Darwin Travel Guide: what to see and do
Darwin Travel Guide: what to see and do

Darwin Travel Guide: what to see and do

Darwin, the capital of tropical Australia, is lush and green.  Darwin is the state capital for the Northern Territory. The city had to be virtually rebuilt after being devastated by cyclone Tracy in 1974. Darwin is also the most multicultural city in Australia, boasting over 75 nationalities, a large indigenous population (25 percent) and a diverse range of immigrants from Asia.

Photo by @skyticket

What is the best time to visit?

Weather wise for comfort the best time to visit is between mid-June to mid-September.


Darwin, in the wet season, is hot and humid. Sticky heat with the prospect of a torrential downpour can ruin a day out and about. While the dry season has less likelihood of downpours it is warm. The cyclone season is from November to April, when there are stunning electrical storms and predictable afternoon rains.


  • Heritage Darwin with its links to wartime Australia
  • Aboriginal perspectives
  • The Outback and National Parks
  • Participate in the vibrant food and festive scene
  • Laze and relax on Darwin’s waterfront precinct 
  • Browse the many galleries offering local well known art works

Darwin is humid, especially in the wet season.   Extended periods outdoors, in the direct sunlight can be uncomfortable.

Getting there

At the top end of Australia with Indonesia as a close neighbour.

Road access is the Stuart Highway – The Track –  is the only road out of town and runs 2,800 km south to Adelaide. Since 2004, Darwin has had a rail link to the great southern cities of Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. The Ghan passenger train service runs twice a week.

Darwin has an international airport with extensive links throughout Australia as well as neighbouring countries.

Awesome journeys and day trips from Darwin

What to see and do in Darwin

heritage and history

Darwin Aviation Museum

557 Stuart Hwy, Winnellie NT 0820, Australia

World War II tunnels

Darwin Waterfront Precinct, Kitchener Dr, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia

Darwin Military Museum

LOT 5434 Alec Fong Lim Dr, East Point NT 0820, Australia

Fannie Bay Jail

Corner East Point Rd &, Ross Smith Ave, Fannie Bay NT 0820, Australia

Chinese Museum & Chung Wah Temple in central Darwin

25 Woods St, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

19 Conacher St, The Gardens NT 0820, Australia

Culture & Art Galleries

  • Darwin’s art scene provides the perfect frame for the region’s artworks. View modern art in small, contemporary galleries, there are investment pieces in glossy commercial galleries, and see traditional and contemporary works – from traditional dot paintings to bold screen prints – from local and remote communities in Aboriginal art galleries. Get a broad overview of local art at the Museum and Gallery of the Northern Territory, or get a close look at Aboriginal art in the making with a visit to the Tiwi Islands.
  • Art Trail “Darwin is a base to get to the Tiwi Islands, Kakadu, Katherine region, Arnhem Land and beyond.”
  • Art trail multiple day tours with Darwin as the hub is an option for art focused tours.


Darwin Fringe Festival

Level 2, Harbour View Plaza, 8 McMinn St, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia

Darwin Festival

Level 2, Harbour View Plaza, 8 McMinn St, Darwin City NT 0801, Australia


George Darwin Botanic Garden.  “The George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens are two kilometres north of Darwin city.  The gardens cover 42 hectares and are noted for their collections of north Australian and other tropical species”

Is a park open

Check if a park is open


Darwin Waterfront Precinct

19B Kitchener Dr, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia


58 Mitchell St, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia

  • There are numerous local tour operators as well as international providers who can forward book a cruise or fishing charter. 
  • Sunset cruises on the harbour
Shopping & retail therapy


  • Mindil Markets.  There are usually 200 stalls selling aboriginal arts and crafts along with musicians and entertainers. It is also a great place to sample a wide range of food from 60 different food stalls including Thai, Malay, Indonesian, Chinese, Indian, and Greek.
  • Parap markets, every Saturday throughout the year.
  • Malak Marketplace every Saturday of the Dry Season.  A community market celebrates all the tastes of tropical life in Darwin; the food, the sounds, the flavours and the diverse cultures that bring communities to life.
  • Stokes Hill Wharf near the Darwin waterfront is a popular outdoor  place to head for dinner. A food court dining experience on the wharf.
  • Explore neighbourhoods such as Cullen Bay


Darwin is not a beach destination.  Jelly fish during the Dry Season, the crocodile and shark encounters together with mangrove covered beaches discourage a beach culture.


Whether it is an art focused tour or a nature based exploration of the outback Darwin day trips offer an opportunity to taste, explore and absorb the sights and sounds of the top end.  


DO not swim in Darwin waters between October and May because of the deadly Box Jellyfish.  Also always beware of saltwater crocodiles. Where you can swim. Check out Where you can swim. If a waterway does not have a swimming area sign, do not swim in this area. There may still be danger if there is no sign. The area may not be safe or free from saltwater crocodiles. It is safe to swim in all public and private swimming pools.

Heat warning

Temperatures across the Northern Territory can be very hot between October and March. It can exceed 40 degrees celsius in some locations. High humidity in the Top End can also make you tire easily.

Check forecast temperatures before you visit. Find out how to prepare and stay safe in the heat.

Crocodile safety: Be Crocwise

Saltwater crocodiles are dangerous to people and pets.  You should always be aware of the risk of a saltwater crocodile attack in all Top End waterways.  It is never 100% safe to enter the water. Your personal safety is your responsibility

Getting around

Darwin has a Hop on, hop off bus providing an excellent introduction to Darwin.

Darwinbus is the main public transport network in Darwin, incorporating bus and ferry transport. Bus interchanges are located at Harry Chan Place in Darwin, Bradshaw Drive at Casuarina Shopping Square in Casuarina, and the corner of Temple Terrace and Roystone Avenue in Palmerston.

Tickets can be bought when boarding the bus – drivers carry limited change so try to ensure you have the correct fare. You can also buy your ticket at any of the Interchanges in Darwin, Casuarina or Palmerston.

 Cycling and walking designated tracks.

Darwin International Airport, Darwin, is located 13 km from the city centre, it is approximately a 15 minute drive.  The city-wide airport shuttle bus serves all Darwin hotels, and tickets can be purchased at the airport or at Darwin’s transit centre. It departs in front of the Terminal and meets all flights. Arrange airport transfers by telephone or from the hotel reception. There is also a taxi rank located in front of the terminal.

Travel pack information

You really do not want to be self-guided?

There are a large number of tour groups you can book that head to the Northern Territory from all pockets of Australia, or alternatively, you can join one upon your arrival in the Outback. It’s entirely up to you. The benefit of traveling with a small group tour is that you not only have company, but everything is organized for you.

The journey is worth it.

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