Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery
The view from the Northern Territory’s Museum and Art Gallery is alone worth the visit. Situated about a 5 minute drive from the CBD and just back from Vestey’s Beach, and opposite the much-loved Ski Club, this free Museum is the perfect introduction to Darwin’s fairly tumultuous past. Hear first hand recordings of Cyclone Tracey in a pitch-black, sound-proofed room, shudder at the 5 metre long preserved ‘Sweetheart the Croc’ exhibit and take in the works of the Territory’s talented Indigenous artists.
Litchfield National Park
No visit to Darwin would be complete without a day-trip to the magnificent Litchfield National Park. Situated about an hour and a half down the road from Darwin on the Stuart Highway, Litchfield National Park is the perfect place to cool off, boasting several magnificent rock and plunge pools, cascading waterfalls and tropical walks. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it and don’t forget to slip, slop slap!
Mindil Markets (Open last Thursday in April – last Thursday in October)
With over 270 food and craft stalls set against the backdrop of the beautiful Mindil Beach, these markets deserve their reputation as a tourist ‘must see.’ Running Thursday and Sunday evenings during the dry season (June – October), make sure you take your camera and get a good possie beachside to snap the magnificent sun setting over the water – always a thrill for any east coaster!
Kakadu National Park
Covering almost 20,000 square kilometres and housing some of the great cultural and natural wonders of the world, Kakadu is certainly worth the hype. Located about 3 hours south-east of Darwin, it is also a place worth exploring by car, preferably 4wd, with some of the most popular sights lying at a fair distance from each other. You could spend several days here but the standout attractions are the rock-art site of Ubirr, the escarpment area of Nourlangie rock and a cruise along the breathtaking Yellow Water wetlands.
A gorgeous way to get a feel for the layout of Darwin is to see it from the water and there’s no better time to be in one of Australia’s biggest harbours than at sunset. With most cruises serving champagne and nibbles, you’ll wonder why you didn’t come north earlier! Options range from power to sail boats and all leave from Cullen Bay.
They say you’re not a true Territorian until you’ve nabbed your first barra, so book a spot on a full or half day fishing charter from Cullen Bay (about 5 minutes drive from the CBD) and let the locals show you the hot spots! Alternatively, hire a bbq boat and make your own way around Darwin’s magnificent harbour for a great day out on the water.
Deckchair Cinema (Dry Season only May-October)
Grab a cushion and a stubby cooler and recline under the stars at Darwin’s famous ‘Deckchair Cinema.’ Located in the Wharf precinct, the Deckchair Cinema is a Darwin institution screening everything from the latest blockbusters to the classics. Check the program guide online.