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Darwin - Cities, Towns and Localities
Whilst Darwin services both international and domestic routes from Australia, it is also a very popular stop for visitors, especially those wanting to explore the 'Top End'. Darwin itself has plenty of local attractions and activities, together with an annual events calendar providing a great choice of things to do.

For those with limited time, there are many attractions within easy walk of Darwin's central business district. From the attractions of the Darwin Waterfront Precinct on the south-east of the CBD, The Esplanade and Bicentennial Park overlooking Port Darwin to the city's west, and the history all within Darwin city, there is plenty to keep you occupied. Don't forget there is the "World's largest display of Australian Reptiles" and the famous "Cage of Death" located in the heart of Darwin city.
 

One of the great ways to see Darwin, nearby Kakadu and all that the Top End has to offer is through one of the many tours operators. With a great range of tours and charters, including indigenous operated tours, there is sure to be something for everyone. As well as the tour operators listed under Darwin Tours, we have a number of tour operators listed under the Territory tours headings:

Darwin Attractions

— VIATOR —
Darwin Tours
~ check out some of the local attractions with our listed Darwin Tours.

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Aquascene
• 28 Doctors Gully Rd, LARRAKEYAH / DARWIN NT 0800 • Ph: 08 8981 7837 • Email
Fish feeding at Doctors Gully. Treat yourself to an unforgettable experience right in the heart of Darwin within distance of most city hotels. Aquascene is where hundreds of fish come to shore at high tide to be fed by hand. Among the many species that you may see, as they come close enough to touch competing for food, include milkfish, mullet, catfish, bream and barramundi. Other species that may be seen in the shallow are rays, cod, mangrove jack and diamond fish. Feeding happens only for a few hours daily, with the most favourable times being generally in the mornings. Fish numbers are highest during December to August. Check the website for feeding times.
Australian Aviation Heritage Centre
• 557 Stuart Hwy, WINNELLIE NT 0820 • Ph: 08 8947 2145 • Fax: 08 8947 1000 • Email
The Australian Aviation Heritage Centre is one of the major aviation museums in Australia. The Centre has an impressive presentation of aircraft and displays depicting the Territory’s involvement in aviation, both civil and military, from the early pioneers and record breakers through World War II and the jet age. The major display item is a massive B-52 bomber on permanent loan from the United States Air Force and is one of only two on public display in the world outside the USA. More poignant is the wreckage of a Japanese Zero fighter plane, a remnant from 1942 when Darwin was attacked. Other exhibits include a Wessex helicopter, a Sabre jet, Spitfire, and a number of other displays on Australian aviation history.

The Centre is approximately 8 kilometers from the city and was opened in 1990 in a purpose built facility constructed by the Northern Territory Government and is the largest single span building in the Northern Territory.
Beaches
Darwin has many beaches but it is wise to keep out of the water during the wet season because of the deadly box jellyfish. Popular beaches include Mindil and Vestey’s. In north Darwin there’s a stinger net protecting part of Nightcliff Beach. A stretch of the 7 km Casuarina Beach further east is officially designated for nudies. Lake Alexander in East Point Reserve offers safe swimming.
Bungee and parachuting
There is bungee jumping on weekends at Wharf Precinct and a parachute club at Batchelor, 85 km south of Darwin.
Crocodylus Park and Zoo
• 815 McMillans Rd, BERRIMAH NT • Ph: 08 8922 4500 • Fax: 08 8947 0678 • Email
• Open 7 days - 9 am to 5 pm / Feeding & Tour Times 10 am, 12 noon, 2 pm 3:30 pm
A great place to come face to face with the largest reptiles on the planet. Built over 30 years of experience in crocodile research and conservation, the park plays host to over a thousand crocodiles that vary from hatchlings to massive adults measuring 16 feet and weighing over half-a-ton. There are also a diverse array of other wildlife including big cats, primates, birds and other reptiles including the hawksbill turtles. There is a museum, education centre and souvenir shop. Check the site for feeding times.
Crocosaurus Cove
• Located in the heart of Darwin’s tourist precinct • Ph: +61 8 8981 7522 • Email
Swim with the crocodiles in Darwin City! Crocosaurus Cove, opening soon, has ‘BFC’ (Big Flippin’ Crocs). There will be seven crocodile enclosures with underwater viewing areas, and one with a swimming pool next to a viewing window so you’ll be able to feel a bit like you’re swimming with the crocs.

