Darwin - Cities, Towns and Localities
Visitors to Darwin have a huge range of activities,
attractions and events both within easy walk of the central business district,
as well as plenty of things to see and do further out from the heart of the
For those with limited time, there are a number of world renowned attractions that are within easy
access for those staying in the heart of
Ranging 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 plenty of history all
within Darwin city, you will need to make sure that you make enough time to
enjoy all the activities. Don't forget there is the "World's largest display of
Australian Reptiles" and the famous "Cage of Death" located in the heart of
And don't forget Aquascene, where since the early 1950s a unique and natural
phenomena occurs on the high tide amongst the tranquil tropical waters of
Darwin’s Doctors Gully. Here you will witness hundreds of friendly local wild
fish swim to the shallow shoreline in search of a gratuitous feed. Over the
course of this enduring 60 plus year tradition, the fish have shed their normal
shyness and are even willingly hand-fed to the delight of thousands of
fascinated locals and tourists every year. Whilst it is at the north-western end
of Darwin, it is just under 1.5 km from the city centre.
• 28 Doctors Gully Rd, LARRAKEYAH / DARWIN NT 0800
• Ph: 08 8981 7837 •
• 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
• 58 Mitchell St (Cnr Mitchell & Peel Sts), DARWIN CITY NT 0800 • Ph: +61 8 8981 7522 •
• Located in the heart of Darwin's
tourist precinct - 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.
Darwin Parliament House
• State Square, Cnr Mitchell and Bennett Sts, DARWIN CITY NT • Ph: 08 8946 1525
• Opened in 1994, this beautiful
building is a magnificent example of tropical architecture. The NT Library is
also located here. Guided tours depart from the foyer at 9.00am and 11.00am
every Saturday. Tours last 90 minutes. Bookings are essential.
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.
Take a walk along the waterfront promenade as it skirts the iconic Darwin
Convention Centre. This architectural icon is inspired by the curves of a pearl
oyster. There is also the Indo Pacific Marine
where visitors can learn all about the local marine life.
The Darwin Waterfront Precinct is connected to the heart of Darwin City by a Sky
Bridge and the Smith Street East Walkway. The Smith Street East Walkway is lined
with shady raintrees. You can take a stroll through it to the Smith Street Mall,
the parklands of Civic Park, the old Town Hall ruins and Parliament House in
State Square. Intricate artifacts, symbolic construction materials and
interpretative signs along the walkway explain Darwin's history and progress.
The Darwin Waterfront Precinct is connected to the heart of Darwin city by the
Sky Bridge and the Smith Street East Walkway, both offering their own unique
experiences with wheelchair access via lifts and ramps. The Smith Street East
Walkway is lined with shady raintrees. Take a stroll through it to the Smith
Street Mall, scenic parklands of Civic Park, the old Town Hall ruins and
Parliament House in State Square. There are intricate artefacts, symbolic
construction materials and interpretative signage along the walkway explaining
Darwin's history and progress. The Sky Bridge takes visitors over the oldest road in Darwin – Hughes Avenue –
which follows the contours of the escarpment from the Esplanade towards the sea,
stopping where the European settlers first camped in 1869 at Fort Hill gully.
The Sky Bridge offers panoramic views of the Darwin Waterfront Precinct and
harbour beyond, with a glass-lined elevator taking visitors to the retail
precinct and promenades below.
Darwin's wave lagoon is a safe, stinger and crocodile-free wave and swimming
lagoon. Covering an area of 4,000 square metres, there is the shallow still
water area for toddlers. The lagoon depth varies from 2 metres at its deepest
point with a slope to a depth of zero at the wet edge. The water is chlorinated
salt and the lagoon has a concrete bottom. The wave lagoon is capable of a range
of different waves up to 1.7 metres in height. The different wave types provide
a range of experiences for all users and ensure the wave lagoon is suitable for
the whole family – from boogie board riders to toddlers. Waves run on a cycle
with a ten minute break in between.
A sea wall designed to protect the entire site from a 1:100 storm surge captures
a permanent body of water providing for swimming and other water-based
activities. Mesh screens are in place to prevent marine stingers entering the
Lagoon, and there is a stinger net providing more protection on the beach side.
Further, lifeguards regularly drag and monitor the water and night spotting for
marine stingers is carried out weekly. But, while the Darwin Waterfront
Corporation takes all reasonable steps to ensure the Lagoon is free of marine
stingers we can not guarantee this.
A natural eco system exists including fish, algae, and Cassiopeia jellyfish. All
play an important role maintaining a healthy environment. Large fish live in the
Lagoon which at times have been known to brush up against swimmers. However,
these large fish eat the jellyfish and we need them to keep the numbers down. If
swimming with large fish isn't the experience you are after then we encourage
you to swim on the beach side of the stinger net, they are kept out of this
area. Large fish are removed periodically.
The Darwin Waterfront has significant and a varied history from the many
different cultures who have helped to shape it. Home of the Larrakia people, who
for centuries traded with the Macassans, it was also the site of early
Malay/Chinese settlements, the site of the original landing of European settlers
who waded ashore and camped in the 'gully' by Fort Hill. The area has historical
significance as the site of the first bomb to land on Australian soil during
World War II.
It was also the site of the first public gardens, the railway from Frances Creek
to the jetty with a station near Stokes Hill, and where Travellers' Walk marks
an old path used to walk from the early camp to the escarpment. This rich
cultural heritage has been incorporated into many of the public infrastructure
components of the Darwin Waterfront Precinct. You can download the
Heritage & Cultural Trail (PDF) brochure, available form the Darwin
Waterfront Precinct website.
Deckchair Cinema /
Darwin Film Society
• Kitchener Drv, Wharf Precinct, DARWIN NT • Ph: 08 8981 0700 •
• 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.
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.
• 29 Stokes Hill Rd, Opposite the Convention Centre, Darwin Wharf Precinct, DARWIN NT 0800
• Ph: 08 8981 1294 •
• Indo Pacific Marine is the longest
established man made tourism facility in the Northern Territory, and has
received industry recognition for excellence over many years. With its onshore
marine ecosystems highlighting the features of the coral reefs which abound in
Darwin waters, this exhibition is unique in the fact that this is a land based
living marine centre where each system is totally self supporting, requiring no
feeding, filtration or water changing.
Visitors are able to experience, learn and marvel under expert guidance and in
full safety, the beauty of the marine environment. Each marine display are
self-contained eco systems, with rare and unusual species that can be easily
observed by the viewer. There is also the 'Coral Reef by Night', where you
can observe the nocturnal world of the reef environment. The evening tour also
includes a seafood dinner.