26 Fun & Unique Things to Do in Darwin | 2024 (with Photos)

James A. Smith

James A. Smith - Chief Editor

Published: July 3, 2023

Hey! How's it going? I'm James, an avid adventurer who's had the privilege of exploring Darwin. In this article titled "26 Fun & Unique Things to Do in Darwin | 2024 (with Photos)", I'll be sharing my firsthand experiences and recommendations for making the most of your trip to this incredible city.

Fun & Unique Things to Do in Darwin, Australia

Darwin, the capital of Australia's Northern Territory, is known for its tropical climate, friendly locals, and stunning landscapes.

From beautiful beaches to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, Darwin offers a wide range of exciting experiences for visitors to enjoy.

Whether you're interested in history, nature, a sunset cruise, or shopping and markets, Darwin never disappoints when it comes to finding fun things to do.

So, let's look at our list of fun things to do in Darwin, Australia.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

Hilton Darwin

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Dry season offers best weather for visiting Darwin.

Average Temperature

Hot and humid year-round, averaging around 31 degrees

Transportation Options

Bus, taxi, bicycle, walking, car rental, rideshare services.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Start your day with a visit to the Mindil Beach Sunset Market. Here, you can immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, indulge in tasty local street food, and browse through a variety of stalls featuring handmade crafts and artwork.

To truly embrace the laid-back Darwin lifestyle, I highly recommend taking a leisurely stroll through the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens. This tranquil oasis is nestled within the heart of the city and showcases an array of native plants and tropical landscape.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Hat
  3. Sunglasses

What Not to Miss

  1. Kakadu National Park
  2. Litchfield National Park
  3. Mindil Beach Sunset Market
  4. Crocosaurus Cove
  5. Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

What to Avoid

  1. Crowded areas
  2. Walking alone at night
  3. Overexposure to the sun without protection

1. Go on a Jumping Crocodile Cruise

Jumping Crocodile Cruise

Going on a jumping crocodile cruise on the Adelaide River offers an up-close and personal encounter with one of nature's most ancient and fearsome predators.

Darwin is known for having the largest population of saltwater crocodiles in the world, making it the perfect destination for a crocodile cruise.

Visitors can witness these massive reptiles in their natural habitat, as they bask in the sun, swim in the water, and hunt for prey.

The experienced tour guides provide an informative commentary, ensuring that visitors gain a deeper understanding of the magnificent creatures.

2. Enjoy a Seafood Feast at the Darwin Waterfront

Seafood Feast at the Darwin Waterfront

Trying the local seafood is a must for any food lover visiting the Northern Territory.

The Darwin Waterfront precinct is home to a range of excellent seafood restaurants, many of which offer stunning waterfront views and a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere.

Visitors can indulge in a range of local seafood delicacies, including mud crabs, barramundi, prawns, and oysters, all of which are prepared fresh and cooked to perfection.

Darwin Harbour Cruises set sail from Stokes Hill Wharf, which is another top spot for waterfront dining.

3. Explore the Darwin Botanic Gardens

Darwin Botanic Gardens

The George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens is a stunning oasis of tropical flora and fauna located in the heart of Darwin, Australia.

The gardens showcase a diverse range of plant species, many of which are native to the Northern Territory and some of which are rare and endangered.

Visitors can wander through a variety of themed gardens, including a rainforest gully, a succulent garden, and a monsoon forest walk.

The George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens also boast a beautiful conservatory filled with exotic orchids, bromeliads, and other tropical plants.

The site also includes the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens Visitor & Event Centre, which provides a range of interactive displays for visitors of all ages.

4. Visit the Douglas Daly Hot Springs

Douglas Daly Hot Springs

The thermal pools at the Douglas Daly Hot Springs are a unique natural wonder in the heart of the Northern Territory.

They are fed by natural hot springs and offer a range of health benefits, including improved circulation, reduced stress, and relief from muscle pain.

The pools are surrounded by stunning natural scenery, including lush vegetation, towering trees, and dramatic rock formations.

Visitors can relax in the warm waters, take in the natural beauty of the surroundings, and enjoy a range of other activities, including hiking, fishing, and bird-watching.

5. Relax and Unwind at one of Darwin's Luxurious Day Spas

Cullen Bay Day Spa

A spa treatment at one of Darwin's many luxurious day spas is the ultimate indulgence for anyone seeking relaxation, rejuvenation, and pampering.

Darwin is home to a range of world-class spas, each offering a luxurious experience designed to soothe the mind, body, and soul.

Visitors can choose from a range of treatments, including massages, facials, body scrubs, and aromatherapy, all of which are delivered by highly trained therapists using the finest quality products and techniques.