As if that wasn’t enough, there is the ‘Cage of Death’ — a clear box made from just 1.6 inches thick acrylic, where the thrill seeker can climb into, before being lowered into Choppa’s lair. It is described as ‘a shark cage without the bars’, where the tourist can get an close up view of the jaws of Choppa, an 18 foot saltwater crocodile.

As well as the crocodile displays, there are live reptiles and massive fish aquarium stocked with turtles and a variety of fish species relevant to the waters of the NT. The enormous reptile section will house 11 goanna species, frogs, skinks, dragons and geckos. The exhibit will consists of both diurnal and nocturnal animals found in the ‘Top End’ and Kimberly regions of Northern Australia and will also show one of the worlds most venomous land snakes through to the rarest of Top End pythons. Private function space is available and gift shop.
Cruises and Charters
Sunset cruises of the harbour run most evenings. There are also boat trips at Adelaide River Crossing to see crocodiles jumping out of the water and grabbing pieces of meat held on the end of poles. Darwin is a good place to organise bushwalking or 4WD drive tours of the Top End, Kakadu or the Kimberley. See NT Tours for individual destinations and Boats, Charters, Cruises, Yachts.
Darwin Crocodile Farm
• (Farm 40 km south of Darwin) Stuart Hwy, DARWIN NT
Australia’s largest crocodile arm housing some 36,000 animals. It operates as both a farm producing skins, meat and other products for export and as a tourist facility. Get here in the early afternoon for feeding time.

See ‘Snowy’, the world’s largest albino crocodile in captivity and many other very large animals feeding daily. With the ‘freshie’ billabong, garden, and bush settings, it is a place that is home to many native birds and animals. For the bird enthusiasts there have been spotted kingfishers, ibis, sandpipers, storks and birds of prey. Water monitors, turtles and many lizard species can also be spotted in the surrounds.
Darwin Military Museum
• Alec Fong Lim Drv, EAST POINT NT 0820 • Ph: 08 8981 9702 • Mobile: 0417 876 997 • Email
This museum was originally set up as an artillery museum by the Royal Australian Artillery Association to exhibit information from Darwin’s war time history. There are photographs and artefacts, including information on the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese during World War II. During this period there were 64 raids conducted on Darwin, that lasted for almost two years and killed over 300 people. Visitors are welcomed to take a tour of one of Australia’s most fascinating military museums and find out the truth of really what happened in 1942.
Darwin Waterfront Precinct
Experience Darwin’s tropical lifestyle at the Darwin Waterfront Precinct. Cradled on the ocean side by Stokes Hill Wharf, visitors can enjoy resort-style luxury, friendly wharf retailers and eateries whilst enjoying panoramic harbour views and safe swimming. Walk the waterfront promenade, admire the iconic Darwin Convention Centre, learn about the local marine life in the Indo Pacific Marine, the Wave Lagoon and Recreation Lagoon. With easy access via Sky Bridge, connecting you to Smith Street and the shopping mall, you can also explore the preserved cultural history.
Deckchair Cinema / Darwin Film Society
• Kitchener Drv, Wharf Precinct, DARWIN NT • Ph: 08 8981 0700 • Email
Deckchair Cinema, operated by the Darwin Film Society, is unique in many ways. It is fully independent and screens films that are often otherwise unavailable to local audiences.

The outdoor setting, on the edge of Darwin Harbour is absolutely stunning. The lights reflected from anchored and passing ships make for a serene periphery. The wonderful sunsets over the sea every evening are a stunning backdrop for people who come early with their picnic dinners.

