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Discover Magical Darwin

In 1839, HMS Beagle sailed into Darwin harbour during its surveying of the area. John Clements Wickham named the region "Port Darwin" in honour of their former shipmate Charles Darwin, who had sailed with them on the ship's previous voyage.

Magical Journeys to Darwin

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» Adelaide River

Adelaide River, Darwin

In the far reaches of Australia's Northern Territory, the rough and tumble outpost of Darwin is a hotbed of quintessential Australian adventure, and none more so than a cruise on the Adelaide River to see the legendary jumping crocodiles, which can grow upwards of 20 feet long. Salt-water crocodiles are some of the most fearsome and notorious wild animals in the Australian bush, and the Adelaide River literally teems with them - don't plan to take a swim …

» Aquascene

Aquascene, Darwin

It's amazing what a few scraps of bread flung to a mullet can start. That's what a resident of Doctors Gully did in the 1950s, and it didn't take long for the local fish to realize they were onto a good thing. The number of fish turning up for a free meal grew and grew, the word got around, and these days it's turned into Aquascene, a healthy tourist attraction. Every day at high tide (the tides vary, naturally, so you'll have to check the local paper …

» Arnhem Land

Arnhem Land, Darwin

Arnhem Land, one of Australia's wildest and most sacred areas, lies at the lush northern tip of the continent. It was declared an Aboriginal Reserve in 1931 and remains a place of strong tradition with a distinctive culture and famous artwork, while also staying largely untouched by European colonization. The beautiful landscapes provided by the area's diverse ecosystems include rugged coastlines, rivers, remote islands, a rainforest, woodlands and bluffs …

» Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park, Darwin

This expansive park runs the length of Darwin's waterfront, looking down onto the Darwin Harbor and Lameroo Beach. It stretches south from the Northern Territory Parliament House down to the Doctor's Gully area. It is a large outdoor space popular for holding local festivals, including May Day and the Darwin Festival, as well as many weddings. It is a great place to simply take a stroll and enjoy the scenery in Darwin, with paths often shaded by tall tropical trees. The park is also home to several war memorials, including the Cenotaph War Memorial …

» Charles Darwin National Park

Charles Darwin National Park, Darwin

Protecting some of Darwin's most cultural and historically significant wetlands, Charles Darwin National Park is the home of mangroves and wildlife visible by walking, cycling, or simply sitting at one of the park's many overlooks. A complex system of bays, waterways, and small islands, 31 of the 50 or so species of mangrove of the Northern Territory can be found here. Historically the Larrakia people called this area home with evidence suggesting the Aboriginals had inhabited here for thousands of years. Now it's a wonderful place to take in views of Darwin city, the harbor …

» Crocosaurus Cove

Crocosaurus Cove, Darwin

Located in the heart of Darwin, Crocosaurus Cove is home to the largest display of Australian reptiles in the world, including species unique to the Top End and Kimberly regions of Australia. There's also a turtle sanctuary and a two-story freshwater aquarium. If you've always wanted the thrill of getting reeeeeallly close up to these massive reptiles, here's your chance. At Crocosaurus Cove you can lure a hungry croc close to you with a chunk of buffalo meat on your fishing line …

» Cullen Bay

Cullen Bay, Darwin

Cullen Bay is about 10 minutes outside of Darwin. Its drawcard is a big sleek marina packed with yachts. In an uncertain tropical climate like Darwin's, this marina offers yachting traffic the security of a man-made environment with a locked waterway and sea walls that close. This means it's accessible in the low Spring tides and a registered cyclone haven - hence its popularity. For the landlubber, Cullen Bay is an equally sleek oasis of shops, restaurants, bars and day spas …

» Darwin Botanic Gardens

Darwin Botanic Gardens, Darwin

Australia's Top End is home to one-of-a-kind landscapes and ecosystems, and nowhere is it easier to witness this splendor than at the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens. The gardens were designed around a huge collection of flora native to the region, from the lush Arnhem Land to the Tiwi Islands, and visitors can feast their eyes on replicas of displays of various local habitats - monsoon forests, coastal fore-dunes, wetlands, mangroves and woodlands …

» Darwin Cruise Port

Darwin Cruise Port, Darwin

Darwin, the capital of Australia's Northern Territory, is also it's only tropical capital, a city closer to Asia than it is to Sydney. The cosmopolitan city's massive natural harbor is home to Fort Hill Wharf, the Darwin Port cruise terminal, a stop-off point for long, around-the-world itineraries and short, small-vessel cruises along coastal Australia. The markets and cultural festivals of this youthful and highly multicultural city are famous throughout the world …

