Things To Do In Darwin & Surrounds

Litchfield National Park121337-51

This is a truly beautiful destination found just south of Darwin about 130k/m. Litchfield National Park features numerous waterfalls which cascade from a sandstone plateau called the Tabletop Range, monsoon rainforests, intriguing magnetic termite mounds and historical sites. Litchfield National Park is chosen by local Darwin residents and tourists as 1-3 day destination for it’s waterfalls and magnetic termite mounds. Also noted are the 4WD tracks into some of the more remote parts of Litchfield National Park and surrounding region. Litchfield National Park is near the town of Batchelor and covers around 1,500 sq km’s.

Places in Litchfield National National Park

Magnetic Termite Mounds, Tolmer Falls, Florance Falls, Wangi Falls, Buley Rockhole, Tabletop Swamp, Walker Creek, Tjaetaba Falls, Surprise Creek Falls, The Lost City, Litchfield Tourist Precinct, Tjaynera Falls Sandy Creek, Blythe Homestead, Bamboo Creek Tin Mine, Rum Jungle Lake.

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park an Australian Natural Icon covers almost 20,000 square kms and is 257 kms East of Darwin. It is a World Heritage listed area for it’s cultural and natural heritage and Kakadu is the largest terrestrial national park in Australia.  Life in the park does depends on the water, also in respect to the tropical monsoon climate that produces the downpours of the tropical humidity of the “wet” season, and the milder weather of the “dry” season.

Kakadu National Park is the gateway to Arnhemland. The sealed roads from Darwin to Kakadu is via the Arnhem Highway and from Katherine to Kakadu National Park via the Kakadu Highway. The Bowali Visitor Centre near Jabiru in Kakadu National Park is located 257 km from Darwin in Northern Territory Australia via the Arnhem Highway entrance.

Katherine Gorge

A visit to Darwin is not complete without a visit to the world famous Katherine Gorge. Known by the aboriginal name Nitmiluk, a cruise through Katherine Gorge is an amazing experience. The Gorge is located in Nitmiluk National Park and is one of the most spectacular areas in the country, winding 12 km with walls more than 70m high. The 13 wonderful gorges of Nitmiluk National Park were formed 23 million years ago as torrents of water poured along tiny cracks in the earth.

Sail Darwin

Feel the wind and revel in the silence as we cut the motors and set the sails for an unforgettable 3 hour tropical sunset cruise on the magnificent Darwin Harbour.  Authentic sailing aboard SUNDANCER, a 50ft ocean-going luxury catamaran designed for ultimate enjoyment and safety in tropical waters. Catering for small groups only, our Champagne Sunset Sail offers a personalised genuine sailing experience in an intimate setting. With over 100 square metres of deck space there’s plenty of room to spread out in the shade of the sails, or if our warm weather gets too much retreat to the fully air-conditioned saloon- complete with espresso coffee machine and licensed bar!

Includes champagne & dinner. BYO welcome, licensed bar available, eskies and icemaker on board.

Darwin Sailing Club

Situated on prime beach frontage overlooking picturesque Fannie Bay, dine under the stars and enjoy a front row seat to watch the sun set over the Arafura Sea. You dont need to be a member, just sign in as you enter. An extensive affordable menue is offered from locally caught barramundi to a tasty Roast Dinner, plus full bar service. A real favourite place to dine with both locals and visitors alike.

Vesteys Beach121315-51

No matter what time of year you’re here, pack a picnic dinner and head to Vesteys Beach off Atkins Drive Fanny Bay. Be sure to arrive by 6pm. Take in a lazy Darwin sunset away from the madning crowds of Mindil. Be sure to stay at least an hour after sunset; the colours and textures of the sky just get better and better.

Mindil Beach Sunset Markets

Market – Mindil Beach during the Dry Season. You’ve heard the stories, they’re all true. An absolute must-do in Darwin, 10,000 or more people, 80 food stalls, 30 craft stalls, heaps and heaps of live and local entertainment, playgrounds, jumping castles, you name it, it’s at Mindil. Plus the magnificent sunsets across Fannie Bay. Get there before 5 to find a carpark. Follow Dick Ward Drive / East Point Road to the city or take Number 4 Bus. Every Thursday 4pm – 10pm for the main event, Sundays 4pm – 9pm for a less-crowded smaller market.

