Darwin & Surrounds3-day itinerary
This 3-day Darwin itinerary will have you taking in the best of the city’s art, culture and culinary experiences, with some waterhole swims and wildlife encounters to boot.
Cool off at the Darwin Waterfront, immerse yourself in Aboriginal art and culture and get up close to some of the largest reptiles on the planet. Savour the city’s culinary delights while taking in Darwin’s iconic sunsets.
Breakfast with a view
Begin your 3-day Darwin adventure with breakfast at the Darwin Waterfront. From high end restaurants to more casual cafés and bars, there’s something for everyone. Make sure you pack your bathers so you can go for a swim at the Wave or Recreation Lagoons. Paddle, swim or play in these manmade lagoons with waves up to 1.7m generated at regular intervals. Both areas are safe for swimming and protected from stingers.
Go face-to-face with a croc
After lunch, make your way to Crocosaurus Cove located in the heart of Darwin on Mitchell Street. Here you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the largest reptile on the planet, the saltwater crocodile, and learn about a variety of fish and reptile species at the aquarium. There is a twice daily crocodile and fish feeding show not to be missed. And, if you are feeling particularly brave, climb into the Cage of Death for a face-to-face encounter with one of the largest saltwater crocodiles in captivity. It’s the ultimate adrenaline rush!
Sunset & shopping at Mindil Market
Darwin’s popular Mindil Beach Sunset Market are held every Thursday and Sunday evening between May and October. The region’s incredible multicultural mix is well represented at the market’s arts, crafts and food stalls. Enjoy free entertainment by magicians and buskers, then take your pick from the food stalls and enjoy your dinner barefoot on the beach watching an iconic Darwin sunset.
If the Mindil Beach Sunset Market isn’t scheduled for tonight, head to Cullen Bay Marina instead where you can watch the sun go down with takeaway fish-and-chips.
Become a city explorer
Start your day with a morning coffee fix and breakfast at one of the many popular cafés in the city. Take the time to browse the local shops and boutique stores along Smith Street and Knuckey Street for some unique goodies to bring home.
Looking to sample the city’s delights? Join Darwin Gourmet Tours to discover the best local restaurants and bars that pride themselves on dishes that feature home-grown produce.
Immerse yourself in art
Today, immerse yourself in the local Aboriginal art scene. Darwin City and Parap are great places to view and invest in Aboriginal art pieces from around the Northern Territory. The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is also a great place to find out more about Aboriginal art and to see local crocodile celebrity, Sweetheart. The famous 5m, 780kg taxidermied saltwater crocodile is on permanent display in the museum. The museum also houses a Cyclone Tracy exhibition where you can appreciate the scale of devastation the city suffered on 24th December 1974.
Wartime history in the Top End
The Defence of Darwin Experience at the Military Museum is a great place to get your wartime history fix. Learn about the bombing of Darwin and the city’s role in WWII through the gallery and multimedia presentations. Check out the displays of artillery pieces, vehicles, uniforms and firearms at the museum, or head to Stokes Hill Wharf and the Bombing of Darwin Harbour exhibit at the RFDS Tourist Facility. The VR movie and life-sized holograms help bring the dramatic events to life. If you’re looking for a day tour, then you can’t go past The Darwin History and Wartime Experience.
Historical harbour views
Head towards the Esplanade where you’ll find Bicentennial Park perched on the cliffs of Darwin Harbour. Visit the Cenotaph, which is Darwin’s first war memorial commemorating Australians who lost their lives in WWI, and the Aboriginal men and women whose bush skills assisted the Army during WWII to protect the remote northern coastline.
Settle in for a movie under the stars
Unwind tonight with a flick at the Deckchair Cinema, which can be found at the Waterfront. The open air cinema screens Australian, popular, family, foreign and classic films during the dry season (April–November). Make the most of the experience and relax under the stars while enjoying their onsite bar and food stalls.
Back to nature
If you feel a need for some R&R today, you can’t go past Berry Springs Nature Park (usually open May–November), located just 47km south of Darwin. Used as a recreation camp for armed forces personnel during the war, today it’s a popular spot for a barbecue and a dip in the clear freshwater pools. If you bring your goggles along you’ll be able to spot native fish and other aquatic life.
Get active this afternoon and check out one of the bushwalking tracks or learn more about the wartime history of Berry Springs Nature Park at the interpretive centre.
Go wild at Territory Wildlife Park
Discover the local wildlife at the nearby Territory Wildlife Park where you can take in a famous birds of prey show or hand feed the whip rays and barramundi in the Oolloo Sandbar. Wander through treetop aviaries, around a natural lagoon and through the aquarium to see animals, including Graeme the saltwater crocodile.
Dinner with a view at the wharf
Return to Darwin and head to Stokes Hill Wharf in the Waterfront Precinct. This is a popular spot for fishing with the locals, and is dotted with restaurants, eateries and retail shops. It’s also the location to depart on a Darwin Harbour sunset cruise, jet ski tour or airboat adventure.
Finish the evening with some fresh local fish-and-chips and find a spot to watch one last iconic Top End sunset – if you’re lucky you may even spot some dolphins in the water below. Relax at the wharf while you reflect on your Darwin adventures.
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