Although Darwin is the smallest of Australia’s capital cities, there are plenty of reasons why a family would enjoy a trip up north.
Whether you’re making it your destination or you’re looking for a new spot to explore on your way to Southeast Asia, Darwin has much to offer visitors of all ages.
Enjoy a two-for-one holiday
If you’re thinking about taking your family overseas for holiday but are worried about the long flights, booking a multi-city trip not only breaks up the journey but also means you get to see an extra place.
For example, if you’re in Brisbane and want to go to Bali, China or Singapore, by first flying to Darwin you can explore the capital of the Northern Territory before getting on a second flight to your Asian destination.
The cost benefits of Darwin for a family
From Brisbane, you can often get a flight to Darwin for less than a $100 with Tigerair, which makes it pretty cheap to start with. However, add on the benefit of cheap accommodation – perhaps the cheapest for any capital city in Australia – and you can see why so many families are heading north for their holidays.
Two- or three-bedroom apartments, whether as holiday rentals or on a site like Airbnb, are extremely common in Darwin and are almost always a lot cheaper than multiple hotel rooms.
What to do in Darwin with kids
It’s all well and good booking cheap flights to Darwin and getting nice accommodation sorted, but if your kids are bored you’re not going to have a good holiday. Keep them entertained, however, and they’ll have the time of their lives and your whole family will feel better.
So, what should you do with your children while you’re in Darwin?
Crocodiles are big business in the Northern Territory and they don’t come much bigger than the ones you get to dive with! You have the opportunity to don your bathers and come face-to-face with some five-metre long crocs, safely protected by a glass cage. If that’s a bit close for comfort, you can watch the predators from dry land (and behind walls) and hold a baby saltwater croc in your hands instead.
Beach swimming comes with a few dangers in Darwin, whether that’s crocs, sharks or jellyfish, and the general rule of thumb is to do as the locals do. Wildlife is scarcer in the dry season, but if you’d rather have a 100% safe environment for your family to swim in, you can have this experience at the Wave Lagoon. You’ll find this oversized swimming pool (with wave machine) on the waterfront and if you want shade or rest there are beach umbrellas and a shady patch of grass to laze about on.
From April to November, when the weather’s dry and the evenings pleasant, you can watch a film at the popular Deckchair Cinema. Close to the waterfront, this open-air attraction shows a different movie every night, with stars on the screen and in the sky above you.
The Northern Territory has some of Australia’s most beautiful national parks, and plenty are within easy driving distance of the city. Taking a tour of Kakadu is a must, and the longer you can spend there the better, but there are plenty of other options nearby if you want to get out to nature and spot some wildlife.
Booking flights to Darwin
Skyscanner research has found that the best time to book domestic flights in Australia is 21 weeks (roughly four months) before you intend to fly. Prices tend to go up as you get closer to your departure date, so if you haven’t booked them yet it’s best to do so before they get more expensive. Set up a price alert to make sure you don’t miss out on a great deal.