Make Darwin your next holiday destination with all of the best and most unusual things to do!
With its small population and remote location, you wouldn’t think there is much to do in Darwin. But, the truth is, there is plenty to do! From diving with crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove to strolling through a vibrant market as the sun goes down. There’s even a few national parks to roam through, where nature becomes your remedy.
In the CBD itself, Darwin hosts plenty of worthwhile attractions; including a renowned casino, a decent public golf course, a museum, an art gallery, a fish feeding sanctuary, and the most divine botanical garden situated in 42 hectares of native and tropical flora, with an orchard house and onsite cafe. You won’t be bored!
Before we jump into the top 10 things to do in Darwin, it is best to note that the best time to visit Darwin is during the winter months between May and October. The summer months bring high humidity, monsoon rains and unpredictable storms. Nobody likes being drowned out of their holiday! And, yes, while it may be winter, it’s still warm enough to wear a singlet and shorts, possibly even at night.
Now, without further ado, here’s the top 10 things to do in Darwin in 2022:
How long should you spend in Darwin?
This really depends on how jam-packed you wish to make your itinerary. We recommend spending up to four days to explore all of the best things to do in Darwin.
Lose Yourself in George Brown Botanic Gardens
It’s almost customary to visit the botanic garden of any capital city you visit, and Darwin is no different. At the George Brown Botanic Garden, you can get lost among the shade of sprawling greenery. Within 42 hectares, expect a serene waterfall, a calming water fountain, an onsite cafe and plenty of space to spread out on a picnic rug. Be sure to seek out the nine metre crocodile sculpture in the Africa Madagascar garden – a fantastic photo opportunity! One of the best free things to do in Darwin!
Dive With Crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove
If sculpted crocodiles isn’t thrilling enough, why not go swimming with one? Safely, of course. It’s the only attraction of its kind in Australia, where you can view a snapping croc within the aptly named Cage of Death – a Perspex cage that is submerged in a croc tank. You could also feed them, and even hold a cutesy baby crocodile! As well as crocs, the Crocosaurus Cove is home to over 70 species of reptiles, from lizards to turtles, and even platypuses. The best way to discover Darwin in our opinion.
Gain Retail Therapy at Mindil Beach Sunset Markets
The most local thing you can do in Darwin is a visit to the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. Feast your way through local fare, treat yourself to a new and exciting trinket or two, and do it all under the backdrop of a gorgeous beach sunset. The market also hosts a rotation of performers – not just musicians, but circus stars, comedians and even fire breathers. The sunset markets in the heart of Darwin is open every Thursday to Sunday from May to October.
Swim and Sunbathe at Darwin Waterfront Precinct
Yes, there are plenty of beaches in Darwin, but with a few dangerous predators lurking in the shallows, it’s best to avoid swimming in them. At minimum, you should always follow signage. However, the Darwin Waterfront Precinct is protected from the sea, making it the safest place for tourists and locals to swim at. Throw down a towel and catch some rays, and don’t forget to take a much-needed dip!
Sail Darwin's Harbour at Sunset
Our good friends at Red Balloon are offering a delightful sailing experience off the coast of Darwin. Enjoy uninterrupted views of dugongs, dolphins and seagulls – and perhaps the occasional crocodile – with a wine in one hand and a delectable antipasto board in the other other. And with it being at sunset, you could be greeted by a gorgeous red sky as you lounge back on a catamaran. Wine and mid-strength beer is included, as is a BBQ dinner to match that gorgeous view!
Visit A Museum
History buffs will not be short on things to do in Darwin, with a wonderful mix of museums across the city. Discover Darwin’s WWII past through the Military Museum; be on cloud nine at the Aviation Museum; immerse yourself in Aboriginal history and gain insights into Cyclone Tracy at Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory; and experience how it felt to be incarcerated in the early 20th century at Fannie Bay Gaol.
Explore Litchfield National Park
Just over an hour’s drive from Darwin, Litchfield National Park is a favourite for locals and tourists alike – and it’s not hard to see why. Visitors can take a dip beneath the waterfalls at Florence and Wangi Falls or the lush Buley Rockhole, and even tackle a few short bushwalks in between each watering hole. You can even stay overnight in one of the campgrounds for the ultimate nature experience. Litchfield National Park is one of Darwin’s most luscious natural attractions and one of the best free things to do!
Spot Some Street Art
Around August, Darwin is overrun by artists looking to showcase their talents, with plain brick walls across the city being their canvasses. From abstract to life-like, these artists play on the surrounding space, offering spectacular Insta-worthy murals for locals and tourists. Then, once the festival finishes, these artworks are left to shine on until the next August comes. You can download an app in the link below which reveals where you can view the art.
Embrace Nature at Berry Springs
Berry Springs Nature Park is Darwin’s answer to family friendly serenity. With enough space to kick a ball around, and a massive clear blue lake to take a cooling dip in, you’ll feel at ease at Berry Springs. We recommend bringing a snorkel to make your swim a little more curious as you take in the beauty of the underwater world. Berry Springs also boasts a few walking tracks, as well as a nearby wildlife park for animal lovers of all persuasions.
Catch a Famous Barra at Barramundi Adventures
There is no greater feeling than snagging a melon-sized barramundi, especially so when you’re surrounded by friends. You can even get bragging rights by posting your massive catch on your socials. But ultimately it is the experience that makes it truly amazing. With Barramundi Adventures south of Darwin, you’ll be shown how to catch a burly barra and be given the tools to try it for yourself.
If you want to explore more things to do in Darwin, why not discover some of the Best Caves around Northern Territory. Or, for something unusual, check out the Best Drag Queen Shows and Drag Clubs in Darwin!
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land mentioned in our article, the people of the Larrakia Nation, and we recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.