The capital of the Northern Territory of Australia, the city of Darwin attracts visitors and tourists from all over the world. Tourism is one of Darwin’s major industries, and rightly so, as there is so much to see and do for people of all ages and with all sorts of interests. For example, those who prefer the outdoors may want to spend their time exploring the Magnetic Termite Mounds at Litchfield National Park or enjoying the street side entertainment at Darwin Wharf. If you’re traveling with younger ones, keep their interest by spending a few hours at the exciting wave pool at Wave Lagoon or take them for a thrilling car race at the Hidden Valley Motor Sports Complex. Our list of things to do in Darwin will make sure the entire family has fun during their vacation.
1.Darwin Wharf Precinct
© Marco Saracco/stock.adobe.com
Darwin Wharf Precinct is one of the most popular places to spend an evening with friends and family, while on a date, or even for solitary adventures. There’s an interesting mix of restaurants, attractions, activities, and street-side entertainment. It doesn’t hurt that the view is spectacular with its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, high cliffs, and green lawns. You can spend your time chilling, playing in the wave pool, sunbathing on the beach, or taking a boat ride to see an often-missed view of the wharf. A variety of food is available so no matter what your preferences are, you’re sure to find something that satisfies your palate.
Address: 19B Kitchener Dr, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-99-51-55
One of the most popular aspects of the Darwin Wharf Precinct which we listed above is the Wave Lagoon. It is definitely one of the key attractions in Darwin’s harborside and is a fun place for people of all ages to cool off and hang out. You can choose to relax in the Recreation Lagoon, which is calmer, or have a bit of a thrill at the Wave Lagoon. Both lagoons are surrounded by lifeguards and take extra precautions to ensure that everyone has a memorable, yet safe, experience. If you’re traveling with kids, then be sure to allocate a day at the lagoon - it is guaranteed to be one of the best days from your entire trip.
Address: Kitchener Dr, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-41-72-60
3.Hidden Valley Motor Sports Complex
The Hidden Valley Motor Sports Complex is the place to go if you’re in Darwin and looking for a thrill during your vacation. The complex comprises several aspects such as the main raceway circuit, a kilometer long drag racing track, a Dirt Track Speedway circuit, a 400 meter long Northline Speedway, motocross tracks, and a go-kart circuit. The main Hidden Valley Raceway is known for its fast lap times and high speeds; the track has 14 corners with one straight stretch spanning over half a mile. It is home to a number of annual events and is a great place for the entire family to spend a day taking in all of the thrill.
Address: Portion 2788 | Hundred of Bagot, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-47-14-71
4.Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
© Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Located in Fannie Bay, a Darwin suburb, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is one of the largest museums of its kind. The museum/ gallery was established in 1981 and has several permanent and temporary exhibits throughout the year. Some of the items you will see featured at the museum focus on local history, people, visual arts of the region, science, maritime history, and much more. Different aspects include the historic Fannie Bay Gaol, the world-class visual arts exhibit in the Chan Building, and the Defence of Darwin Experience which has interactive multimedia displays on the Northern Territory’s World War II history.
Address: 19 Conacher St, Darwin City NT 0820, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-99-82-64
5.Berry Springs Nature Park
© Sharon Jones/stock.adobe.com
If you’re in Darwin and looking for a lush and relaxing outdoor space to spend some time, then head on over to Berry Springs Nature Park. It is one of Darwin’s most beautiful parks and is filled with amenities for the entire family to enjoy such as shaded picnic areas with barbecue grills and clear natural swimming pools to cool off in. The swimming pools are surrounded by unique flora and fauna, blooming trees, native flowers, and much more. You can spend hours taking a walk through the Top End habitats, where you will surely see interesting species of birds among other woodland animals.
Address: Berry Springs Nature Reserve, Berry Springs NT 0837, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-88-63-10
6.Darwin Aviation Museum (Australian Aviation Heritage Center)
© Darwin Aviation Museum (Australian Aviation Heritage Center)
Formerly known as the Australian Aviation Heritage Center, the Darwin Aviation Museum can be found within Darwin International Airport. Here, you will find a display aircrafts and engines that made an impact on Australian aviation. The museum dates back to 1976 when a group of local enthusiasts came together with the goal of preserving aviation relics. Many of them are focused on aircrafts destructed during Cyclone Tracy as well as those used during World War II. Some of the items on display include a Bell AH-1G Cobra, a CAC Sabre, a Hovey Delta Bird, as well as “Darwin’s Pride” or a Boeing B-52G Stratofortress.
