The tropical city of Darwin feels like a civilised oasis framed by the untamed wilderness of the Australian Outback. Its isolation is undoubtedly part of its appeal, blending contemporary modern life with the adventurous spirit of a frontier town. Beyond that, the city has strong indigenous roots and a multiculturalism that is heavily influenced by its proximity to Asia. A visit to this city will give you a real taste of one of Australia’s most unique urban communities, and it is worth every bit of your time.
Things to do in Darwin, Australia
Start exploring Darwin from its city centre, where you can wander past the Christchurch Cathedral, the Government House and along to the pretty Bicentennial Park. If you’re with your family, and there are children aboard, leave the lush greenery of the park to investigate Crocosaurus Cove, a reptile park and aquarium that boasts one of the largest native reptile collections in the country.
Heading northeast in the city will take you up through the Royal Botanic Gardens and onto the Mindil Beach Sunset Market, a buzzing local hangout where the coast comes alive with stalls offering handicrafts, souvenirs, gifts, clothes and a huge variety of ethnic food from all over the globe. The market runs every Thursday and Sunday from April to October and is a brilliant way to spend an afternoon.
For cultural attractions you can’t go wrong by visiting the moving East Point Military Museum, or spending some time in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory that collates works from Aboriginal, Oceanic and Southeast Asian cultures.
It is worth noting that Darwin is known as a gateway city to some of the nation’s most spectacular natural attractions, and if you want to see Katherine Gorge, Kakadu National Park, or the Kimberley, this is the place to base yourself.
Best time to visit Darwin, Australia
- The winter months of June, July and August are the best to visit Darwin, when the weather stays around 19-20°C, and the humidity is at its lowest.
- High summer is not for the faint-hearted. The humidity soars, the rains come in, and the mercury can rise up to 33°C.
Best time to book
- Spring is the cheapest time to book internally, but if you want to visit in the winter months then make sure you leave about 12 weeks wiggle room for your departure date.
- If you are flying from outside Australia, then booking as far ahead as 7 months in advance will save you a lot of money.
Expect to pay
- Australian Dollar (AUD).
- A coffee can cost up to $4.85 in Darwin.
Arriving in Darwin, Australia by plane
- Darwin Airport (DRW) services the greater area of Darwin. Airlines that operate out of this airport include Jetstar, Fly Tiwi, Virgin Australia, Tiger Airways, Qantas, Malaysia Airlines, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Indonesia AirAsia and Air North.
- Only 12km outside of the city, downtown is easily accessible. There are several facilities available in the airport, such as free WiFi, food and drink and a souvenir shop.
- Most large cities in Australia offer direct and daily flights to DRW.
- If you are not an Australian or New Zealand passport holder, and your origin city is outside the country, then you will likely need a visa. Check out this guide here, which will help you find out your specific travel requirements.
Transportation to city centre
- A taxi to central Darwin should cost around $25-30.
- You can arrange an airport transfer through our site, or take the Darwin Airport Shuttle at $13 per head.
- Car hire desks are located within the airport, but you can also organise a vehicle in advance using our search tool.
Where to stay in Darwin, Australia
- The city centre is the hub where most tourists flock, there are budget, mid-range and luxury hotels here, but in the high season these must be booked well in advance.
- The waterfront is a little more upmarket, and the prices match the exclusive vibe, but for seaside views this part of town can’t be beaten.
Useful tips before you go
- The weather here is tropical and visitors should take precautions, such as bringing hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Keep in mind that there is a large aboriginal population in Darwin, please do not treat them as a tourist attraction, and be cognizant that their traditions and customs should be respected.
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Airports near Darwin
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