darwin australia

Ultimate 31 Exciting Top Things to do in Darwin

Looking for something to do in Darwin? Luckily, I’m an expert. I highly recommend the following best 31 things to do in Darwin. Darwin has a quirky charm to it. It’s not a beautiful city with skyscrapers and the Opera House; instead, the ocean is dangerous to swim in, and it’s nearly always over 30°C.

Regardless, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained while in Darwin!

Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, is often overlooked by tourists. But no! Visitors to Darwin absolutely adore it! This city is perfect for those who like to spend time outside and enjoy the area’s natural beauty.

Travel Tip: I recommend you avoid the rainy season (November to March) to travel to Darwin. 95% of the 1,700mm of precipitation falls during this time.

31 Best Darwin Attractions & Things To Do

Visit UNESCO’s Kakadu National Park

darwin kakadu national park

See Kakadu National Park and learn about Australia’s aboriginal heritage. With a native guide, you will be able to see Ubirr Rock and walk along the East Alligator River. Needless to say, the informative guide is crucial when you visit a historic place like Kakadu National Park.

Things to do in Kakadu National Park are not limited to studying history. Kakadu provides beautiful walks, waterfalls, croc spotting, birdwatching, fishing, and boating including Rock art.

There are more than 1,000 petroglyphs in Kakadu National Park, mainly depicting the life of 20,000 years ago.

Learn about Australia’s history and get a better understanding of their culture.

Sunset Cruise in Darwin

darwin cruise
By Viator.com

If I should pick the most beautiful two sunsets in Australia, I will definitely select the sunsets from the Darwin and the Great Barrier Reef. Moreover, if you can enjoy the sunset with champagne and a catamaran? It goes without saying!

I’ve been on a few sunset cruises in Australia, but this was my favorite! This 2.5-hour sunset cruise has an option for the buffet as well! You can enjoy the beautiful views with your family and friends. Most of all, the crews are kind and friendly.

However, remember that sunscreen is essential on the boat.

Overall, it was a fantastic tour experience, and I highly recommend it!

Take a scenic flight

darwin helicopter ride

Enjoying a scenic view of the beautiful nature from the sky is always the right decision. There are several tours you can select.

Whatever you take, the views will be spectacular and you won’t regret it!

Take a Jumping Croc Cruise!

By Viator.com

What, precisely, is a jumping croc cruise? It’s a cruise on a riverboat down the Adelaide River, which is literally teeming with saltwater crocodiles (the most dangerous in the world.) The tour guide will tie raw chicken to a stick and suspend it over the water to entice the crocodiles to forage.

Crocs literally leap from the water to seize the chicken. This is your opportunity to come face to face with wild crocs. They are both incredible and frightening! The jumping croc cruise is one of Darwin’s best attractions.

Although several tour operators offer the same trip, two significant differences are the boat size and the guide’s knowledge. Certain boats have multiple levels, with the guide speaking through a speaker. In a boat this large, it would not be easy to see the crocs being fed. That is why it is critical to choose the right jumping croc cruise!

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will not disappoint!

Ride an airboat

By Viator.com

An airboat tour is a must in Darwin! This is a unique Darwin activity! Ride an airboat through the mangroves, see crocodiles, and get mud splashed! They are new to Darwin but highly rated. They leave from Stokes Hill Warf, which is easily accessible from the city.

The thrill-filled airboat tour lasts about an hour and you will learn a lot about all the animals living in mudflats and mangroves.

Visit Tiwi Island & Meet the Traditions of Darwin

Tiwi Island Tour - Printing workshop
By Viator.com

When I visit a new place, I always try to learn about their culture. Because it always makes me understand the destination more. Tiwi Island is a perfect place to meet the traditions of an aboriginal community in Darwin.

While you are listening to the local history from the local indigenous guide, drinking a cup of tea, visiting the Tiwi Museum, and participating in the art-making workshop, you might be able to experience the real traditions of the place.

Museum and Art Gallery of North Territory (MAGNT)

museum and art gallery
By Viator.com

Darwin has a free museum and art gallery! This museum (MAGNT) and art gallery are in the same building, 5 minutes from town. This is also the place to see traditional aboriginal artwork! It is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. You can easily travel by bus or car (there is a large parking lot.) The Darwin Journey planner has information on getting around by bus. Otherwise, book a half-day tour that includes the NT Museum and Art Gallery!

