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Girl canoeing between gorges at Nitmiluk National Park

Canoeing & kayaking around Darwin

Explore the extensive waterways surrounding Darwin, both coastal and inland, and immerse yourself in a marine environment brimming with life.

Darwin Harbour is a great spot to jump in a sea kayak, while nearby waterways are well suited for canoeing. If you’re keen to take part in multi-day kayaking trips, then head 321km south to Nitmiluk National Park to paddle the Katherine River, where you’ll experience some of the best kayaking in the country. Tours can be arranged from Darwin.

Sea kayaking

Boasting one of the most scenic parts of the coast in the Top End, Darwin Harbour is ripe for exploration by paddling about in a sea kayak. While conditions are generally suited for all levels, if you’re not experienced in the area it’s best to make enquiries before heading out. Check the weather report as well as the local information on crocodiles, which seasonally inhabit the waters.

You’ll find outlets based in Darwin that both sell and hire a variety of kayaks and canoes, as well as gear to suit your activities – whether that’s a fun paddle in the waves, sunset trips, or a spot of fishing. Other kayaking regions nearby include the coastline around the western side of the harbour to Cox Peninsula.


Canoeing is a great way of keeping fit while enjoying the local scenery. Some options close to Darwin include Lake Bennett Resort, 87km south of the capital. Its artificial lake is perfect for a paddle, as well as a good spot to cast a line for barramundi. Manton Dam is another scenic canoeing destination, and provides a great day trip from the city. Here you’ll find plenty of waterbirds and local wildlife.