Many of these spas also offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes, adding an extra element of tranquility to the experience.

6. Go a Scenic Hike through the Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park

A hike through the Litchfield National Park is one of the many things to do in Darwin that visitors can enjoy.

It offers a unique opportunity to explore some of the Northern Territory's most stunning natural landscapes.

The park is home to Wangi Falls, Florence Falls, and ****a range of walking trails that wind through ancient sandstone formations and lush rainforests.

Visitors can also witness a range of local wildlife, including wallabies, dingoes, and a variety of bird species.

The park also hosts swimming holes, picnic areas, and camping grounds, making it the perfect destination for a day trip or overnight stay.

7. Go Fishing or take a sunset cruise at the Darwin Harbour

sunset cruise at the Darwin Harbour

Fishing in Darwin Harbour is a thrilling experience that should be on every fishing enthusiast's bucket list.

The harbor is home to a wide range of species, including barramundi, mangrove jack, and queenfish, making it one of the best fishing destinations and activities in Australia.

The Darwin Harbor is also home to dolphins, turtles, and a variety of bird species. When the seas are calm, you can also go deep-sea fishing and catch some dinner on a fishing charter.

After a day of fishing, a sunset harbour cruise is one of the best ways to end a fishing trip. Darwin Harbour Cruises set sail from Stokes Hill Wharf.

8. Go on a Scenic Flight Over the Kakadu National Park

Scenic Flight Over the Kakadu National Park

Going on a scenic flight over the Kakadu National Park offers an unparalleled view of one of Australia's most iconic natural wonders.

Kakadu National Park is home to rugged gorges, vast wetlands, and towering waterfalls, each offering an awe-inspiring view from above.

Visitors can see crocodiles, buffalo, and many bird species, and gain a deeper appreciation for the park's cultural significance as a sacred site for the local Indigenous communities.

Many scenic flights leave from Darwin airport. South of here, you can also explore Nitmiluk National Park, a rugged region of gorges carved by the Katherine River.

9. Explore the Parap Village Markets

 Parap Village Markets

The Parap Village Markets offer visitors an authentic taste of the Northern Territory's local culture.

The markets are held every Saturday and feature a wide range of stalls selling fresh produce, handmade crafts, and unique souvenirs.

Visitors can sample a range of local tropical fruits, seafood, and traditional Indigenous foods, find aboriginal art, and enjoy live music from local performers.

The markets also provide a great opportunity to interact with local artisans and learn more about aboriginal culture.

10. Shop for Souvenirs at the Smith Street Mall

Smith Street Mall

The Smith Street Mall in Darwin offers a range of local and international retailers, from boutique fashion stores to souvenir shops, making it the perfect destination for retail therapy.

Visitors can also enjoy a range of dining options, from casual cafes to fine dining restaurants, and sample local cuisine and international fare.

The mall is also a popular destination for entertainment, with live music and performances taking place throughout the year.

The mall's location in the heart of the city makes it easily accessible and convenient for visitors, and its lively atmosphere and unique character make it a must-see spot when visiting Darwin.

11. Take a Day Trip to the Tiwi Islands

Tiwi Islands

The Tiwi Islands are a group of small islands located in the Northern Territory and home to a unique Aboriginal culture, which has been preserved for thousands of years.

Visitors to the Tiwi Islands can experience traditional art, dance, and music, as well as learn about the history and customs of the local Tiwi people.

The islands also offer beautiful beaches, pristine fishing spots, and unique flora and fauna, including the endangered brush-tailed rabbit rat.

Overall, a day trip to the Tiwi Islands is a unique Darwin experience.

12. Go for a Scenic Drive along the Darwin Coastline

 Darwin Coastline

A scenic drive along the Darwin coastline offers stunning views of the crystal-clear waters of the Timor Sea and the lush greenery of the Northern Territory.

The salty sea air and the sound of the waves crashing against the shore create a relaxing and serene atmosphere that soothes the soul.

The drive takes you past beautiful beaches, charming fishing villages, and rocky cliffs that offer panoramic views of the coastline.

Whether you're looking for a leisurely drive or a romantic getaway, a drive along the Darwin coastline is one of the most exciting things to do in Darwin.

13. Visit the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve

Migratory Bird in Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve

Located just 70 km from Darwin, Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve encompasses a vast wetland that is home to an incredible array of flora and fauna.

The wetlands attract a diverse range of bird species, including migratory birds from as far as Siberia and Japan.

Visitors can explore the reserve on a scenic boardwalk that winds its way through the wetlands.

For those looking for an immersive nature experience, the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve offers an unforgettable glimpse into the diverse ecology of Australia's Northern Territory.