  • Open Hours: 10am to 4pm
  • Admission: FREE
  • Address: 19 Conacher Street The Gardens, Darwin NT
  • Phone: +61-8-8999-8264

Visit the Mindil Markets

mindil market darwin
By Mindil.com

My favorite Mindil Markets! Each Sunday and Thursday during the dry season (May-October), Mindil Beach hosts night markets. The markets run from 4 pm to 9 pm.

Mindil Markets are primarily for dinner and dessert. There’s seafood, Indian, Chinese, crepes, wood-fired pizza, laksa, and so much more!

The market has many stalls selling random items, street performers, and musicians. It keeps you busy for a few hours.

I suggest going before dusk and eating. Then enjoy a drink on the beach as the sunsets. Drinking in public is permitted at the Mindil Markets, so bring a bottle of cider or wine and enjoy the Darwin sunset.

If you don’t have a car, the Hop-on Hop-off bus is excellent! You can ride it all day to various attractions, then finish at the Mindil Markets for the sunset! Rent a car instead!

Darwin City Lagoon

lagoon darwin
By Viator.com

The Darwin City Lagoon is right next to the wave pool. Darwin’s lagoon is the only place where you can safely swim in the ocean. It’s a small bay with a net around it to keep stingers and crocodiles out.

Of course, swimming in the lagoon is always risky. Swim only from May to October when the Irukandji Jellyfish is rare in Darwin’s waters.

Sadly, the lagoon’s water is still and warm. Don’t expect a refreshing swim at the lagoon. Pay for the entrance fee and go to the nearby wave pool for a refreshing swim.

Crocodylus Park

By Viator.com

Crocodylus Park is a great place to see crocs and other local wildlife! It is Darwin’s zoo. Crocodylus Park in Darwin is a full-day activity and costs AUD 40 for an adult. You will be able to see two kinds of crocodiles, Salties and Freshies. Saltwater crocodiles that have large snouts can hold their breath for over an hour and live about 80 years, and relatively small freshwater crocodiles that have sharp snouts are fast sprinters.

The best part of visiting Crocodylus Park is that your kids not only enjoy watching crocodiles but also learn why and how to live with them.

  • Open Hours: 9am to 3pm every day except for Christmas day
  • Address: 815 Mcmillans Road Knuckey Lagoon 0828
  • Phone: +61-8-8922-4500

Wave Pool

wave pool darwin

A man-made wave pool sits right on the edge of the ocean in the city.

The Wave Pool in Darwin is nice to cool off. There are grassed areas around the pool.

It opens every day from 10 am to 6 pm and costs AUD 7 per adult.

Crocosaurus Cove: Swim with Crocs

crocosaurus cove
By Viator.com

Crocosaurus Cove is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Darwin. You’ve probably seen signs for the “zoo” on Mitchell Street in Darwin. In Crocosaurus Cove, you can hold a baby crocodile or swim with a saltwater crocodile (one of Australia’s most iconic experiences!). Adults pay AUD 35 to enter Crocosaurus Cove. Save time by purchasing general admission tickets online. At Crocosaurus Cove, thrill-seekers can swim with crocs in a glass tank! Only in Australia can you swim with a real crocodile!

In all honesty, I think a jumping croc cruise is the best crocodile experience in Darwin! This small-group tour with a hilarious guide is THE BEST!

Darwin Botanical Gardens

darwin botanical garden
By Viator.com

An hour in the gardens is a great way to spend it in Darwin! On a nice day, take a stroll through the Darwin Botanical Gardens. This is a peaceful retreat from the city! It is just across the street from Mindil Beach, and you could take a stroll in the gardens before going to the Mindil Markets and watching the sunset.

The Darwin Botanical Gardens are easily accessible by bus, walk, or one of the many available sightseeing day tours!

Fishing in Darwin

fish in darwin
By Viator.com

Fishing is a popular pastime in Darwin. You only need a simple rod, some bait, and a trip to the city’s jetty. Deep-sea fishing is not cheap! The half-day fishing trip cost is about $138. Regardless, we caught a lot of fish and had plenty to eat.

See a storm

darwin nature

Darwin thunderstorms are wild and beautiful! Don’t worry if you visit Darwin during the wet season (October to May) – you’re guaranteed to see some wicked storms! Enjoy Darwin’s tropical climate!

Helicopter Tour of Casuarina Beach

casuarina beach helicopter tour

Looking for an overview of the best beaches of Darwin? This 30-minute scenic view of the Northern beaches will show you the Charles Darwin National Park, Mandorah, and Casuarina Beaches. You can take the helicopter tour in the morning or afternoon.