Address: 557 Stuart Hwy, Winnellie NT 0820, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-47-21-45
7.St Mary Star of the Sea Cathedral
The St Mary Star of the Sea Cathedral is Darwin’s main place of worship for Catholics. It was founded by Father Tom Jose Pandiapollol CMI and the Roman Catholic church quickly grew to fame with the local population. The cathedral was blessed and opened in 1962, but its history dates as far back as World War II. The church is such a beautiful structure to explore and is friendly and welcoming to people of all religions. Be sure to be on the lookout for the stunning stained glass windows which surround the church as well as the other intricately chosen design and decor details. They have multiple masses daily and is such a quiet and peaceful place to spend some time.
Address: Smith Dt, Darwin, Northern Territory O820, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-42-60-00
8.Mindil Beach Market
© Mindil Beach Market
Mindil Beach Market is one of the best places to visit to really interact with residents and take in the local culture in Darwin, Australia. The modern day market is located in the middle of the tropics, in an iconic strip overlooking the gorgeous Mindil Beach. The market houses over 200 stalls and really brings the community together, actively creating a safe haven for people and small businesses to display their products. Stalls vary from arts, crafts, and services, to fresh food and beverages; popular stalls include jewelry from Australian Opals, tapestries from Ajanta Caves, paintings at Far North Art, and clothes from Hoody’s 2 Monkeys.
Address: Maria Liveris Drive, The Gardens, Northern Territory 0820, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-81-34-54
9.The Deckchair Cinema
© The Deckchair Cinema
It may seem silly to spend your time exploring a new land watching a movie, but we guarantee that watching a movie at The Deckchair Cinema is unlike any other cinematic experience you’ve had before. The cinema is housed in an outdoor space that shows local and foreign films in a relaxing place under the stars with a gorgeous views of Darwin’s tropical waterfront. Like the name states, you can chill in one of the 400 deckchairs or straight-backed seats - feel free to bring along your own cushions and blankets to really cozy it up while watching the movie. There’s also a licensed kiosk on site that sells hot foods, snacks, wine, beer, and other drinks too.
Address: Jervois Rd, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-81-07-00
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10.Magnetic Termite Mounds
© Yvann K/stock.adobe.com
A short drive away from Darwin is Litchfield National Park. An amazing place to explore in its own right, one of its most popular features are the hundreds of impressive termite mounds that you’ll see scattered throughout the park. The structures vary in height and can reach over two meters high. They’re unique to the area and offer a spectacular visual experience that you can’t see anywhere else in the world. These enormous magnetic compasses are homes to the remarkable creatures, magnetic termites. Visiting the mounds will give you fascinating insight into the water these termites live and how these mounds are created.
Address: Litchfield Park Road, Litchfield National Park, via, Batchelor, Northern Territory, 0845, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-99-45-55
Take a culinary journey through South East Asia without ever leaving Darwin, Australia. Taking in the flavors and cooking methods of countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, India, Philippines, and much more, you’ll be introduced to an array of delicious foods. Hanuman’s ala carte menu is filled with so many different dishes that you’ll not know what to even order. Dine through multiple countries by trying out a Singapore-based appetizer like tom yum soup and then move on to an Indian entree like chicken tikka masala. They have so many delicious vegetarian options on their menu as well such as the jackfruit curry or the chana masala, which is chickpeas cooked in a popular North Indian style.
Address: 93 Mitchell St, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-41-35-00
Feast on delicious Indian cuisine concocted by the exemplary kitchen staff at Saffrron without ever leaving Darwin, Australia. They combine locally-sourced ingredients with authentic ingredients hailing from India to create the most perfect dishes. The restaurant has won several awards over the years, including ‘Best Indian Restaurant of the Year in Australia’. Choose from popular entrees such as butter chicken masala, barramundi masala, Chennai fish curry, or prawn varuval which is prawns marinated in a combination of garlic, chili, turmeric, and lime juice. Vegetarians will love the extensive array of choices as well like the Madras potatoes, Andhra eggplant masala, and the pumpkin kara kari.
Address: 14/34 Parap Rd, Parap NT 0820, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-81-23-83
Crustaceans is a steak and seafood restaurant that offers one of the best outdoor dining experiences at Stokes Hill Wharf. Their menu is constantly changing to ensure that they make the most of local and freshly available seafood, meats, vegetables, and fruits. You can choose from a number of beef, chicken, seafood, vegetarian, and pasta entrees on their extensive menu. Their char-grilled steak is one of the most popular entrees and can include beef and lobster, the rump, as well as the beef and reef which is char-grilled scotch fillet served with prawn cutlets. Be sure to pair it with delicious sides such as the roasted vegetables or the Mediterranean salad that’s tossed with sundried tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and more.