Open from the last Thursday in April to the last Thursday in October.

East Point Reserve

Safe year round saltwater swimming at Lake Alexander, a range of BBQ and picnic facilities, in a landscaped environment. A military history that goes back to 1932 and a range of community and tourist facilities including the Royal Australia Aretillery Association Museum and the Gun Turret Precinct.

Darwin Wave Pool & Waterfront110781-3

Situated at the Darwin Waterfront is the Wave Lagoon.  The pool is open every day of the week from 10am to 6pm.

The artificial waves can be up to 1.7m high and come in a variety of styles. You can test your skills on the boogie wave, the diamond pattern, the double diamond, the parallel, half-parallel, break left, break right, vee in or vee out.

A limited number of boogie boards and water tubes are available free to use as part of the entrance fee. Personal boogie boards and tubes are allowed into the Lagoon at the discretion of  the life guards, eg boards with fins or tyre tubes with large valves will not be allowed in. No surf boards allowed.
Eskies are welcome but no alcohol or glass. No BBQs.

Entrance Fees

Adults 15 years and over $7
Under 15yrs $5
Under 2yrs Free
Family (Max 2 Adults & up to 3 children $18
Seniors Concession $5

Aquascene Fish Feeding Sanctuary

Since the early 1950s a unique and natural phenomena occurs on the high tide amongst the tranquil tropical waters of Darwin’s Doctors Gully.

Hundreds of friendly local wild fish swim to the shallow shoreline in search of a gratuitous meal of fresh bread. Over the course of this enduring 60 plus year tradition, the fish have shed their normal shyness and are willingly hand-fed to the delight of thousands of fascinated locals and tourists every year.

Aquascene was established in 1981 and has become a magical attraction that all the family can enjoy – it attracts upwards of 70,000 visitors every year and has enjoyed widespread media coverage nationally and internationally.

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Set in a tropical garden on Darwin Harbour at Bullocky Point is the Northern Territory’s premier cultural institution – the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT). The MAGNT collections place the region’s art, history and culture, and natural history in an Australian and international context through research, interpretation and collection development.

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Weekends and Public Holidays 10am to 5pm.
Closed Chirstmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Good Friday.
Admission free.
Entry fees to travelling exhibitions may apply.

Enquiries: (08) 8999 8264.

Chung Wah Chinese Temple & Museum

Although there are many who understand and appreciate the healthy size of the Chinese community in Darwin, there are still many more who are not aware of just how important the role of this specific immigrant culture has been to the blossoming of the Northern Territory.  When you visit this museum and place of worship you’ll be escorted by a team of dedicated and enthusiastic Chinese residents who will do their utmost to make you feel at home, first and foremost, and then inform you of their culture, their heartbreaking hardships upon first arrival and the current interaction of their society with Darwin’s multi-ethnic inhabitants. This is a truly wonderful place to spend a few hours in, with burning incense and rustic decor adding to the welcoming atmosphere. Manage to charm the lovely old man at the front desk, and you may even be allowed to hit the big gong!

Kahlin Bay Sand Flats

Wait for a low tide (check the local paper or and go for a barefoot walk across the sand-flats of Kahlin Bay, starting at the area marked on the map as “Fish at high tide, walk at low tide”. You might notice a few locals digging into the sand with sticks – they’re collecting cockels (to eat).  Be sure to leave yourself enough time to get back to shore before the tide comes in!

Seabreeze Festival

If you’re lucky enough to be here in April / May, you’ll be part of the Nightcliff Seabreeze festival. This week of family-friendly activities, events and performances at venues around the Nightcliff foreshore welcomes the commencement of the Dry Season. Many events are free and there are opportunities for the whole family to participate.

The festival kicks off on a Saturday with a day of music and culture including the Seabreeze Visual Arts Exhibition and Award, the Seabreeze Sand Sculpture Award and the Six World Rhythms Multicultural Community Parade featuring music and dance from the Pacific, Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia and India.
Other events held throughout the week include Screen Culture – a presentation of short films by Territory artists, Ballistic Youth Gig – where you can party to live youth bands or perhaps you’d prefer an old time favourite of casual afternoon dancing at the Social Afternoon Tea Dance.

