Select Dates
Choose dates
Recent Searches
Things to do in Darwin

Things to do in  Darwin

Welcome to Darwin

Welcome to Darwin, mate. The laid-back capital of the Northern Territory—and unofficial capital of the Australian Outback—is tropical, cosmopolitan, and surrounded by turquoise seas. Located at the southern edge of Australia’s Top End, this small but vibrant town is where rich Aboriginal heritage, strong Asian culture, and the Aussie Outback lifestyle intersect. Darwin pleasantly surprises travelers who intend to use it mainly as a base for exploring Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. The city’s main attractions can be easily visited on a hop-on hop-off bus tour, leaving time to spot saltwater crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove, stroll the waterfront precinct, and scour the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. Or get out on the water with a jet-boat, pontoon, or sunset cruise on Darwin Harbour. Then, it’s time to step outside the refined city streets to discover Australia’s northern region. Guided tours lead nature lovers straight to Litchfield’s ancient rock formations, crystal-clear waterfalls, and natural rock pools. Others head to UNESCO World Heritage–listed Kakadu to cruise down Alligator River, hike the striking Jim Jim Falls, and learn about Aboriginal rock art. To best experience the dramatic landscapes of Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park, take a sunset cruise along the gorge; helicopter above it; or hike, rock climb, and canoe all around it. With extra time, day trip to the Tiwi Islands, 62 miles (100 kilometers) off the Timor Sea coast, for an authentic look at Aboriginal life.

Top 15 attractions in Darwin

Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge National Park)

Nitmiluk National Park (formerly Katherine Gorge National Park) offers vast sandstone cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and a series of 13 gorges carved out by the mighty Katherine River. All of this dramatic scenery is located on the ancient lands of the Jawoyn people and is home to some impressive Aboriginal rock art sites.More

Cullen Bay

Yacht-filled Cullen Bay attracts landlubbers with its collection of shops, restaurants, bars, and day spas in one of Darwin’s sleekest neighborhoods. The marina has space for 250 vessels, as well as an assortment of upmarket accommodations where visitors enjoy sea views and easy access to the ferry terminal.More

Darwin Waterfront Precint

At the southernmost tip of Darwin, fronting the Beagle Gulf, Darwin Waterfront Precinct is the first port-of-call for cruise ships and a buzzing hub of city life. Seafront parks, a swimming lagoon, and a man-made beach draw city-dwellers to the waterside, while the many bars and restaurants tempt visitors to stick around after sunset.More

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT)

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) showcases a collection of more than 1.2 million natural history specimens and 30,000 art and cultural works. In addition to its seven galleries, MAGNT has a family-friendly Discovery Centre, providing visitors of all ages with fascinating insight into Australia’s history and heritage.More


It’s hard to grasp exactly what you’re looking at when you see the rock drawings at Ubirr. Here, etched before you on ancient rock that springs from the red dirt Earth, are drawings placed here by Aborigines nearly 20,000 years ago. How the drawings have managed to survive for so long is a fascinating geologic story, but it's one that pales in comparison to the stories told by the drawings themselves.Located in what’s known as the East Alligator Region of Kakadu National Park, Ubirr is a UNESCO World Heritage site that borders on desert magic. In addition to collections of ancient rock art, the site offers sweeping, panoramic views of the surrounding flood plains and fields, and includes a sacred “Rainbow Serpent” painting in one of the three different galleries. According to local Aboriginal legend, the serpent was involved in the very creation of Earth surrounding the site, and is regarded as one of the world’s oldest figures of early creation. To access the ancient rock art at Ubirr, follow the short, one-kilometer walking path that takes 30 minutes to complete.More

Darwin Aviation Museum

More than a dozen full-size aircraft are on display at the Darwin Aviation Museum (formerly the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre, including a rare Boeing B52 bomber and Japanese planes that crashed in Darwin during WWII. A must for anyone with a passion for planes, it’s one of the city’s most visited museums.More

Magnetic Termite Mounds

Across fields in northern Australia stand these tall magnetic termite mounds standing up to two meters high. As a habitat created by termites, they’re strategically built to face away from the hot sun and keep temperatures cool. Inside are complex and fascinating architecture and networks of arches, tunnels, chimneys, and various chambers. Thousands of termites live in a single mound and are known to last anywhere from fifty to one hundred years — which can also be the lifespan of one termite queen. Looking at the mounds it’s hard to believe such a small insect could create such a large, elaborate dwelling for itself.There are several types of termite mounds, and in this case ‘magnetic’ refers to the way they are aligned (in conjunction with the earth’s magnetic field.) How the termites are able to consistently determine the north-south orientation to avoid the heat is unknown, and these structures remain a bit of a natural phenomenon.More

Tiwi Islands

Located in the Timor Sea, 50 miles (80 kilometers off the north coast of the Australian mainland, the Tiwi Islands are part of the Northern Territory, and offer rich Aboriginal culture and beautiful landscapes. Melville Island and Bathurst Island are the largest of the 11 islands and the ones that most travelers visit.More

Defence of Darwin Experience

The Defence of Darwin Experience chronicles the Northern Territory’s role in World War II through a number of powerful exhibits that educate visitors on how the war deeply affected the region and its residents. This multimedia museum offers fascinating insight into the fateful events leading up to and on Feb. 19, 1942, when the Bombing of Darwin took place, killing over 250 people, sinking 10 ships, and kicking off a period of nearly two years of bombings in the Northern Territory. Guests can view historic equipment and artifacts from the war and listen to somber stories of locals’ whose lives were changed forever, as well as firsthand accounts of those who went off to war to avenge the lives that were lost.Immersive exhibits include the Bombing of Darwin Gallery with its 3D helmets and sensory footage illustrating what it would have been like to witness the bombings, plus StoryShare, where locals record their own stories to be shared with museum visitors. Travelers can also record their responses to all they see and learn at the museum. As one of Darwin’s most significant historical sites, the attraction is often included in guided tours of the city.More

