in a bottle of champagne and a five-star dining platter as the stars come out to play.

Once you’re back on land, take a lover’s stroll through Darwin’s famous street markets. Get lost in the music, stalls and the aromas of ethnic foods on offer at the famous and multicultural Mindil Beach Sunset Markets – operating every Thursday and Sunday night in the Dry Season. Nothing says romance quite like sitting side by side on the beach, laksa in hand, bare feet in the sand while you're watching an epic Darwin sunset.

When the evening comes, why not relive your first date by cozying up to your boo in the open-air Deckchair Cinema in Darwin Harbour? Grab a picnic blanket and a bottle of red wine from the bar and enjoy a rom-com on the big screen.

Tune in to your tender sides and sail out to Bare Sand Island’s Turtle Tracks. At the right time of year, you can witness the turtles laying their eggs or even observe eggs hatching – an experience that will stay with you for life. Want to get up-close to the Aussie croc? Crocosaurus Cove gives you the opportunity to show off your heroism and go face-to-face with saltwater crocodiles. If you’re both game enough, jump in the ‘Cage of Death’ – it’s not for the faint hearted!

After exploring the city, take a day trek out to Darwin’s surrounds in a four-wheel-drive. Pack a scrumptious cheese platter to share under the shade of the trees in Litchfield National Park. There’s plenty of bush tracks to traverse and, when you want to cool down, enjoy a spray from the misty waterfalls or swim in the crystal-clear waterholes of Florence Falls, Wangi Falls or Buley Rockhole. If you can’t get enough of your time in the trees together, travel to where the outback meets the tropics: stop at Katherine or explore the natural wonders of Kakadu National Park.

Where to wine and dine

Darwin is a foodie couples’ paradise. If you and your boo enjoy Asian fusion cuisine, book a table at Hanuman Restaurant in the heart of the city. A locals tip: Book ahead, as it can get very busy.

If you’re in the mood for romance, why not enjoy a fleeting moment in Paris? The Pearl Darwin is an intimate chic modern French restaurant located down the Vic Arcade in Darwin's Smith St. Mall. Sip on espresso martinis while you say “je t’aime.”

Are you looking to impress with a vista? Spoil your special one at Pee Wee’s At The Point, overlooking Fannie Bay. Savour locally caught tiger prawns with a bottle of chilled pinot gris while sitting alfresco or inside the architecturally-designed restaurant.

If it’s a casual weekend outing with your boo, have a peek at the waterfront restaurant Wharf One which is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Go for the local produce, including food vans along the water – check out the Pizza Van and Needle in a Haystack – and linger for the affogatos and romantic views.

Seeking something truly special? Indulge in a sumptuous seafood dinner at sunset as you sail around Darwin Harbour. Cape Adieu Harbour Cruises will tantalise your tastebuds with freshly shucked oysters, smoked Spanish mackerel, Australian Angus steaks, locally caught fish and seasonal salads. If seafood is your thing, take a stroll with your partner along the Cullen Bay Marina where you can partake in boat watching and a basket of good old-fashioned fish and chips on the waterfront.

Where to stay

If you’re looking to swoon, five-star resort Mindil Beach Casino Resort won’t disappoint. Close to the city, this beachfront resort sits on 30 acres of luscious gardens. After a day of exploring, treat yourselves to a cocktail at the swim-up bar or dine at one of the five restaurants on-site.

For a home-away-from-home with seductive views, consider a stylish and well-equipped apartment at Darwin Waterfront Luxury Suites. Or, if you’re planning something out-of-the-box for someone special, leave it up to the award-winning More Than a Room to organise boutique accommodation for you.

If you’re planning a couples’ retreat to Kakadu National Park, you want to stay in the heart of nature. The indigenous-owned Cooinda Lodge Kakadu offers you an immersive cultural journey into the history of the land where you can pitch a tent together or stay in a lodge appointed with double beds, air conditioning and a private courtyard.

Are you a couple that like the idea of camping, but still need a touch of glamour? Well, ‘glamping’ might be your next adventure. Wildman Wilderness Lodge proves that the bush and luxury can coexist. The safari tents take the idea of comfort to a whole new level, with double beds, ensuite bathrooms and stylish amenities. Imagine waking up with your darling to the sound of native birds chirping, streams of morning sun, crisp forest air and a warm coffee. Pure bliss.

Bamurru Plains by Wild Bush Luxury is a truly unique accommodation option for romance right in the thick of the wild. Located on the coastal floodplains of Mary River, Bamurru Plains offers its guests an extensive list of activities and day trips to participate in. And, just because you’re ‘out bush’ doesn’t mean you have to compromise when it comes to your room. After a day of exploring, come back to your luxurious, African-inspired safari suite and watch the wildlife from your bed.

Ready to revel Darwin?

Darwin is a lover’s playground – from sharing culinary joys at candlelight, to delighting in worldly wonders, magical moments are just a flight away. Start planning your getaway now.

Visit our website for more Northern Territory travel inspiration, itinerary ideas and driving routes.

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