Run by the community-based Darwin Film Society, the Deckchair Cinema runs seven nights a week during the dry season screenings a range of movies from family favourites to festivals and foreign films. Screening: Every evening, double features on Friday and Saturday from April to November. Visit the website for program details.
Doctors Gully
The waters of Doctors Gully is an official marine sanctuary, with a rich history. It is also the premier local attraction of the fish feeding sanctuary, Aquascene. This popular attraction is one of Darwin's best known tourist attractions, bringing locals and visitors during high tide to see hundreds of fish come in for a free feed.
East Point
Located just to the north of Fannie Bay, East Point Peninsula is a popular recreational area that is also home to the Darwin Military Museum and the East Point Reserve. Home to a colony of wallabies, East Point is one of the best places in Darwin for watching the sunset, with Dudley Point offering uninterrupted sunset views and a popular observation spot for Darwin City and Fannie Bay. There are extensive walking and cycling tracks, as well as a great spot for families looking for picnic areas with barbecue facilities.
East Point Reserve
A special place for the people of Darwin and a popular recreational area for locals and visitors, East Point Reserve covers almost 200 hectares, of which 30 hectares include natural forest land. Easily accessible from both the city and suburbs, it is the largest park area in or near the city.

The reserve offers safe swimming at Lake Alexander, especially during the summer months when the surround waters are dangerous with box jellyfish. Drawing its sea water from Fannie Bay, the lake has a maximum depth of 2.8 meters and covers an area of some 3.5 hectares.

There is a range of barbecue and picnic facilities, a military history that goes back to 1932 and a range of community and tourist facilities including the Royal Australian Artillery Association Museum and the gun turret precinct. The popular Dudley Point boast uninterrupted sunsets and magnificent views of Darwin and Fannie Bay.

A meandering walking trail through the vine forest containing some 600 plant species, and the nine species of mangroves that occur within the reserve, are points of interest for those interested in the flora of the region. The wallabies are a popular attraction in the reserve, especially in the late afternoon when they come out to feed. Other fauna seen in the area include bandicoots, brushtail possums, various reptile species, over 35 different species of butterflies and 133 bird species.

See Darwin Council website for more information or click here to download document (PDF 740 Kb)
Fishing in Darwin © Robyn BaumannFishing
Fishing for barramundi, freshwater and saltwater perch is a popular pastime in Darwin.

For a list of fishing tours and charter operators check out our listing under NT Fishing Tours and Charters, that include a number of options for Darwin Harbour and nearby regions.
George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens
• Gardens Rd, The Gardens, DARWIN NT • Ph: 08 8981 1958 • Email
• Gates open 7 am - 7 pm daily
Located about 2 kms north of the Darwin Business District, the Gardens was established over 130 years ago to introduce and evaluate plants for food and flavour to a small developing community and has since become important in the recreational and scientific life of the city.

Having survived numerous cyclones and the direct effects of World War II, the site extends inland from the sea to a plateau providing a range of planting environments and is one of a few botanic gardens in the world which has marine and estuarine plants naturally in its grounds. The gardens spread across 42 hectares showcase the flora of Northern Australia and other tropical habitats around the world. You can wander through rainforest, coastal fore dunes, mangroves and open woodlands, see orchids, aroids, bromeliads and other striking foliage plants up close. There are over 400 palm species alone growing in the gardens. There is also a self guided Aboriginal Plant Use walk. The location of the gardens is within the Fannie Bay cultural and recreational precinct and places it amongst primary tourist venues.
Howard Springs Nature Park
• Open from 8 am to 8 pm daily
Located about 35 km east of the city is this crocodile-free swimming hole, surrounded by a monsoon forest. It’s  makes a great break from the heat, but gets crowded at weekends. There are short walking tracks, wildlife include fish and turtles, tame wallabies grazing around the springs and plenty of bird life. There are lots of shady picnic area with access to spring-fed swimming pool, a toddlers pool is provided for small children. See the website for current details including ‘Ranger Guide Activities’.
Indo Pacific Marine
• Wharf Precinct, DARWIN NT 0801 • Ph: 08 8981 1294 • Email (for bookings use online form)
The Indo Pacific Marine is the longest established man-made tourism facility in the Northern Territory, receiving industry recognition for excellence over many years. The exhibition is unique in the fact that this is a land based living marine centre where each system is totally self supporting – no feeding, filtration or water changing. As the marine displays are contained eco systems, rare and unusual species can be observed far more easily than would ever be the case on a dive in the open sea, even for skilled SCUBA divers.