It’s a stunning way to spend a morning in Darwin.

Visit the WWII Tunnels

ww2 tunnels darwin
By Viator.com

There are some WWII tunnels near the waterfront (where the cruise ships dock). Darwin was heavily involved in WWII, with much of the city being blown up. These are the original WWII tunnels built to store fuel. The tunnels are under a cliff in the city. Today, you can enter and walk through the tunnels. They are lit up and have information about the tunnels and their use throughout.

Even if it’s only a quick trip to Darwin, I think it’s worth it. The tunnels are open 9 am-2 pm daily.

Parap Markets: Eat and shop

By Tripadvisor.com

Saturday morning and early afternoon markets (between 8 am and 2 pm) in Parap are a local favorite! Many of the same foods are available but in a different setting. The Parap Markets are more popular with locals than tourists, but they are still worth visiting! Many crafts and goods for sale, as well as food and drinks! Parap is a 10-minute drive from town and also accessible by bus. The stores are open from 8 am until 2 pm every Saturday throughout the year.

Around Darwin: Driving is one of the best ways to see Darwin and its surroundings! Save money on tours and buses by renting a car! Both the city and the airport offer car rental!

Mindil Beach Resort & Casino

mindil casino

The casino is next to the Mindil Markets. The casino is an excellent place to go for a drink or two, gambler or not. The back bar overlooks the ocean and tropical gardens. This is one of the best places in town to watch the sunset. The Italian restaurant’s food is also fantastic!

The casino hotel is the ultimate Darwin accommodation! Their pool is right on the beach and is stunning.

Eat croc

crocodile meat darwin

The Northern Territory loves crocodiles, but that doesn’t mean they don’t eat them! Popular tourist activity in Darwin is to eat crocodiles! It tastes like frog legs or chicken but rubbery. Crocodile is usually skewered or jerky. It is served as an appetizer in many restaurants and Mindil Markets. The crocodile appetizer at Crustaceans on Stokes Hill Wharf is worth trying.

Dining on Stokes Hill Wharf

darwin restaurant
By Crustaceans.net.au

There’s a nice restaurant called Crustaceans (where I recommend trying crocodile), but there are also some cheaper options.

It’s a food court, but right on the wharf! Bring your own drinks and enjoy the sunset over the water.

Drinks on Mitchell Street

darwin bar wisdwom
By Facebook.com

Darwinians love a good “Sunday sesh,” which is a Sunday afternoon excuse to drink. On Sunday, the bars on Mitchell Street are filled up with weekend revelers. Most bars have live music while people drink cold beers on the patios.

The music is nice, the vibe is chill, and the beers are cold at Wisdoms Bar and Café. Meet the locals, people watch on Mitchell Street, and even eat! Lunch specials are as low as $12.50 with a beer!

Cullen Bay

By Viator.com

You won’t want to miss any of Darwin’s incredible sunsets, so go somewhere new every evening. Cullen Bay is a 10-15 minute walk from downtown. Explore this cute little neighborhood. There is a nice grassy place where you can sit and eat a picnic or several restaurants. You can eat all you want at Seafood on Cullen, so if you’re a big eater, go there. Try Lola’s Pergola, Exotic North Indian for beautiful Indian food, or Yots Greek Tavern for a chic-pub setting!

Cullen Bay is also a great place to eat!

This tourist bus stops at Cullen Bay. A day ticket for an adult is only $36 and takes you to some of Darwin’s best attractions!

Swim at Travelodge

darwin australia travelodge resort
By Trip.com

If you are staying in Darwin and don’t have access to a pool, the Travelodge in the city has a beautiful public pool. You’ll pay around $8 to use the pool, but it’s a lovely way to cool down in the city!

The Travelodge is also a good value hotel option in Darwin.

Day Trip: Things To Do in Litchfield National Park

A Real Rodeo!

rodeo darwin

A real rodeo is held just outside of Darwin city! From September to May, the Noonamah Rodeo is held nearly every weekend. Fun, live music, barrel racing, bull racing, freestyle motocross, and more! It’s an excellent place to meet locals.

It’s a 35-minute drive from Darwin city to the rodeo, towards Litchfield National Park. There are free shuttle buses and camping options if you prefer to pitch a tent.

Take a swim at Burleigh Rock Pools

In Litchfield National Park, jump into the Burleigh Head rock pools.