Mindil Beach

Mindil Beach is Darwin’s flagship beach. With golden sands and palm-fringed shores looking out over the Beagle Gulf, it’s an idyllic spot for sun-seekers and swimmers. It’s also renowned for its tropical sunsets, and crowds turn out at sundown to watch the spectacle and browse the seasonal night markets.More

Edith Falls (Leliyn)

Cascading down a red rock gorge and filling up a series of rockpools before emptying out into Sweetwater Pool below; Edith Falls (Leliyn falls are among the most visited attractions of the Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge. With its freshwater pools and impressive natural scenery; it’s a popular spot for hikers and swimmers.More

Crocosaurus Cove

Crocosaurus Cove comprises the world’s largest display of Australian reptiles. The 52,834-gallon (200,000-litre) freshwater aquarium is home to turtles, barramundi, whiprays, and archer fish, but it’s the saltwater crocodiles—some of the largest in Australia—that star. See them in displays designed to be viewed from three levels.More

George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens

The George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens offer a portal into the diverse wilderness and tropical ecosystems of Australia’s Top End, all without having to leave the city. There are more than 104 acres (42 hectares to explore, including palm-lined walkways, a rainforest gully, and a vast variety of exotic plants and flowers.More

Parliament House

Australia’s newest parliament house was built in Darwin in 1994, and has been the seat of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly since then. It was designed in a postmodern style and built to suit the tropical climate of Darwin. The entrance features a Northern Territory coat of arms placed at the top of its ceremonial doors.The building overlooks Darwin Harbor, sitting on the site of the former Post Office and Telegraph Station which were bombed during a raid in 1942. There is a state library, portrait gallery, and a massive Main Hall indoors, and the Speakers Green outdoor. The areas function both as parliamentary and government receptions and public exhibitions. Unique tributes to the symbols of the Northern Territory, such as a desert rose in the reception foyer, are present throughout.More

Crocodylus Park

Australia’s toothy residents are the stars of the show at Crocodylus Park, a research, conservation, and education center in the Northern Territory. The park is home to crocodiles from around Australia and the world, as well as monkeys, marmosets, big cats, wallabies, kangaroos, and birds.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Darwin

How to Spend 3 Days in Darwin

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Darwin

Darwin the easy way
james_w, Feb. 2023
Darwin Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
Highly recommend this tour as a great way to see Darwin.
Must do activity!
Julie_G, Dec. 2022
Darwin Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
Great way to see and learn about Darwin.
A wonderful evening!
MarieLouise_V, Oct. 2022
Sunset 3-Hour Cruise from Darwin with Dinner and Sparkling Wine
A fabulous experience and a different way to see Darwin.
Got to go on this tour!
Irene_E, Mar. 2023
Litchfield National Park Day Tour from Darwin With Waterfalls And Buley Rockhole
The Falls there are gorgeous.
Loved it !
Rikki_C, Oct. 2022
Litchfield National Park and Jumping Crocodile Cruise
Not only did we see some amazing sights and swim in gorgeous waterfalls we got to hear a few funny jokes and he even told us where to find the best croc for dinner haha.
Whistle stop tour
Janet_C, Aug. 2022
Darwin City Explorer Tour
A very good whistle stop tour of what’s to see in Darwin.
Darwin in a limited time
Mary_L, Nov. 2022
Darwin Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
This is a great way to see Darwin, especially if you have limited time.
A magical last night in Darwin
kellykgreen, Aug. 2022
Darwin Harbour Sunset Cruise
I would highly recommend this cruise to visitors to Darwin.
We perform checks on reviews

People Also Ask

What is Darwin best known for?

Darwin is best known as the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, a sparsely populated expanse of desert and wetlands. In Darwin city, Waterfront Precint, George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, and Mindil Beach Markets attract visitors. Nearby are Litchfield and Kakadu national parks.

How many days do you need in Darwin?

Two or three days is ideal amount for visiting Darwin, which is not large. Walk the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, swim at Waterfront Precinct, and view the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Make it a multi-day trip with a visit to Kakadu or Litchfield national parks.

What is the best month to visit Darwin?

May to October is the best time to visit Darwin. Darwin has a tropical climate, so it experiences two seasons: wet and dry. May to October is the dry season—and while the average temperature is still hot, most travelers will find this climate more comfortable than the humid wet season.

Can you swim at the beach in Darwin?

No. You should not swim at the natural beaches in Darwin. Darwin’s beaches are plagued with deadly venomous jellyfish and croccodiles. To swim in Darwin, head to the Darwin Waterfront Precinct’s Recreation Lagoon, which is an artificial and sheltered waterfront area that’s safe for swimming.

What is there to do in Darwin for free?

Many of Darwin’s top attractions are free. There is no fee to visit the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory or the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens. It’s also free to enjoy the Waterfront Precinct, with safe swimming areas, and Darwin’s famous sunsets over the Timor Sea.

Is Darwin worth visiting?

Yes. Darwin is worth visiting for its many attractions, including the art galleries and museums, parks and gardens. Its tropical climate, sea views, pretty sunsets, and safe water activities at the Waterfront Precinct are draws. It's also an ideal starting point for trips to neighboring national parks.


Darwin information

Number of Attractions


Number of Tours


Number of Reviews



Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the top things to do in Darwin?
What are the top things to do near Darwin?
What do I need to know before visiting Darwin?