Address: 45 Stokes Hill Wharf, Stokes Hill Rd, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-81-86-58
14.Yots Greek Taverna
© Yots Greek Taverna
Located on the waterfront boardwalk at Cullen Bay, Yots Greek Taverna is one of Darwin’s leading restaurants. They’ve won several awards over the years and are renowned for both their modern and traditional takes on popular Greek cuisine combined with the fresh seafood that the area is known for. The incomparable dining experience comprises everything from daily-sourced seafood, fresh fish and oysters, local fruits and vegetables, and much more. Feast on Greek specialties like the homemade yiros, mousaka, or souvlaki, which are chargrilled lamb or chicken skewers. Amazing seafood choices include tiger prawns cooked in a garlic cream sauce, local saltwater barramundi filets, and calamari served with a lemon mayo.
Address: 4/54 Marina Blvd, Larrakeyah NT 0820, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-81-44-33
Nirvana is a restaurant, lounge, and bar that is favored by local residents as well as visitors from around the world. The dining establishment is housed in a pre-cyclone building that is so full of charm and character. Patrons are welcome to explore the many rooms and areas that are available, while also enjoying a number of entertainment options such as local musicians and exotic belly dancers. You’ll be able to feast on delicious foods that hail from all different parts of the world such as Malaysia, Thailand, and other countries in Southeast Asia. Be sure to combine your meal with a drink from their extensive array of mocktails, cocktails, spirits, liqueurs, beers, and wines.
Address: 14 Dashwood Cres, Smith St, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-81-20-25
© Moorish Café
Widely recognized as one of the best restaurants in all of Darwin, Moorish Cafe truly celebrates all of the creativity and flavors which go into each of their dishes. The dining establishment opened in 2003 and is renowned for their great service, welcoming atmosphere, and for using fresh, local meats and produce in their meals. You’ll be able to indulge in the mouthwatering cuisine influenced by the flavors of the Mediterranean, Spain, and Northern Africa. You can choose to try out their array of tapas or mains like the wild caught barramundi with roasted cherry tomatoes, Moroccan clay pot stew, or their Spanish seafood hotpot.
Address: 37 Knuckey St, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-81-00-10
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17.Monsoons Restaurant and Party Bar
© Jacob Lund/stock.adobe.com
Monsoons Restaurant and Party Bar is renowned for being a nonstop party every day of the year. You are guaranteed to have one of the most amazing experiences you’ll have during your vacation in Darwin. The establishment is one of the most popular party hubs and comprises everything from restaurants and entertainment venues to bars and epic night clubs unlike any other you have ever come across. They also have a large outdoor area which you can rent out for private events as well as an award-winning Keno and gaming room. With so much to eat, drink, see, and do, a visit to Monsoons is sure to be memorable.
Address: 46 Mitchell St, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-89-21-71
18.The Cyclone Cafe
© Farknot Architect/stock.adobe.com
Since its opening in 1994, the Cyclone Cafe has become the usual haunt for local residents in Darwin. The warm and inviting establishment is filled with the smell of freshly roasted premium coffee no matter what time of the day you walk in. If you’re looking to avoid the caffeine rush, opt for a glass of one of their freshly squeezed juices for a refreshing pick me up. The quirky cafe is not only a friendly place, but a great establishment for visitors to try out cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients. Patrons who prefer vegetarian or gluten-free meals will be pleased to see the variety of choices offered at the cafe.
Address: 8 Parap Pl, Parap NT 0820, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-41-19-92
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18 Best Things to Do in Darwin, Australia
- Darwin Wharf Precinct, Photo: Marco Saracco/stock.adobe.com
- Wave Lagoon, Photo: bortnikau/stock.adobe.com
- Hidden Valley Motor Sports Complex, Photo: YK/stock.adobe.com
- Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Photo: Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
- Berry Springs Nature Park, Photo: Sharon Jones/stock.adobe.com
- Darwin Aviation Museum (Australian Aviation Heritage Center), Photo: Darwin Aviation Museum (Australian Aviation Heritage Center)
- St Mary Star of the Sea Cathedral, Photo: sidneydealmeida/stock.adobe.com
- Mindil Beach Market, Photo: Mindil Beach Market
- The Deckchair Cinema, Photo: The Deckchair Cinema
- Magnetic Termite Mounds, Photo: Yvann K/stock.adobe.com
- Hanuman, Photo: Hanuman
- Saffrron, Photo: Saffrron
- Crustaceans, Photo: robynmac/stock.adobe.com
- Yots Greek Taverna, Photo: Yots Greek Taverna
- Nirvana, Photo: Nirvana
- Moorish Cafe, Photo: Moorish Café
- Monsoons Restaurant and Party Bar, Photo: Jacob Lund/stock.adobe.com
- The Cyclone Cafe, Photo: Farknot Architect/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Marco Saracco/stock.adobe.com