Litchfield National Park is a must-see attraction located only an hour from Darwin City! I recommend a few different attractions within Litchfield National Park, one of which is Burleigh Rock Pools.

I could spend an entire afternoon at Burleigh Rocks Pools in Litchfield National Park. They are a series of interconnected natural pools where you can swim or relax. It’s the ideal spot for a drink and some relaxation (no glass bottles allowed though, you must bring cans.)

The Burleigh Rocks Pools are almost always open. They close only in the event of severe weather, such as flooding, which occurs infrequently.

Burleigh Rock Pools and Litchfield National Park, in general, are free to enter. From Darwin, you can take a tour or drive yourself. It is one of the best places in Litchfield National Park to visit.

The road in Litchfield National Park is not sealed but is in good condition and suitable for two small cars. Therefore, if you prefer, you can forego the tour and rent a car instead!

Take a look at the Termite Mounds

termite mounds darwin
By Viator.com

If you’re already in Litchfield National Park, the Termite Mounds are an exciting stop. It’s quite fascinating to see termite mounds that are taller than a person!

This is merely a temporary attraction. It is across the road from the entrance to Litchfield National Park. You simply pull over, inspect the termite mounds, take a few photographs, and continue on your way. Make it a stop on a day trip to the Litchfield waterfalls, rather than a destination in and of itself.

Pay a visit to Wangi Falls

litchfield national [park
By Viator.com

Wangi Falls is another Litchfield National Park attraction. It is the park’s most remote attraction but is only about a 15-minute drive from the Buley Rock Pools.

Wangi Falls are two large waterfalls connected by a pool at the bottom. Additionally, there is a short hike to the top of the waterfall.

Swimming is prohibited at the falls during the wet season (November to May) due to flooding and the possibility of encountering saltwater crocodiles. However, you can still visit the waterfall during those months.

Wangi Falls is an excellent place to swim during the dry season or even spend the night at the nearby campground.

Wangi Falls, once again, is free and easily accessible from Darwin via a two-wheel-drive vehicle.

Recharge your batteries at the Douglas Daly Hot Springs

The Douglas Daly hot springs are another of Darwin’s free activities.

The Douglas Daly Hot Springs is located approximately 45 minutes from Darwin. This is an ideal camping spot if you have a tent and the time, but it’s also a fun day trip from Darwin if you don’t.

The Douglas Daly Hot Springs is a small river that gets extremely hot – extremely, extremely hot! From the Douglas Daly Tourist Park, you can walk directly into the river’s hottest section and relax. Again, it is completely free!

Simply exercise caution in this area. Here, saltwater crocodiles have been sighted. This is most prevalent following heavy rains. Merely exercise caution, particularly if you are camping overnight and swimming at night. Daily checks are conducted by rangers, who close the area if crocs are sighted.

Stop by Humpty Doo for a beer

The Humpty Doo pub is an excellent spot for a beer and a bite to eat. When you think of Northern Territory residents, you probably envision a “Crocodile Dundee” type. To be honest, your best chance of meeting him is at the Humpty Doo Hotel pub.

One afternoon, make a pit stop at the Humpty Doo Pub, which is located, believe it or not, in the Darwin suburb of Humpty Doo. It’s on the way to Litchfield, so it’s a convenient pit stop on the way back into town. Take a few drinks and mingle with the locals. They will undoubtedly be drinking, dancing, and laughing – that much is certain! If you’re in the mood to have a burger, try their signature buffalo, barramundi, or crocodile burgers. My personal favorite is the barramundi!

Make a trip to the Territorial Wildlife Park

By Viator.com

If you’re at a loss for what to see in Darwin, begin with a saltwater crocodile! This is best accomplished at the Territory Wildlife Park. They have a 6-meter-long crocodile in a tank next to which you can walk!

Apart from the crocodile, however, the Territory Wildlife Park is essentially a large outdoor zoo. It’s in the middle of nowhere, and the trails wind through the forest, which adds to the uniqueness of the experience. It is well-known for the large bird cages that you can walk through.

Territory Wildlife Park admission is AUD 32 for adults and is approximately a 45-minute drive from Darwin’s city center. If you do not already have a rental car, you can book a shuttle from Darwin city.


Darwin is well known for its fantastic view and nature. It’s really awesome. However, I also hope you meet the local indigenous people and experience their culture, or participate in a tour about Darwin’s history and the Bombing of Darwin. It might help you to understand the real Darwin.

Travel Light & Enjoy More!

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