If adventure and an entertaining city life are what you want for your upcoming vacation, then the Northern territory capital city of Darwin is well bestowed to be the place to hit this vacation. While the entertainment centers, restaurants, markets, shops, etc. provide the best experience of a city life, the nature museums, wildlife adventures, botanic gardens and the tropical climate together offer an excellent experience of natural endowments of Australia.
Although the city of Darwin is amongst the youngest of the Australian capitals, it has become a tourist hot spot in the recent years due the numerous unique experiences that you can access here. The man made activity centers are not the only spots to visit in this city, nature too has a great in store for you. To make it easier for the travelers to experience the best of Darwin, here is a simple compiled list of the Top 10 must see spots in Darwin that are sure to offer an experience like never before.
Top 10 things to do in Darwin Australia
- Crocosaurus Cove
Before we go to the cultural and scientific centers, let’s take a look at the incredible experience that man and nature together can build. Yes, we are talking about the Crocosaurus cove that draws in thousands of visitors, adventure lovers and animal life lovers all throughout the year. While numerous cities in Australia are famous for housing a number of unique animal species, Darwin is famous for the crocodiles – large and ferocious enough to give you the creeps.
While you may have been to numerous zoos, museums or aquariums that have strange and unique species on display, the Crocosaurus cove takes things to a whole different level with the Cage of Death. It actually allows you to dive into the saltwater captives of the crocs and get a closer look at these impressive creatures. And if you are thinking that this would be a suicide, you are missing out the vital point here. You will be in the ‘cage’ that’s totally safe and is guaranteed to keep you protected, even when you are in the close proximity of the crocs. The sheer delight of watching them so closely and the thrill of being so close is what makes this visit remarkable. Don’t even think of missing this out.
A drive from the Airport in Darwin will take about 15 minutes and cost around $35 for a cab ride. If you are staying at one of the posh hotels of Darwin like the Novotel, the Palms city resort or the neighboring areas, you can simply walk to the cove.
Another of the fantastic exhibits of nature’s magnificent creations – the Aquascene is actually a waterfront where you can directly feed fish from the wild that gather during the high tide, seemingly to be fed by the curious tourists who flock to this place in quite a large number. Although there is no encroachment or planned natural aquarium built, the Aquascene has been ‘naturally’ built over decades of practice by tourists as well as the fishes. From mullets to barramundi, you can witness a great display at the Aquascene.
Aquascene is located close to the Esplanade and the most common accommodation options in Darwin and hence can be conveniently reached by walking.
- Crocodylus Park
With crocodiles being the most impressive representation of the animal life in Darwin, crocodile exhibits are situated in various parts of the city, with the Crocodylus Park being another that’s worthy of a mention. Even though the crocodiles are an important section of the exhibits of this park, it houses other species of animal life too, making it interesting and attractive to all, even those who may not be interested in the crocs. Kangaroos, emus, big cats, rare reptiles, white lions, monkeys, birds along with dozens of crocs of varying age and size make the Crocodylus Park a must visit for people traveling with kids, families, friends and even solo.
The park is located at a small distance from the city’s center and will cost about $40 for a cab ride of about 15-20 minutes.
- George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens
After a great experience of the animal life in Darwin, its time to relish the plant life in Darwin at the popular Botanic Gardens. Sprawled over an impressive and extensive area of 42 hectares, the Botanic Gardens is home to both land and marine plant life. Planned out in 1891, the Garden hosts exotic and native tropical plants like palms, orchids and native plants like baobabs amongst the numerous species that add to the beauty of the place.
The Botanic Gardens is very near to the city’s center and takes about 5-7 minutes via a cab with cab fares amounting to around $10-$15 from the popular accommodations in Darwin.
- The Aviation Heritage Center
This aviation museum in Darwin speaks of the long history of the wartime involvement of avionics. Being located in the far northern territories of Australi, Darwin has always seen a much extensive development and use of aircrafts, including civil and war. And the best way to be a witness of the long history of development is the Heritage Center that houses numerous models of aircrafts through the ages, with special mention to be made of the B-52 bomber, Tiger Moth biplanes and the Spitfires. It is also home to many recreation and passenger planes, aircrafts used in the Vietnam war and numerous other aircrafts that are memorable for one reason or the other. The Heritage center also has numerous displays, aircrafts of various makes and builds and other curated flight lore that will attract one and all.
The Aviation Heritage Center is located conveniently close to the city center Darwin and can be accessible via free bus rides or cab that will cost you around $30-$40 from the post hotels in Darwin like Novotel.
- Defence of Darwin Experience
Another legendary attraction of the Darwin built within the Military Museum in Darwin to commemorate the repeated bombings of the city of Darwin by the Japanese during the 2nd World War, the role played by Darwin during the war and the repercussion of the war on the city and the citizens of Darwin. The bunkers, observatory towers, the-then gun positions, coastal battery along with numerous multimedia presentations recreates the wartime experience for the visitors.
The Military Museum is located on East Point and takes about 15 minutes if you are planning to hire a cab from the common accommodation locales of the city. The cab costs are around $30.
- Stokes Hill Wharf
Commonly known as the Darwin Wharf Precinct, the Stokes Hil Wharf is one of the most lively and bustling localities of the city with numerous entertainment venues, attractions, shops and restaurants. With attractions like the Australian Pearling Exhibition that is famous for the inquisitive documentation of the pearl fishing industry, Indo Pacific Marine which is well known for the collection and display of coral and marine life, Wave and Recreation lagoon for relaxation and much more, the Wharf is a must visit to experience the ‘life’ of the city.
The Precinct is best accessible by walking from downtown Darwin.
- The Deckchair Cinema
If enjoying a movie in the lap of nature is your idea of spending some quality time with your dear one, then the Deckchair Cinema in Darwin has everything set for you. Nestled in a fantastic all natural surrounding with the lovely sunsets, pleasant weather, the nice outdoor ambience and fantastic views, the Deckchair Cinema is the perfect experience for you and your close ones. Enjoy a movie with the ever-changing natural panorama – what better way to spend an evening of your holiday!
The cinema is located at walking distance from the Novotel, Palms City Resort, the Vibe hotel and other popular accommodations in Darwin.
- Sunset Market at the Mindil Beach
Held from the 25th of April to October on Thursdays and Saturdays, the Mindil Beach Sunset Market is known for the multi-cuisine offerings, including Thai, Brazilian, Chine, Greek, Portuguese, Indian and much more, local crafts and performers and the ethereally beautiful golden sunsets that the beachfront offers. If you are looking to buy gifts or souvenirs, then this market is the place to be.
Reaching the market really easy. The Mindil beach being close to the city center, takes around 15-20 minutes to arrive if you are driving or hiring a cab.
- City Center
The city center of Darwin, too, should be on your top 10 list. It is not only houses a wide collection of touristy stores and galleries, but also some of the important landmarks of the city of Darwin. Among those that deserve mention are the Christchurch, the Government House, the Bicentennial Park, Esplanade, Old Admiralty House and the Chinese Temple. Include a day in your itinerary for visit to the numerous shops and landmarks that build up the city center.