14. Take a trip to Berry Springs Nature Park

Berry Springs Nature Park

Located just a 50-minute drive from Darwin, Berry Springs Nature Park ****is renowned for its crystal-clear pools, picturesque waterfalls, and lush vegetation.

Visitors can take a dip in the refreshing pools or relax on the sandy beach surrounded by the serene natural beauty of the park.

The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including freshwater turtles and colorful bird species. With its tranquil atmosphere, Berry Springs Nature Park is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature.

15. Explore the Darwin Aviation Museum

Darwin Aviation Museum

The Darwin Aviation Museum hosts an impressive collection of aircraft, engines, and aviation artifacts that showcase the history of aviation in the Northern Territory.

Visitors can learn about the evolution of aviation technology from the early days of flight to the present.

The museum is also home to several restored aircraft, including the B-52 bomber and a Japanese Zero fighter plane.

You can also browse the exhibits in the adjacent Darwin Military Museum to learn about the history of Darwin's experience in World War II.

16. See the Magnetic Termite Mounds in Litchfield National Park

Magnetic Termite Mounds in Litchfield National Park

The Magnetic Termite Mounds in Litchfield National Park, which can be as tall as two meters, are created by magnetic termites and are aligned north-south to control the internal temperature of the mounds.

Visitors can explore the termite mounds on a scenic walk that winds its way through the forest, allowing them to get up close and personal with these natural wonders.

The park is also home to wallabies, various bird species, and the Lost City, a cluster of huge sandstone columns.

17. Try Local Favorites at the Mindil Beach Sunset Market

Mindil Beach Sunset Market

The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets offer a unique blend of culture, food, and entertainment.

The market is also famous for the chance to see a spectacular Mindil Beach sunset.

Visitors can taste some local delicacies such as grilled crocodiles, Sri Lankan curry, and barbecued seafood.

The market also features live music and entertainment, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere that is perfect for a night out with friends or family.

Mindil Beach is also gorgeous and well worth a visit in its own right, especially for a sunset cruise. This is one of many fun things to do in Darwin.

18. Grab a Drink at the Darwin Ski Club

Darwin Ski Club

Located in the heart of the city, the Darwin Ski Club is a great place to grab a refreshing drink after a day out in the sun.

One drink that stands out is their famous tropical cocktail, made with fresh local fruit and a blend of rum and other spirits.

The club boasts a range of water sports, including skiing, wakeboarding, and jet skiing, that will give you an adrenaline rush like no other.

The friendly atmosphere of the Ski Club ensures that everyone feels at home, whether you're a seasoned pro or a complete beginner.

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory houses an extensive collection of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art, including bark paintings, sculptures, and basketry, as well as exhibits on local wildlife and maritime history.

Visitors can also explore the Cyclone Tracy exhibit, with an eerie sound booth of actual recordings of Cyclone Tracy that struck Darwin in 1974.

The Northern Territory Museum also features a stunning display of the region's diverse marine life, including giant crocodiles and a life-sized model of a blue whale.

20. Attend the Darwin Festival

Darwin Festival

The Darwin Festival showcases music, dance, theater, and visual arts, from both international and local artists.

Its program includes events for people of all ages, from family-friendly shows to late-night gigs.

Visitors can also indulge in the diverse and delicious flavors of the Territory through the festival's food and beverage stalls.

The Darwin Festival creates a vibrant atmosphere that is perfect for connecting with the local community and experiencing the unique culture of the Northern Territory.

21. Visit the Darwin Military Museum

Darwin Military Museum

Darwin was one of the few places on the Australian mainland to be directly attacked by the Japanese during World War II, with 300 bombs being dropped on the city. The Darwin Military Museum on the East Point Nature Reserve features a collection of artifacts, weapons, and vehicles in its tropical gardens and offers an insight into the region's rich military history.

Hot tip: Ask about a walking tour or a boat tour to explore all the key sites of the raid, and see the East Point Military Precinct - Australia's only wartime battleground, the WWII Oil Storage Tunnels, the Aviation Heritage Centre, and other important military sites.

22. Explore the Territory Wildlife Park

Territory Wildlife Park

The Territory Wildlife Park is home to over 6,000 animals representing more than 200 species.

From native fish, the Australian Pelican, and the Darwin Carpet Python, to learning about nocturnal animals, nature lovers will enjoy the fascinating animals living at the Territory Wildlife Park.

Visitors can find a range of guided tours, bird and reptile shows, and encounters with some of the park's resident animals.

A series of elevated walkways and viewing platforms allow visitors of the Territory Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with the animals in their natural habitats.

