DarwinAustralia

Image for Darwin Waterfront which includes a pool and swimming as well as a large group of people

Located in the tropical “Top End” of Australia, Darwin is a good base from which to explore the great outdoors and view Aboriginal rock art.

Feed crocodiles, take a cruise on the harbour at sunset, learn about Aboriginal culture, or enjoy a night out in the tropics in Darwin, the Northern Territory’s capital city.

Darwin was founded in 1869. It was named after the English naturalist Charles Darwin by his fellow explorers, who navigated the Timor Sea aboard The Beagle. The city’s recent past has been tumultuous. Darwin was bombed during World War II, and in 1974 a cyclone destroyed it all over again. About 150,000 people call modern-day Darwin home, including some of the territory’s traditional owners, the Larrakia people.

It’s best to visit Darwin from May to September, when it’s not too hot or too wet for outdoor activities. On a Thursday or a Sunday, visit the Sunset Markets on Mindil Beach. On any day, enjoy a harbour cruise from Stokes Hill Wharf, or a movie under the stars at the Deckchair Cinema.

Although the beaches look tempting, don’t jump in anywhere to cool off: crocodiles are abundant in the area. If you’d like to meet a few, visit Crocosaurus Cove and Crocodylus Park. For a safe swim, head to the huge Darwin Wave Lagoon.

Book a tour or rent a four-wheel-drive car and explore the iconic Australian outback in Kakadu, the country’s largest national park. Be sure to bring your binoculars to spot wallabies, swamp birds, reptiles and dingoes. Hike around and find waterfalls to swim under or ancient Aboriginal rock art depicting Dreamtime stories.

Darwin’s turbulent history and dynamic art scene provide plenty to do during the wet season. Get insight into Aboriginal culture at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. To learn about the 1942 bombings, immerse yourself in the Defence of Darwin Experience or see an American B-52 bomber at the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre.

This tropical city is unlike any other city in the world. Come to Darwin to experience the true Australian wilderness and the long, developing story of humankind’s relationship with the Territory’s unique natural environment.

Darwin Travel Guide Video

Top hotels in Darwin

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Mercure Darwin Airport Resort
Mercure Darwin Airport Resort
4 out of 5
1 Sir Norman Brearley Drive, Eaton, NT
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
AU$122
per night
Mar 13 - Mar 14

Situated near the airport, this romantic hotel is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Marrara Sports Complex and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Casuarina Beach. TIO Stadium and Casuarina ...

4/5Very Good! (1,310 reviews)

"The rooms were very clean and comfortable. Staff were very friendly and helpful. Pool was most welcome considering the weather. Great location for our reason for travelling."…"

Reviewed on 12 Jan. 2020

Mercure Darwin Airport Resort
Oaks Élan Darwin
Oaks Élan Darwin
4 out of 5
31 Woods Street, Darwin, NT
AU$101
per night
Mar 20 - Mar 21

Located in Darwin City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Smith Street Mall and Darwin Waterfront. Cullen Bay Marina is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) ...

4.1/5Very Good! (691 reviews)

"Great apartment, ability to relax and cook for ourselves. The amenities were good, the pool was nice and there was a gym was also available, but limited equipment. The apartment has good restaurant available with a bar and good food and drink selection with a happy hour. Overall good central place ..."…"

Reviewed on 16 Feb. 2020

Oaks Élan Darwin
Argus Hotel Darwin
Argus Hotel Darwin
3.5 out of 5
13 Shepherd Street, Darwin, NT
AU$80
per night
Feb 22 - Feb 23

Located in Darwin City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Cathedral and Darwin Waterfront. Cullen Bay Marina is 1.6 ...

4.3/5Excellent! (639 reviews)

"As per my google review this is a great valve for money place to stay. It comes with a free breakfast a small deep swimming pool and a very cute gym. The wifi is fast and a strong signal every where in the hotel. The staff are very friendly and the room is spacious with a real double bed not 2 single ..."…"

Reviewed on 26 Jan. 2020

Argus Hotel Darwin

Popular activities in Darwin

Darwin Waterfront
Image for Darwin Waterfront

Darwin Waterfront

4.5/5(781 reviews)

Explore Darwin’s scenic waterfront, where you can swim in the wave pool, see turtles up close and dine in restaurants overlooking the sea. 

Mindil Beach
Image for Mindil Beach

Mindil Beach

4.5/5(501 reviews)

Explore one of Australia’s best beaches by day or visit by evening to enjoy Asian food, a massage, live music and indigenous crafts at Darwin’s sunset markets.

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Image for Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

4.5/5(271 reviews)

Learn the stories behind Aboriginal paintings, local wildlife, regional archaeology and the cyclone that flattened Darwin in this gallery that has free admission.

Aquascene
Image for Aquascene

Aquascene

4/5(31 reviews)

Head to Doctors Gully at high tide to see a natural phenomenon turned tourist attraction, as shoals of fish come to the shallow waters to be fed by hand.

George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens
Image for George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens

George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens

4/5(128 reviews)

Admire bush orchid displays, spiky palms and local bird species as you explore one of Darwin’s most diverse natural environments. 

Bicentennial Park
Image for Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park

4/5(132 reviews)

Take a break from the city and stroll through this calming natural space. Pass harbour views, native flora and sobering war monuments. 

Top activities in Darwin

Darwin Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Darwin Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Darwin Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

92% of travellers recommend
AU$36
Per adult
Katherine Gorge Cruise & Edith Falls Day Tour
Image for Katherine Gorge Cruise & Edith Falls Day Tour

Katherine Gorge Cruise & Edith Falls Day Tour

90% of travellers recommend
AU$269
Per adult
Kakadu National Park Explorer Tour from Darwin
Image for Kakadu National Park Explorer Tour from Darwin

Kakadu National Park Explorer Tour from Darwin

84% of travellers recommend
AU$265
Per adult
Litchfield National Park Day Tour from Darwin
Image for Litchfield National Park Day Tour from Darwin

Litchfield National Park Day Tour from Darwin

94% of travellers recommend
AU$129
Per adult
Full-Day Guided Tour of Litchfield National Park with Crocodile Cruise
Image for Full-Day Guided Tour of Litchfield National Park with Crocodile Cruise

Full-Day Guided Tour of Litchfield National Park with Crocodile Cruise

96% of travellers recommend
AU$160
Per adult
Darwin Military Museum: General Entry Ticket
Image for Darwin Military Museum: General Entry Ticket

Darwin Military Museum: General Entry Ticket

AU$15
Per adult

Reviews of Darwin

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
471
5 - Excellent 45.201535508637235%
4 - Good
482
4 - Good 46.257197696737045%
3 - Okay
80
3 - Okay 7.677543186180422%
2 - Disappointing
5
2 - Disappointing 0.4798464491362764%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 0.3838771593090211%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 4, 2020

Absolutely loved the place and nothing like I expected it would be like!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Jan 28, 2020

My home town so bit biased. Hot and sticky this time of year if not raining. Beautiful

1/5 - Terrible

Eddie

Jan 24, 2020

Feels unsafe. Inhabitants are aggressive and not welcoming

4/5 - Good

RM

Jan 19, 2020

Crocosaurus Cove is a must see as you will not get as close to large crocodiles in safety as there at any other place.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Jan 16, 2020

Many places were not open due to the wet season. Sunday is really quiet. The Litchfield tour was my highlight

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jan 8, 2020

We visit every year for our shopping, eating & resting holiday - love the location & vibe!

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