» Darwin Wharf Precinct

Darwin Wharf Precinct, Darwin

The Darwin Wharf Precinct, a scenic waterfront area full of options for dining and play, exists thanks to an initiative by the city of Darwin that turned 61 acres of industrial wasteland into a thriving center for the city. The area includes the Stokes Hill Wharf, a historical site that was constructed in the early 1800s by Darwin's first European settlers and bore much damage from the 1942 air raid upon the city during World War II …

» East Point Reserve

East Point Reserve, Darwin

Nestled between Fannie Bay beach and the Nightcliff Headland, East Point Reserve is a nature reserve and the largest park area in Darwin. In addition to the many outdoor activities available here, the area's military history draws both visitors and locals alike. The active at heart can enjoy the many walking trails and cycling paths, or take a swim in the saltwater of Lake Alexander. For those who prefer to lounge, there are dozens of ideal picnic spots from which to catch the views and sunsets, including those at the most popular beach on Fannie Bay …

» Edith Falls

Edith Falls, Darwin

Located in Nitmiluk National Park in the Top End of the Northern Territory, Edith Falls offer gorgeous views over the river, tiers of rock pools and waterfalls that cascade through the gully. All that, along with the area's wildlife, makes Edith Falls one of Australia's most picturesque -- not to mention underrated -- natural attractions. The falls are full of water year-round, but the clear, dry season between May and September is the best time to visit …

» Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park, Darwin

Kakadu National Park has a feeling and a beauty unlike anywhere else on earth. With its sandstone escarpments looming up from the plain, its secret waterholes and lily-strewn waterways, its teeming birdlife and ancient rock art, it's a place that will get a hold on something old in your soul. It's Australia's largest national park, clocking in at a mindboggling 1.7 million hectares (4.2 million acres). In that vast space shelters a staggering multiplicity of fauna …

» Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park, Darwin

Renowned for its spectacular scenery, monsoonal rainforests, spring-fed streams and waterfalls, Litchfield National Park is perhaps best known for its magnetic termite mounds, immense sculptural cairns built by termites and aligned perfectly from north to south. They make quite the landscape feature - like miniature alien skyscrapers. But it's the waterfalls, cascading from a sandstone plateau called the Tabletop Range, which draw the crowds …

» Lyons Cottage

Lyons Cottage, Darwin

Facing the sea, Lyon's Cottage was - at the time of its building - the first stone house built in Darwin for 30 years and is the only surviving example of colonial bungalow architecture in the city. It's made from locally quarried stone and now houses a museum. It was built in 1925 from the same porcellanite stone used to construct many of Darwin's major public buildings, including Fanny Bay Gaol and Government House …

» Magnetic Termite Mounds

Magnetic Termite Mounds, Darwin

Across fields in northern Australia stand these tall magnetic termite mounds standing up to two meters high. As a habitat created by termites, they're strategically built to face away from the hot sun and keep temperatures cool. Inside are complex and fascinating architecture and networks of arches, tunnels, chimneys, and various chambers. Thousands of termites live in a single mound and are known to last anywhere from fifty to one hundred years - which can also be the lifespan of one termite queen …

» Mary River Wetlands

Mary River Wetlands, Darwin

The vast Mary River Wetlands, located in Australia's Northern Territory, are home to massive saltwater crocodiles, abundant bird life and massive barramundi (Asian sea bass). The Arnhem Highway crosses five floodplains, which are prime habitat for brolgas, egrets, black-necked storks, sea eagles and magpie geese, between Darwin and Jabiru. Yet, most visitors find it more enjoyable to experience the Mary River Wetlands from the water …

» Mindil Beach

Mindil Beach, Darwin

Mindil Beach is absolutely Darwin's most visited and best known beach. Home to the famous Mindil Sunset Markets, the beach offers a little bit of everything to the visiting traveler, including 500 meters of golden sand bordered by Bullocky and Myilly points to the north and south, respectively. The beach looks west out onto the waters of the Beagle Gulf, perfectly situated for visitors to sit back and watch the sun set over the waves …

» Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory has a fine collection, but what is its most popular attraction by far? That's right - a preserved saltwater crocodile called 'Sweetheart.' Sweetheart, a 50 year-old male, was menacing boats on the Finnis River, so he was captured by rangers. They intended to give him to a croc farm for breeding. Sadly, during the capture, the drugged crocodile drowned and could not be resuscitated …

