Car Hire at Darwin International Airport
This information is correct as of August 2015.
Gazing out across the Timor Sea, Australia's only tropical city of Darwin makes a beautiful coastline to check out. Its proximity to Bali makes it feel slightly removed from the rest of the country. Darwin's beautiful beaches are not the only attraction here, though, as you will find street-side restaurants and bars, museums and galleries, as well as wonderful markets in summer.
Where to hire a car at Darwin International Airport
Upon getting down from your flight and finishing up with the arrival procedures, you can consider various transport options to get to the city. Car rental can be a convenient choice, especially if you are planning day trips to the countryside. Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot, and Thrifty offer a wide range of models you can look at. Early reservations are allowed, though, which can be more convenient than renting on the spot.
When it comes to requirements, you are allowed to drive in the Northern Territory using your own current overseas licence, as well as an International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to three months. If you will be staying longer, you will have to apply for an NT licence. An interstate licence is also necessary if you will be driving to other regions of Australia. It is also valid for three months only, with other requirements to submit, depending on which state you want to visit.
What to expect when hiring a car from Darwin International Airport
Roads can be busy in Darwin, especially in the summer season, when tourists come up to the city for some relaxation. You should be prepared for crowded traffic situations at this time of the year. The commuting times in the morning and afternoon should be avoided, as well as any time before and after a major festival or event. The National Highway 1 can be hard to get through at these occasions. Once you manage to get away from the snarl, you can turn to various communities in the area such as Lee Point, Shoal Bay, Palmerston, Wickham, Weddell, Litchfield, Berry Springs, Southport, and many more. National parks can also be found here, like the Shoal Bay Coastal Reserve, Howard Springs Hunting Reserve, and the Melacca Swamp Conservation Area.
Toll roads are not built yet in the Northern Territory, but you will encounter them if you are going to Brisbane, Sydney, or Melbourne. Congestion charges are also not implemented here, but proposals for assigning fees on certain roads might be offered to the public if the traffic gets worse. One-way streets can be found in the older parts of the city, as well as other communities in the region. Cycling lanes are not as many here, as the locals find the car more convenient to use for trips into the interior or coast. If you need to refuel, there is a Caltex station in Arnhem Highway, as well as United Petroleum on Vanderlin Drive.
Driving around Darwin Airport
Heading for Darwin from the airport can be possible via Bagot Road and National Highway 1. All you had to do was head north on Henry Wrigley Drive towards Abala Road. Continue on to McMillans Road then, and take
Bagot Road fom National Highway 1 to Knuckey Street in Darwin. The trip can be made in around 15 minutes, depending on the conditions on the road.
Getting to your destination
Kakudu National Park
Kakudu National Park, covering some 20,000 square kilometres, features vast wetlands and ancient escarpment. The largest and most diverse bird population can be found here, as well as ancient rock art at Nourlangie Rock. The Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre is also a marvel to learn about.
When going here, you can pass through Arnhem Highway/State Route 36, with an estimated travel time of two hours. Parking can be done on designated areas, before going on hikes.
Litchfield National Park
Exploring the waterfalls, rainforest, and rock formations in Litchfield National Park can come next in the itinerary. Located on an easy two-hour drive from Darwin, this area is nearby the Tabletop Range. It is famous for its spectacular Florence Falls and swimming holes, rugged cliffs, and historic sites.
To get here, you will have to drive via the National Highway 1 from McMillans Road.
An exciting day tour down the Katherine Gorge can be an unforgettable experience in the Northern Territory. Travelling from Darwin Airport can take around four hours, but the trip can be worth it. You will pass by Nitmiluk National Park, where you can find ancient aboriginal rock art, and an abundant range of flora and fauna. A cruise is also possible on the gorge, as well as a refreshing swim at the Edith Falls.
Going here can be traversed via the National Highway 1. Parking is available in the assigned areas in the national park.