Indo Pacific Marine also features unique night tours of the reef. Yet again, this all happens indoors where each visitor is supplied with a torch to observe the nocturnal world of the reef environment, and this can include corals spawning or fluorescing in a spectacular display of light. For an even more close-up experience, magnifying sheets are placed against the glass walls of the displays to observe minute organisms as they go about their business, as they would in an ocean environment.
The Museum & Art Gallery of NT
• Conacher St, FANNIE BAY NT 0801 • Ph: 08 8999 8264 • Fax: 08 8999 8289
The museum features the regions’ art, natural history and culture with collections of Aboriginal art and material culture, visual arts, craft, Southeast Asian art and material culture, visual arts, craft, Southeast Asian art and material culture, NT history and maritime archaeology.

Permanent exhibitions include Cyclone Tracy Exhibition, that depicts the greatest natural disaster in Australia’s history with the destruction of the city of Darwin by Cyclone Tracy. With documentary footage, historical artefacts, photographs and sound recordings, you can immerse yourself in the history of that terrifying impact on Territorians at the time.

Another popular exhibit is ‘Sweetheart’ the crocodile, an icon of the Territory. In the 1970s, this formidable predator gained notoriety for attacking several aluminium dinghies at a popular Darwin fishing spot, and on 19 July 1979, was caught in a trap and anaesthetised. Unfortunately in the attempt to haul him ashore, Sweetheart became entangled with a sunken log and drowned.

The Museum also includes other venues in Darwin:
  • Fannie Bay Gaol
    • East Point Rd, DARWIN • Ph: 08 8999 8290
    Depicts the early Northern Territory penal system.
     
  • Lyons Cottage
    • Cnr Esplanade and Knuckey St, DARWIN • Ph: 08 8981 1750
    BAT - British Australian Telegraph House, also known as Lyons Cottage is an early example of Darwin architecture houseing a collection of European and Larrakia early history.

Mindil Beach Market / Mindil Beach Sunset Markets
• Mindil Beach, Maria Liveris Drv, THE GARDENS / DARWIN NT 0800 (see website for dates and times)
The vision statement of Mindil Beach Sunset Market 'Live the Lifestyle' reflects the essence of the market - tropical paradise, relaxation, fun, vibrant, creative, alive and entertaining.

Less than 3 km from Darwin city centre, on any given Thursday and Sunday, throughout the dry season, locals and visitors can enjoy the tastes of five continents, with over 1,200 different menu items for your taste buds, an eclectic range of handmade craft and live entertainment.
Port of Darwin
‘Australia’s Northern Gateway’ - situated at the western end of Stokes Hill Wharf is a 1,750 square metre complex of shops, restaurants and tourist facilities. The wharf also is the site of the architect designed Function Centre.
Territory Wildlife ParkTerritory Wildlife Park
• Cox Peninsula Rd, BERRY SPRINGS NT 0837 • Ph: +61 8 8988 7200 • Email
Operated by the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, this park demonstrates the relationships that exist in the wild, between the unique native plants and animals of the region. It offers an amazing and unparalleled insight into the diversity of tropical Australia. Just 45 minutes drive south of Darwin, nestled in almost 1,000 acres of natural bush, with 4 kms of easily walked paths.
  • Fascinating daily guide presentations about the native flora and fauna.
  • The Aquarium offers remarkable views of crocodiles, barramundi and more as you journey from the river’s source to its end.
  • Free-flying birds of prey display.
  • Walk through one of the largest domed walk-through aviaries in the Southern Hemisphere. The path beyond explores a monsoon forest fed by an underground spring.
  • Goose Lagoon bird watching from a hide overlooking a vast billabong.
  • Nocturnal House with endangered and rarely seen native species.

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