"Experience Barmy Evenings in the Top End"
Darwin Australia is the northernmost capital city, and is a melting pot of people and cultures. It has a relaxed outdoor lifestyle and enjoys warm weather all year round.
Many people come to explore the legendry Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks or sacred aboriginal Arnhem Land. You can also visit Katherine Gorge from here too.
When to go
Best time to go is between May and October which is during the dry season. We were here at the end of October and it felt very hot - around 35 degrees.
You can come outside these months but expect it to feel even hotter due to the humidity with regular rain showers or thunder storms.
Getting here by plane is easy and possible from most major cities. Click here for flight times and route information:
A more interesting way to get to Darwin is on the Ghan Train - a real experience from either Alice Springs or all the way from Adelaide.
You don't need a car to get around the city although driving here is easy with a reasonable amount of car parking. It might be slightly easier to have a car.
For trips to Kakadu, you can self drive (you don't need a 4WD)
There are also plenty of tour operators who will take you to Kakadu, Litchfield, Katherine Gorge and Arhhemland
How long for?
You can easily spend a couple of days exploring the city.
If you want to include Kakadu, Katherine Gorge, Arnhem Land and Litchfield National Park you need a minimum of 7 days. There is lots to see and a fair few km to travel.
What To See And Do In Darwin Australia
Mindil Beach Sunset Markets - fantastic foods, arts and crafts and aboriginal products. An icon of Darwin and not to be missed Only in the dry season between May and October
Visit the Art Gallery of NT - an interesting boat collection and real recordings of cyclone Tracy that devastated the city in 1974.
Parap Market - Saturdays 8-2pm. A less touristy version on Mindil Market.
View some architect delights - the British-Australian Telegraph building, Parliament and Mylilly House are good to view.
Take in a film at the outdoor Deckchair cinema
Watch the sunset from Darwin's Trailer Boat club (Fannie Bay)
Take a stroll down Smith Street Mall and take in the many monuments and anecdotes along the route. You can also carry on along the Esplanade to see some of the old buildings and learn more about the bombing of Darwin during the World War.
Mitchell Street is where the action is - restaurants and bars. It is slightly tacky though. It seems to be more for the backpackers
Darwin's Waterfront has been re-developed and now has some nice cafes, bars and restaurants. Definitely worth a stroll down here in the evenings. To escape the heat you can enjoy the new Wave Lagoon and man made beach both down at the waterfront
What To See And Do Outskirts of Darwin
Everything is still quite far away from Darwin Australia so a car is a must unless you plan to do organised tours
Take in a jumping croc tour on your way to Kakadu
We LOVED this and is a must do even if you are not going to Kakadu. It's about an hour out of Darwin Australia, following signs to Adelaide River and Kakadu. Go for the Original Jumping crocodile tour - it has better commentary, good boats and friendly staff.
Once on the boat we cruised along the river looking for crocs and we weren't disappointed. Our guide then attached a piece of meat to a stick with string on it and dangled it into the water. The croc jumped high to get its food. We must have seen about 7 crocs, each one of them jumping for the food. We were assured that they are not trained to do this and that it is natural for the crocs to jump. An awesome experience and a Must do whilst you are in Darwin Australia.
Kakadu National Park
Probably the key reason why you come to Darwin. It's a huge park and you could spend 5 days here to do it properly. Click here for more information on Kakadu.
This is a must do add on to your trip. It's probably one of the only places you can experience a true unspoilt aboriginal culture. In order to preserve it, you can't self drive into Arnhem land so you will need to take a day tour from Jabiru (gateway to Kakadu). I'd recommed Lords who are a reputable tour company offering this trip (£200 per person for the day)
Katherine Gorge - about 350km from Darwin
Head to Nitmiluk National Park and take the cruise through the gorge. We did this trip in the dry season, which meant we could cruise to one gorge and then had to walk across some rocks to see the second. In the wet season the water is obviously much higher and you can visit both by boat.
The gorge and red rock is lovely scenery. We went on a cafe boat that gave us afternoon tea and plenty of water in the hot sunshine. I enjoyed it and was glad that we'd seen Katherine Gorge
Litchfield National Park
Much nearer to Darwin Australia (under 2 hours) and an impressive National Park although a poor cousin to Kakadu in my humble opinion.
Check out Florence falls and Wangi Falls - beautiful and less busy than Buley Rock hole
- the sign says that if you can't park in the car park then the falls or rock hole is too busy. The areas are small and get very crowded. Consider getting here early to avoid the crowds or come early May or late October.
See the huge magnetic turmite mounds too - very impressive
Where to stay
Crowne Plaza $280
Sky City Darwin $200
Cullen Bay Apartments near marina $160 (basic but good location)
Eden and Fogg Dam B&B 65km from Darwin on the way to Kakadu
Feathers Sanctuary B&B 2 mins from Darwin Airport and a must for bird lovers $330
Elkes Backpackers Hotel
Katherine River motel
Where to eat
Other than in the city, you really need to eat at your accommodation as there is a limited choice.
Pee Wees in East Point Reserve (fine dining with some bush tucker thrown in)
Yots Taverna Greek restaurant
Head to the Fish Market, Frances Bay and then make yourself a picnic dinner and watch the sunset
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