Explore the adventure, wildlife and aboriginal culture that awaits you in Darwin!
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1. Visit the Mindil Beach Market at Sunset
Visit on Thursdays and Sundays 16:00 – 21:00 April to October, watch the sun set and enjoy a huge range of stalls as well as 60 plus food tents from over 20 countries. It’s ok to bring your own alcohol to this event as none is sold on site. You might even be able to try some crocodile!
If you’re driving your camper there, take your camping chairs (limited free parking Gulrith Drive or Darwin High School). The markets are 3km from the city and you’d probably find it easy to get on bus 4 or 6, or some hotels have shuttle buses.
2. Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Set in a scenic location overlooking the Arafura Sea in Darwin, the museum and gallery is home to internationally renowned artistic, cultural and scientific collections and research programs.
Each year the museum and gallery present a dynamic program of exhibitions, carefully curated from the collection, and the best travelling exhibitions from around Australia displaying items of aboriginal history and their connections with Asian seafarers, through to recent history and modern development. It includes a realistic exhibition of the effects of Cyclone Tracy. It is also the home of the annual Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards – the most significant celebration of its kind in Australia. Free admission. Address: 19 Conacher Street, The Gardens, Darwin, open 10:00 – 17:00 daily (closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Good Friday).
3. Darwin Aviation Museum
The Darwin Aviation Museum (formerly known as Australian Aviation Heritage Centre) with its award-winning displays is home to 19 civil and military aircraft including a B-52 Mitchell Bomber (one of the few surviving in the world), 21 engines and relicts of crashed aircraft, 38 major displays depicting the aviation history of the Northern Territory.
It was established in 1976 by a group of enthusiasts who sought to preserve aviation artefacts and WWII aircraft salvaged after the destruction resulting from Cyclone Tracy and eventually broadened to include the exploration and documentation of WWII aircraft crash sites and the recovery and preservation of aviation relics related to the defence of Darwin during WWII. Address 557 Stuart Highway, Winnellie, admission: Adults $16, Seniors $12, open 09:00 – 17:00 daily.
4. Royal Flying Doctor Service
Affectionately known throughout Australia as RFDS, its story began back in 1939 by Reverend John Flynn. Here you will get to enjoy the heroic tales of the birth and growth of the RFDS, learn about its history, the activities of the pilots, engineers, doctors and nurses and the experience of the patients that are carried and cared for each day. It also shares a second iconic story with its world class virtual reality of the bombing of Darwin harbour and life size holograms, interactive storytelling and full-size replicas of a Japanese aircraft and Camilla the flying boat. Address: Stokes Hill Wharf, Darwin. Open: 09:30 – 17:00 daily (bank holidays 10:00 – 15:00, closed Christmas Day and Good Friday). Admission: Adults $28, Seniors $22.
5. WWII Oil Storage Tunnels
The WWII Oil Storage Tunnels were built during the war by the Civil Construction Corps. Situated in the Darwin Wharf Precinct on Kitchener Drive, it was reopened in 1992 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin.
Located beneath the cliffs of Darwin city, a short walk from the city centre and the Esplanade, this exciting tourist facility is self-guided. Your well informed tour guide provides historical information relating to the concept of the tunnels.
The WWII Tunnels feature a photographic display of Darwin during WWII including photographs of the men and women who served in the protection of our great country.
So many things to do! You might also like to check out…
Darwin Waterfront Precinct
Experience the best of Darwin’s tropical lifestyle at the Darwin Waterfront Precinct, just five minutes’ walk from the city centre. Relax with a coffee or linger over a long breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks at one of the precinct’s many cafes, restaurants and bars. Book a luxurious beauty or hair treatment, find the perfect souvenir or just meander around the lush parklands and walkways dotted with public art and soak up the tranquil ocean views.
Ride the swell at the Wave Lagoon or float in the free saltwater Recreation Lagoon with a man made beach and shady lawn beyond. The inviting, crystal blue waters of the Wave Lagoon draw everyone to the centre of the precinct with 10 different wave patterns to excite people of all ages. Open 10am – 6pm seven days a week. There are also sunset cruises offered with Darwin Harbour Cruises.
George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens
These gardens were established 130 years ago to introduce and evaluate plants for food and flavour. The gardens have survived numerous cyclones and the direct effects of WWII. Wander through monsoon forests, coastal dunes, mangroves and open woodlands all in the one place. The location of the gardens is within the Fannie Bay cultural and recreational precinct – takes about 1.5 hours to walk here from city.
Deckchair Cinema – a unique outdoor cinema experience on the edge of Darwin Harbour that is truly stunning: watch the sunset over the sea and enjoy the tropical garden setting with a meal and a drink before the movie starts.
You can take your own picnic, strictly NO BYO though, they are licenced to sell alcohol there. The box office and kiosk open at 6.00pm every night April to November.
Darwin Waterfront Heritage & Cultural Trail – this rich cultural heritage has been incorporated into many of the public infrastructure components of the Darwin Waterfront Precinct. Public art has been integrated amongst the buildings, amenities and public space, celebrating the diverse cultural influences of the area.
To view a selection of heritage sites, please refer to the map you have been given of the Heritage & Cultural Trail.
Crocosaurus Cove – located in the city centre, this gives you a chance to chance for an ‘up close’ look at the salt water crocodiles. This has the largest display in the world of the Australian Reptile, plus an opportunity to swim with the crocs!
Hop-on and Hop-off to get around Darwin!
Tour Darwin at your own pace with a 24-hour or 48-hour hop-on hop-off pass. See fabulous views from the open-top double-decker bus and get on and off at 10 convenient stops, including Crocosaurus Cove, the waterfront precinct, Military Museum and Fort Hill Wharf. Stay as long as you like at the attractions of your choice, then hop on board to travel from sight to sight. Or stay on the bus to enjoy full 60 / 70 -minute and 90-minute tours around Darwin, while listening to an entertaining on-board commentary.
Departure point: Main Stop at Tourist Information Centre, Corner of Smith and Bennett Street. Or call (61) 416 140 903 for more information or book your ticket online at www.theaustralianexplorer.com.au
Day Trips from Darwin
We get fabulous reviews on a particular day trip which includes a float plane ride – it is a once in a lifetime experience and is not cheap, so not for everyone. The Ultimate tour is a half day tour which showcases NT at its best. Includes Airboat, Helicopter, floatplane and a boat cruise as you’re taken to a remote pristine lagoon. www.outbackfloatplanes.com.au/tour/ultimate-tour
Visitor Information Centre,
Tourism Top End
Address: 6 Bennett St, Darwin NT 0800
Phone: 1300 138 886
If you are thinking of heading to Darwin and want to know more about the area and other trips you can do, take a look at our Travel Routes page which will provide you with heaps more information on other routes around Australia.
If you are interested in hiring a campervan to travel around Australia or perhaps would like to find out more about our Motorhome Tours, please get in touch for more information. Drop us an email on [email protected] or call us on 07 3314 1518. We look forward to chatting with you.