Darwin Australia Attractions
Australia is a highly popular holiday destination, and when you mention about a trip down-under, most people would think of cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Gold Coast. However, not many know about Darwin in the Northern Territory, which is a real shame because it offers a unique experience like no other. To be frank, I never knew much about Darwin before, but my recent trip there gave me an unexpectedly memorable impression of the otherwise underrated city.
Darwin is the last frontier of Australia, and it is the closest you can get to wildlife. If you are the type who enjoy outdoor adventures, and want something different from the usual city holidays, Darwin is certainly the place for you. Moreover, it is only four hours away from Singapore, with SilkAir offering four flights a week to connect the two cities.
Here are 10 Things to Do in Darwin, Australia.
Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve
On our way to the crocodile cruise, we stopped by Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve – one of the few wetlands in the lower Adelaide River that is accessible to visitors all year round. Besides being an excellent place for bird watching, there are also a few walking tracks within Fogg Dam which allow you to go up close with mother nature. And oh, we managed to see a rare freshie (freshwater crocodile). Can you spot it in the above picture?
Day Tours to National Park
There are plenty of day tours to explore famous spots like Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks – go for a bushwalk, cool off with a swim at waterfalls, look out for hundred of species of fauna that live in the park, and spot wallabies and birds in their natural habitat. For folks who love the outdoor, you can go for a longer overnight hike and rough it out in the wild.
Located in the heart of Darwin City, Crocosaurus Cove gives visitors a glimpse and upclose experience with saltwater crocodiles. Those who are more adventurous can choose to swim with the crocodiles in an enclosed cage.
58 Mitchell Street Darwin, Australia
Tel: +61 8 8981 7522
Daily: 9am – 6pm
Fishing and eating barramundi
Fishing is one of the favourite activities in Darwin, and almost every local indulges in this recreation. People from all over the world go to Darwin to fish, too. And there is really nothing quite like sitting under the big blue Aussie sky with your companions, chatting about life while waiting for barramundi to bite your baits, and then retreat to a dinner of fish fresh from the sea.
Stay at Wildman Wilderness Lodge
For those who are seeking an adventure in the wild while staying in your comfort zone, Wildman Wilderness Lodge is the destination for you to embrace the wilderness without compromising on the modern lodging standards.
The highlights include making friends with wild wallabies roaming just at the foot of our lodge, cruising along the billabong to look for wild crocodiles, popping champagne while watching the beautiful sunset, and taking an airboat across the wetlands. We went there with zero expectations and we were blown away by the experience.
Wildman Wilderness Lodge
Tel: +61 8 8978 8955
Go for a ride on an airboat
One of the highlights of our trip was taking a ride on an airboat in the wetlands. The airboat, for the uninitiated, is a flat-bottomed vessel propelled by an aircraft-type propeller, and its flat-bottomed design allows it to venture into marshy and shallow areas where the standard boats/cruises are not able to go. It was a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend you to try it. Look for Wildlands Wetlands Safari when you are in Darwin. It is A$165/pax for a 45 minutes experience.
Wildlands Wetlands Safari
Tel: +6144 896 7734
Learn more about the indigenous people
We also went on an indigenous tour to learn more about the Aboriginal culture. Our guide was an eighteen-year-old lady, and she stopped schooling to help her dad conduct tours to share more about her tribe’s culture. We walked around the land to learn about the environment they live in, the healing properties of different plants and trees, the way they hunt in the wild, and their wedding ceremony.
Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours?
1581 Arnhem HwyHumpty Doo NT 0836
Tel: +61 8 8984 9282
Crocodile Jumping Cruise
Besides famous national parks such as Kakadu and Litchfield, and activities like fishing and camping, Darwin is perhaps most well-known for the crocodiles. So, what better way to explore the city than to hop on a boat and look for wild crocodiles lurking in the rivers? Read more about our adventure on the Crocodile Jumping Cruise here.
Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise
P.O Box 37993, Winnellie NT
Tel: +61 8 8978 9077
Mindil Beach Sunset Market
One of my favourite places in Darwin is Mindil Beach Sunset Market, which opens on Thursday and Sunday evenings. There is a huge array of food stalls serving anything from giant paellas, to Vietnamese food, crepes, kebabs, Indian food, roast beef, Greek food, and fresh oysters. The whole of Darwin is here just as the sun is about to set!
Visit the other markets
Besides Mindil Beach Sunset Market, you should also go Rapid Creek Market – Darwin’s oldest established market – where locals head to to buy locally grown Asian fruits and vegetables, and Parap Village Market and Nightcliff Market which offer a mixture of food, local art & craft. As these markets are located in the suburbs, fewer tourists/visitors venture out. If you are seeking a true local experience, opt for these less touristy markets and mingle with the Aussies.
Flights to Darwin from Singapore Darwin is 4 hours 20 minutes away from Singapore, with SilkAir offering four flights a week to connect the two cities.
Best time to visit Darwin The dry season in Darwn is from May to October, but we suggest visiting during April and May as it is quite busy during the school holidays period from June to August.