» Myilly Point Historic Precinct

Myilly Point Historic Precinct, Darwin

The Myilly Point Historic Precinct is a small group of houses built in the 1930s by the architect B.C.G. Burnett. They are the only remaining examples of this particular pre-war housing style. The houses are light and breezy in feel, with pale colors. They're raised for ventilation and represent a European aesthetic sunnily adapted to their tropical climate. The houses were created for top-level civil servants. Burnett House is the pick of the bunch …

» Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park

Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park, Darwin

Nitmiluk (also called Katherine Gorge) is the deep path cut through the sandstone by the Katherine River, and the Nitmiluk Katherine Gorge National Park is where you can go to lap up the luscious experience of the Gorge, whether that be swimming in it (sometimes with harmless freshwater crocodiles), canoeing in it, hiking around it, gazing it from an observation deck, flying over it on a helicopter...or any combination of the above …

» Nourlangie

Nourlangie, Darwin

Nourlangie, also known as Burrunggui, is an escarpment in Kakadu National Park filled with over 20,000 years' worth of Aboriginal history, making it a site of extreme cultural importance. Burrunggui, an Aborigine word, refers to the higher parts of the rocks, while the word Anbangbang references the lower parts. The rock art and archaeological details here illustrate the social and environmental history of the Top End area …

» Parliament House

Parliament House, Darwin

Australia's newest parliament house was built in Darwin in 1994, and has been the seat of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly since then. It was designed in a postmodern style and built to suit the tropical climate of Darwin. The entrance features a Northern Territory coat of arms placed at the top of its ceremonial doors. The building overlooks Darwin Harbor, sitting on the site of the former Post Office and Telegraph Station which were bombed during a raid in 1942. There is a state library, portrait gallery …

» Tiwi Islands

Tiwi Islands, Darwin

The Tiwi Islands sit about 50 miles off the north coast of Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory, and the chain is made up of 11 individual isles. The largest are Melville - the second largest island in Australia behind Tasmania - and Bathurst, the fifth largest of Australia's islands. It is believed that this string of islands has been inhabited for the past 7,000 years by the Tiwi people, which led to them being named an Aboriginal Reserve in 1912. Like at Arnhem Land, another Aboriginal Reserve, visiting these islands requires an invitation or an escort, as well as a permit …

» Ubirr

Ubirr, Darwin

It's hard to grasp exactly what you're looking at when you see the rock drawings at Ubirr. Here, etched before you on ancient rock that springs from the red dirt Earth, are drawings placed here by Aborigines nearly 20,000 years ago. How the drawings have managed to survive for so long is a fascinating geologic story, but it's one that pales in comparison to the stories told by the drawings themselves. Located in what's known as the East Alligator Region of Kakadu National Park, Ubirr is a UNESCO World Heritage site that borders on desert magic …

» Warradjan Cultural Centre

Warradjan Cultural Centre, Darwin

Located at the heart of the Kakadu National Park, the Warradjan Cultural Centre is devoted to telling the stories of Kakadu's traditional landowners - the Aboriginal people (known locally as Bininj or Mungguy) who have inhabited the region for more than 50,000 years. For visitors to Kakadu, the cultural center offers an important insight into the park's history and its deep Aboriginal ties. Fascinating multi-media exhibitions focus on the lives of the ancient clans, the role of the tribal elders, hunting techniques, bloodlines and marriage rights …

» Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre

Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre, Darwin

An access point to the wildlife and natural landscape of the Northern coastal wetlands, this area is significant to the Aboriginal Limilngan-Wulna people. The Window on the Wetlands Visitor Center grants visitors the historical and cultural insight they'll need to fully experience it. There are dozens of displays detailing the unique ecology of the Northern Territory wetlands, as well as European and Aboriginal history. Seasonal changes are the key to understanding the wetlands, as they are both wet and dry at different points in the year and the wildlife has to adap …

« AUSTRALIADiscover AustraliaNorthern Territory • Darwin

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Things to Do in Darwin, Australia

The Northern Territory is a tropical paradise just waiting for you to discover it. Green and lush with palms and the perfume of frangipanis, it sits on one of Australia's prettiest harbors. Weathered sandstone escarpments... patches of monsoon rainforest, spectacular waterfalls and more to discover.

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Darwin is a modern energetic city. The city has a sparkling nightlife and extensive shopping areas. You can walk the city main sights in a day but you'll need some extra days when you want to see the museums, the harbour site and the beaches.

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