23. Spend a Night Out at the Mitchell Street bars

Mitchell Street bars

Buzzing Mitchell Street is one of the most popular streets in the Darwin city center.

During the day, visitors can explore boutiques and stores selling unique souvenirs. At night, the street comes alive with the sounds of live music and people enjoying drinks and socializing.

Mitchell Street is also conveniently located near many of Darwin's top tourist destinations, including the Darwin Waterfront and Mindil Beach.

Hot tip: Looking for more things to do in Darwin at night? Operated by the Darwin Film Society, the Deckchair open-air cinema screens a discerning selection of films seven days a week, during the dry season.

24. Relax at the Darwin Waterfront Precinct

 Darwin Waterfront Precinct

Wave Lagoon is one of Darwin Waterfront Precinct's main attractions.

It is a man-made wave pool that provides visitors with an authentic surfing experience. With a range of different wave settings, including beginner, intermediate, and advanced waves, it caters to all levels of surfers.

Visitors to Wave Lagoon can rent surfboards and spend hours riding the waves. The lagoon is also perfect for families, as there is a designated area for children to play in shallow water.

Take a dip in the Wave Lagoon, and then sample fresh local seafood along Stokes Hill Wharf.

25. Take a Day Trip to the Mary River Wetlands

 Crocodile in Mary River Wetlands

The Mary River Wetlands is a vast area of wetlands and floodplains that support numerous species of birds, reptiles, and mammals.

Nature lovers can explore the area on foot or by boat, getting up close and personal with some of Mary River's iconic wildlife, including saltwater crocodiles and buffalo.

The wetlands are also home to a range of Aboriginal rock art sites, providing visitors with a unique insight into the culture and history of the area.

Whether you are a nature lover or a history buff, a day trip to the Mary River Wetlands is a great idea when you visit Darwin.

26. Explore Crocosaurus Cove

Crocosaurus Cove

Crocosaurus Cove is home to the largest display of saltwater crocodiles in Australia and the only place in the country where you can swim with a crocodile.

Visitors can feed the majestic creatures or even get lowered into the enclosure with them in the famous "Cage of Death" activity.

The park also offers other exciting attractions, such as the Turtle Billabong and Big Croc Feed, and visitors can even get a selfie with a baby croc afterward.

Crocosaurus Cove is committed to the protection of Australian reptiles, making it a great place to learn about these fascinating creatures while contributing to their conservation efforts.

FAQs relating to Things to Do in Darwin, Australia

Let's look at some frequently asked questions relating to fun things to do in Darwin.

Are 3 days enough for Darwin?

While 3 days is not a lot of time to explore all that Darwin has to offer, it is enough time to see the city's major highlights, such as the Darwin Military Museum, Stokes hill wharf, the Museum, and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, and Crocosaurus Cove.

You can also take a stroll along Mindil Beach, book an Adelaide river cruise, or visit the Cullen Bay Marina.

Is Darwin worth visiting?

Yes, visiting Darwin is a very rewarding experience. Known for its tropical climate, national parks, wave pool, and the Adelaide River, Darwin is a great place for those seeking sun, sea, and sand.

The city is also a gateway to Australia's most spectacular natural attractions, including Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park, Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park, and the Tiwi Islands.

What is the best month to go to Darwin?

The dry season (May to October) is the most popular time to visit, as the weather is comfortable and visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, swimming, cultural and wildlife tours. It coincides with popular events, such as the Darwin Festival and the Beer Can Regatta.

If you prefer to avoid the crowds and experience Darwin City during the wet season (November to April), you can expect cheaper accommodation prices but some outdoor activities may be limited due to the weather and you may be limited to the city's indoor attractions.

What is Darwin City famous for?

Darwin CBD is famous for its unique history, particularly its role in World War II when it was bombed by the Japanese. There are several museums and memorials throughout the city that commemorate this period.

Darwin is also known for its stunning natural beauty, with nearby attractions including Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park, East Point Reserve, and the Tiwi Islands.

It is also renowned for Indigenous culture and art, the Darwin City Lagoon, its delicious cuisine, and a range of festivals throughout the year.

Summing Up: Fun & Unique Things to Do in Darwin, Australia

There are many fun things to do in Darwin City and the Australian Outback we hope this article has provided you with some inspiration for your visit.

From its stunning waterfront and beaches to its fascinating Adelaide River, rich aboriginal culture, and national parks, there is so much fun to be had when you visit Darwin.

Whether you're looking for a unique museum and art gallery or a spectacular sunset cruise, there is an attraction in Darwin that will leave you breathless.

So start planning your trip and come to explore Darwin and discover all that the city has to offer.