Enjoy Darwin's balmy weather and eclectic food and culture at outdoor festivals, waterfront restaurants, tropical parklands and art precincts. Get a taste of Darwin at Mindil Beach Markets, sail Darwin Harbour and trace the region's dramatic history at museums. Darwin is gateway to Litchfield National Park, the Tiwi Islands, Kakadu and Arnhem Land as well as cross-continent journeys like the Ghan, Explorers Highway and Savannah Way.
Soak up Darwin’s balmy weather and the melting pot of food and cultures in the city’s many outdoor festivals and markets.
What you can see in Darwin
Enjoy the warm relaxed streets of Darwin, find action on the waterfront, eat at the night markets and explore galleries that depict the city's history.
Top 10 Things to do in Darwin and the Top End
Get ready for adventure in the Northern Territory's capital. An exciting and unique part of the world, the Top End is rich in Indigenous culture and natural beauty. Not only does the Territory boast some of the planet's most incredible wildlife, but the “tamed” parts of the city also offer superb restaurants, classy bars and luxe accommodation.
Travel from Australia's south to north on one of the world's greatest train journeys. Board in Adelaide and watch South Australia's rolling green hills make way for desert, the rusty Red Centre and finally the tropical splendour of the Top End. Or get on in Darwin and see the landscapes dance in the opposite direction. Explore the famous outback towns of Alice Springs and Katherine on a whistle stop tour. Visit sacred Aboriginal sites around Alice Springs or take a scenic helicopter flight over Simpsons Gap. Cruise down the Katherine Gorge, canoe down Katherine River or choose from other tailored Ghan adventures.
Wind through the Adelaide and Mary River wetlands to World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Here you can bushwalk through rugged escarpments and lush rainforest and discover a treasure trove of Aboriginal rock ark. Learn about the Territory's pioneering history in Pine Creek and swim in crystal-clear waterholes in the tarzan landscape of Litchfield National Park. You can do this dream drive on a fully sealed road in a two-wheel-drive vehicle.
Litchfield National Park
Litchfield National Park, with its lush woodlands, spectacular waterfalls, sparkling plunge pools and tall termite mounds is an increasingly popular trip from Darwin. In Northern Territory terms it's just a short two-hour drive away. What's more all the main natural attractions - including Buley Rockhole and the dramatic Florence, Tolmer and Wangi falls - are easily accessible from Litchfield's main road. Check out the cleverly-constructed termite mounds, swim in pandanus-lined pools and take scenic walks on a day trip. Or stay, camp and hike or 4WD to the more remote reaches of the park.
Three Great Days in Darwin
Discover the best of balmy Darwin, which sits on a huge harbour on the Timor Sea. Swap your city suit for the uniform of the tropics - T-shirt and shorts - and get out and explore this vibrant, multicultural city. Walk or bike ride through the tropical parklands, see Aboriginal art in the museum and taste the city's multicultural mix at Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. Visit chic Cullen Bay Marina and take a heritage walk round the wharf. Beyond Darwin's compact city center, you can cruise next to acrobatic crocodiles on the Adelaide River and swim beneath waterfalls in the tangled green jungle of Litchfield National Park.
Bordered by Kakadu National Park, the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria, Arnhem Land is a vast unspoiled wilderness, rich in Aboriginal culture. The Yolngu people are the owners of Arnhem Land and have occupied the region for at least 60,000 years. The Yolngu retain strong cultural and spiritual links to the land and you will find authentic indigenous experiences. This is the land where Australia's famous musical instrument, the didgeridoo, originated.
Savannah Way, Western Australia
Cut a line between the desert and tropics on this rugged outback adventure between Darwin and Broome. You'll see palms sprouting from rust-red cliffs, crocodiles baking in gorges and boab trees bursting with fruit. Cruise through Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park and see Aboriginal rock art in Keep River National Park. Canoe down Ord River and huge, man-made Lake Argyle. Explore the Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park, bushwalk to Mitchell Falls and visit the Argyle Diamond Mine. See the bulbous Boab Prison Tree near Derby and swim from Broome's Cable Beach, with its warm waters and soft dreamlike sand. The Savannah Way also has many bird watching opportunities, so pack binoculars and a field guide.
Much of Darwin's action happens along its revitalised waterfront, which is lined with restaurants, shops, sandy lagoons and parklands. Swim in the lagoon, fish from the wharf, dine alfresco on just-caught seafood and wander past the waterfront mansions. You can also trace the area's rich history in walking trails and public artworks. Today families, business people and tourists mingle along the waterfront, where the Larrakia Aboriginal people, Indonesian traders and European settlers have all left their mark.
The Northern Territory's Katherine region stretches from Dunmarra in the south to the Daly River region in the north. In total it covers an incredible 480,000 sq kilometres. From east to west it touches both the Queensland and West Australian borders. Katherine and its surrounds are the place to go for true outback adventure and indigenous experiences.
Tropical Summer in Australia's Top End
Submit to the powerful pull of nature during the Top End's tropical summer, which lasts from December to early March. Your electronic calendar becomes redundant in this season of dazzling thunderstorms, overflowing creeks and blossoming vegetation. Wander Darwin's lush parks and watch lightning dance over waterfalls in Litchfield National Park. Experience the magic of the monsoon in Kakadu National Park and fly over spectacular Katherine Gorge when water levels are at their highest.
Three Weeks from Darwin
From Darwin, cut a straight line across Australia to Alice Springs and Adelaide. Or arc through Australia's north-west corner driving the Savannah Way to Broome. Canoe down Katherine Gorge and fly over the beehive-shaped Bungle Bungles in Western Australia's wild Kimberley region along the way. From Darwin, drive the Nature's Way to Kakadu National Park, World Heritage-listed for both its cultural and natural significance. See Uluru, Kings Canyon and other Red Centre attractions from the outback hub of Alice Springs. Elegant Adelaide is your base for exploring the Barossa Valley, Flinders Ranges, the Fleurieu Peninsula and the wildlife wonderland of Kangaroo Island.
Darwin's Arts Precincts
Art is everywhere in Darwin, with inner-city Parap fast becoming a hub for contemporary and Aboriginal galleries. See the future of Darwin art in these exciting arts spaces, which showcase both emerging and established artists. Browse Aboriginal art from across the Northern Territory and view cutting-edge contemporary works, from audio installations to photography. Afterwards, check out Darwin's other galleries or join a tour to discover the colourful art and craft of the Tiwi Islands.
Take a look at what's happening in and around Darwin.
What you can see near Darwin
Its Just three hours to Kakadu and Arnhem Land. Drive the Explorers Highy, take the Ghan or fly to Alice Springs to explore Australia's Red Centre.
It's just a 3 hour journey from Darwin to Kakadu National Park.
Take the Ghan Railway from Darwin to Alice Springs and then onto Adelaide.
Fly from Darwin to Alice Springs for the Red Centre or drive down the Stuart Highway in two to three days.
Walk or bike around Darwin's compact CBD.
Explorers Highway, an 11-day scenic drive, stretches from Darwin to Adelaide.
Fly, drive or take the train to cut a line straight across Australia from Darwin.
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