Jingli Water Gardens121230-3

Surrounded by beautiful water gardens and fountains, this park has the most picturesque walk & cycle paths around. There is a huge shaded playground, bbq’s, shaded picnic table areas, drinking fountains & toilet facilities. Very close to the Sunday Rapid Creek Markets. LOCATION Turn off Trower Rd onto Freshwater Rd Jingili.

Rapid Creek/Casuarina Beach

Casuarina Coastal Reserve protects a large coastal area between the mouth of Rapid Creek and Buffalo Creek in Darwin. The highlights of the reserve are white sandy beaches fringed by Casuarina trees and beautiful sandstone cliffs. A footbridge connects from Rapid Creek Beach to Casuarina Beach. Barbecues, tables, playgrounds,  and plenty of shade make the area a popular picnic spot.

Nightcliff Markets

On a Sunday morning, unwind and take in the quintessential Darwin lifestyle via the ambience of the Nightcliff Markets. Set in the original Nightcliff Shopping Centre the markets are an ideal place for an early Sunday coffee or a cool and refreshing tropical fruit salad. Be sure to try the Vietnamese Rolls, the lime drinks (“large lime please”), anything from Ken’s Crepes, the wonderful Malaysian Beef Roti Rolls (“salad and peanut sauce?” – Yes Please!), and the infamous “Bobby Sate”.

A casual wander around Nightcliff Markets will likely unearth an unusual bargain or a unique gift to take home. Stalls display a wide variety of original crafts such as copper sculptures, fairy dresses, hemp designer clothing and traditional Asian crafts. Sarongs from Alison (near the ATM) make a great and easily transported gift. You must also try a packet of dried Dragon Fruit from Ed’s, directly opposite the ATM (why not buy an organic paw paw (papaya) and some locally grown buffalo tomatoes while you’re there?).

There are also massage, reflexology, card reading and many more ‘alternative’ stalls – don’t be shy, this is a chance to immerse yourself in the local lifestyle. When you’ve finished, find a shady table and enjoy the live and original entertainment from local artists performing on the central stage.

Nightcliff Markets operates every Sunday (even in the rain!) from 8am – 2pm, and there is a central playground for kiddies.

Nightcliff Beach faces in the Rock. These mysterious carvings in the sandstone cliffs of Nightcliff Beach turned up over the last 30 years. No-one knows who did them, or when, or why and urban myth abounds. However they got there, they’re beautiful carvings, intriguing and worth finding…. you’ll need keen eyes to find them all! To get there, wait till the tide is on its way out. Walk down the first set of steps to the beach to the left of Nightcliff Pool, and down to the sand of Nightcliff Beach (careful, the bottom couple can be slippery).  Then turn right and walk up the beach towards Nightcliff Pool, about 70 metres or so. Look carefully at the rocks around you. Can you see them?

Swim in Nightcliff Aquatic Centre (Nightcliff Pool)

This sparkling swimming centre is built right on the cliff overlooking the Arafura Sea. The pool facilities include swimming, lap lanes and a beautiful children’s pool with an Italian style fountain in the middle. There’s also a bicycle rack, snacks, hot and cold drinks, and barbeque and picnic facilities.

The pools are partially shade-clothed with plenty of trees for shade as well, and VERY RELAXING. The palm trees scattered about provide welcome shade and that hypnotic rustling of the dry leaves in the breeze, mixed with the smell of sea salt lulls you into a trance on a warm summer day.

Entry is only $3.00 with discounts for families, and you can stay as long as you like. Make a day of it and stay the whole day, dozing beneath the trees to the sounds of the ocean between dips in the pool, pies, and icy-poles. A great day for families and couples or relaxing time on your own. Open from 6am – 7.30pm most days.

Leanyer Water & Recreation Park

Leanyer Recreation Park is a place to chill out, have fun and escape from the heat of the streets. ENTRANCE IS FREE.

There is something for everyone, including:

  • a water park, including a swimming pool, children’s paddling pools and water playground facility;
  • 3 water slides each 14 metres in height and over 100 metres in length (you must be at least 1.1 metres (110 cm) in height to ride the waterslides);
  • an all-abilities playground;
  • a skatepark;
  • a basketball court with floodlights for evening games;
  • a bitumen cycling path leading to surrounding suburbs;
  • shaded gas barbeques and picnic areas; and
  • the Leanyer Recreation Park Café.

Lifeguards are on duty during pool and water playground opening hours. Children under the age of 10 years must be supervised by parents or carers.


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