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Darwin

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From the sparkling harbour and WWII history to the city's Asian-influenced food and tropical outdoor lifestyle, Darwin is an adventurers' paradise.

Treat your tastebuds and indulge your sense of fun and adventure in the Territory’s tropical capital city. Darwin is world famous for its fabulous food, colourful outdoor markets and a diverse bag of adventure activities.

Food, glorious food

At the heart of any Darwin experience is sensational food.

The city’s dining hub is bursting with restaurants. Share a real Italian pizza at a waterfront eatery, book a five-star degustation dinner or try a laksa that tastes just as it would served from a Malaysian warung. Choose local mud crab or barramundi for the ultimate fresh seafood experience.

Magical markets

Local markets are a big part of Darwin’s personality. At the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, sample international cuisine from some 60 food stalls – Sri Lankan, Turkish, Greek, Cambodian, Japanese – and eat on the beach as the sun sinks into the ocean.

After dinner, find the perfect gift among stalls of art and craft, then relax with a local ice-cream or mango smoothie as fire twirlers, musicians and street performers entertain the crowds.

Things to see & do in Darwin

Adventure territory

Adventure of all sorts can be found within Darwin’s fringe.

Ride the swell at the wave pool, eyeball a croc in the ‘cage of death’, take a thrilling jetboat ride or throw out a line from the wharf – Darwin’s world famous for its fishing and they’re regularly caught right in close.

This city’s rich history belies its youthful population. Learn about the 1870s gold rush, the Japanese bombing raids in WWII and Cyclone Tracy’s decimation of the town in 1974 at excellent museums and memorials around the city.

When it’s time to relax

Catch a movie under the stars at the Deckchair Cinema or climb aboard a luxury yacht or delightful old pearl lugger for a dinner cruise around Darwin’s magnificent harbour at sunset.

Top five things to do

1) Mindil Beach Sunset Markets
2) Sunset dinner cruise
3) Wave pool / Waterfront Precinct
4) Deckchair Cinema
5) Crocosaurus Cove

What's on around Darwin

  • FAQS

    Do I need any passes or permits to visit Darwin?

    Visiting Darwin itself doesn't require any special passes or permits.

    Recreational fishing in most areas does not require a licence.

    You will need a permit while on Aboriginal land in areas outside Darwin such as the Tiwi Islands. For more information, check with the Northern Land Council or the Tiwi Land Council, or at the Tourism Top End Visitor Information Centre in Darwin.

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    How do I get around Darwin?

    The city centre is walkable and well connected with foot and bike paths. You can find Spinway NT bike hire stations at a number of locations around the city.

    There are a number of transport hire operators where you can hire cars, campervans, four-wheel drives and more.

    For public transport, a bus network runs throughout the city and suburbs connecting to popular destinations. Taxis and ride-share company, Hi Oscar, are also convenient ways to get around Darwin.

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    How do I get to Darwin?

    All major airlines operate short daily flights into Darwin International Airport from Australia's capital cities. International flights arrive from Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia. Alternatively, you can take the Ghan train journey, or drive north from Adelaide along the famous Explorers Way.

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    How far is Darwin from the nearest city or major town?

    The drive from Darwin to Jabiru – the heart of Kakadu National Park – takes around three hours, as will a trip south to Katherine.

    If you want to head into the Red Centre, Alice Springs is just a couple of hours' flight south, or take some time to drive the 1500 kms to Alice Springs via the famous Explorers Way.

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    What are the major attractions in Darwin?

    Take a walk through the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets (Thursday and Sunday evenings between April and October), enjoy a dip at the Waterfront Wave Lagoon, learn about the city's fascinating WWII history, take a harbour cruise, enjoy world-class fishing or find out some interesting facts about Australia in Darwin’s museums.

    Check out the day trips and guided tours on offer for the chance to explore Darwin with a local.

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    What day trips can be done from Darwin?

    Darwin is the perfect base for day trips to Litchfield National Park, Berry Springs, Adelaide River, Mary River, Lake Bennett and the Tiwi Islands. Popular activities are fishing trips, harbour cruises, scenic flights, cultural experiences, historical tours, walking tracks, and swimming.

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    What should I bring with me to Darwin?

    Darwin is equipped with modern facilities and shopping options, so whatever you need you can find here. Bring some laid-back apparel suitable for warm weather, and make sure you protect yourself against the sun and heat with lightweight clothing, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Comfortable walking shoes are a must, and if you're visiting from November to April, you should also bring a light rain jacket. read more

    When is the best time to visit Darwin?

    From May to October, the dry season weather is warm and pleasant with sunny days and cooler nights. Visit during the Dry to explore all of the attractions in the surrounding national parks, and experience the buzz of the sunset markets.

    From November to April, the wet season is warm and tropical, with stunning summer thunderstorms. Travel in the Wet to experience flowing waterfalls and smaller crowds.

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    Where should I go next from Darwin?

    To the east of Darwin lie Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land with some of the most spectacular landscapes on Earth. To the south, Berry Springs and Litchfield National Park are stunning, as is the township of Katherine and Nitmiluk Gorge. You can explore these regions in a single trip by following the Nature's Way driving route - give yourself at least a week to get the most out of your adventure.

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