Heading to Darwin? Here is our Darwin bucket list with seven of our absolute favourite attractions you need to include on your itinerary if you want to get the full top end experience.
1. The Darwin Waterfront Precinct and Stokes Hill Wharf
Your first stop when you arrive in Darwin would have to be its vibrant waterfront precinct. With impressive ocean views, a saltwater wave pool, man-made beach, lush grass and parkland, public art and plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from, it’s the perfect place to waste away the day while getting acquainted with the Darwin lifestyle.
As the afternoon sets in, make sure you also go for a wander down the Stokes Hill Wharf—with some great of casual alfresco eateries, the historic wharf is a great place to enjoy some fish and chips or a drink by the water while watching the spectacular Darwin sunset.
Visit the Darwin Waterfront Precinct website for more information.
2. Mindil Beach Markets
Another thing you absolutely must-do while in Darwin is spend an evening at the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. Darwin’s largest market, you’ll find over 200 stalls featuring everything from jewellery, clothing, art and handicrafts, to a delicious selection of both Australian and international cuisine and gourmet treats.
While the market is impressive in its own right, its waterside location which is ideally positioned to soak in the breathtaking sunset is sure to make your visit to the Mindil Beach Markets truly unforgettable.
The market runs every Thursday and Sunday from 4pm-9pm, but make sure you check your dates before heading there as they only operate during the dry season between late April and late October. Visit the Mindil Beach Sunset Market website for more information.
Photo credit: Mindil Beach Sunset Market via northenterritory.com
3. Museum and Art Gallery of the NT
Wherever you travel, it’s always good to familiarise yourself with both the local history and art and culture of the place, and in Darwin, you’re lucky enough to be able to do both in one location—the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT).
Located in Bullocky Point, MAGNT is home to a range of internationally renowned artistic, cultural and scientific collections and research programs and serves up some impressive of permanent and travelling exhibitions throughout the year. It’s also home to ‘Sweetheart’, the infamous 780-kilogram saltwater crocodile which first gained notoriety for attacking dinghies at a popular Darwin fishing spot.
Visit the MAGNT website for more information.
4. Fish Feeding
One natural phenomena you don’t want to miss while in Darwin is the daily fish feeding frenzy at Doctors Gully. Each day as the tides come in, hundreds of friendly local wild fish come to the shallows to feast on fresh bread which you can feed to them by hand.
From Milkfish, Mullet and Catfish to Bream, Batfish and Barramundi, the attraction has been a long-time family favourite among locals and visitors alike, making these fish no strangers to humans—they’re more than willing to get up close and personal with you (provided you’re also willing!).
The number of fish that show up can depend on a range of factors and they usually get the largest numbers between December and August, but you’re sure to always see fish no matter what time of year.
Visit the Aquascene website for more information and fish feeding times.
5. Kakadu National Park
Head 240 kilometres east from Darwin and you’ll reach the cultural heartland and living landscape that is the World Heritage listed, Kakadu National Park.
As Australia’s largest terrestrial national park, it spans an impressive 20,000 square kilometres and is famed for its diversity of flora and fauna including its healthy crocodile population (which earned it international acclaim as a key filming location in ‘Crocodile Dundee’). It’s also a ‘twitchers’ heaven, with more than 290 bird species to be found. There are hundreds of other wildlife species to look out for, including wallabies, turtles and bandicoots.
There is much to do at the national park. You can kick back with a Yellow Water Cruise, experience the wonder of Twin Falls or Jim Jim Falls, fish at one of many fantastic fish holes, sample the indigenous rock art at Nourlangie, and take in the breathtaking views from Ubirr. Whichever activities you choose, just make sure you plan your trip in advance as it can be hard to get to everything if you’re limited for time.
Visit the Kakadu Tourism website for more information.
Photo credit: Kakadu via northenterritory.com
6. Croc Jumping Cruise on the Adelaide River
One thing everyone who visits the NT has to do is encounter some of the most feared and revered locals of all—the mighty Saltwater Crocodiles. As one of the most heavily croc populated rivers in the top end, the Adelaide River is the place to do it. While you may think simply spotting a croc sunbaking on the muddy shores of the river is as close as you’d like to get, if you’re game to take it to the next level, go on a croc jumping cruise.
Definitely not for the faint-hearted, jumping croc tour operators are able to entice these fierce creatures to leap up and out of the water by dangling tasty treats from the edge of the boat, providing what is no doubt the most intimate encounter you’ll find with these deadly reptiles anywhere.
Tour operators like Adelaide River Cruises conduct daily jumping croc cruises between May and November. Visit their website for more information and bookings.
7. Litchfield National Park
While Kakadu gets all the attention, another national park which is equally impressive that many visitors don’t know about is Litchfield. Around 100 kilometres south-west of Darwin, Litchfield National Park is home to some seriously impressive displays of nature at its finest like Florence Falls, Wangi Falls and Buley Rockhole, as well as thousands of intriguing magnetic termite mounds. Wangi Falls is the most popular and well-known attraction within the park. It is incredibly beautiful and is fantastic spot to swim and go for a walk. Another popular swimming spot is the Buley Rockhole which has many rock pools to swim and relax in while you enjoy the breathtaking natural surroundings.
Litchfield National Park is an impeccable addition to any Northern Territory holiday. It also makes a great first stop if you’re heading south on your motorhome holiday to Katherine or beyond!
Visit the Northern Territory Tourism website for more information.
Photo credit: Buley Rockhole, Litchfield National Park via Darwin Tours
If you’re thinking of heading to Darwin for your next big adventure, hiring a motorhome or campervan is the most convenient and affordable way to experience everything Darwin has to offer. At Let’s Go Motorhomes we have a great range of 2, 3, 4 and 6 berth motorhomes and campervans for hire, equipped with all the mod cons you could need to embark on your road trip. Get a quote for your Darwin motorhome or campervan rental now.