It’s Australia’s smallest capital city, but the living couldn’t get bigger. Closer to Singapore than Sydney, more than 60 nationalities from 70 different ethnic backgrounds contribute to Darwin’s unique outback-Asian vibe. Hemmed in by the monumental Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land and the aquamarine waters of the Timor Sea, you’ll find a way of life far removed from the east coast cities of Australia. Outdoor cinemas, sunset beach markets, indigenous-Asian fusion cuisine – you can’t top the Top End for a great holiday. Afterwards, head down south to visit Alice Springs and the Red Centre.
Airfares to Darwin
Darwin and the Top End
14°C in July while the wet season (December to March) is humid at more than 70% humidity and wet, although temperatures remain around 30-35°C. The hottest month is November. The wet season is dramatic, with lightning, monsoon rains, tropical cyclones and hurricanes.
Darwin can be divided into four general regions – inner Darwin, northern suburbs, Palmerston and outer Darwin – but it is inner Darwin that will be of most interest to visitors. This older part of Darwin, including the Wharf Precinct, is separated from the new northern suburbs by the airport and the RAAF base, much of it predating the devastation of Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Outside of Darwin, most travellers will find themselves visiting Kakadu or Katherine.
The vibrant city of Darwin is on a peninsula that reaches into Darwin Bay – it’s bordered by sea on three sides, which means that getting around town comes with frequent glimpses of the pretty harbour between the colonial buildings and parks. Smith Street Mall is at the very centre and is surrounded by hotels, government offices, Parliament and the court buildings. Most the tourist venues will be located around the waterfront, on Stokes Hill Wharf Precinct and along The Esplanade. Running parallel to The Esplanade, you’ll find Mitchell Street, Darwin’s nightlife strip.
Only 3km from the CBD on Fannie Bay and adjacent to the Botanic Gardens, Mindil beach is most famous for its cosmopolitan sunset markets held from the last Thursday in April until the last Thursday in October. Food stalls are set up behind the beach. Nearby Fannie Bay has a long white beach and Darwin Gaol is there.
East Point Reserve
North of Fannie Bay, East Point Reserve is a beautiful natural area close to the city centre – there are large groups of wallabies and great views of Darwin’s city lights across the
A satellite city 20km south of the CBD, Palmerston has new residential suburbs that are a showcase for the best contemporary tropical design. Further out are settlements such as Howard Springs, Berry Springs and Humpty Doo.
Kakadu and Arnhem Land
One of the main attractions of the NT – the 20,000sqkm Kakadu National Park attracts scores of visitors from around the world for its stunning changing landscapes and vibrant indigenous culture. See the world heritage-listed scenery, swim at cascading waterfalls and see one of the largest collections of Aboriginal rock art in the massive Kakadu National Park.
An idea of a town doesn’t get much more romantic than Katherine, an important meeting place for the Jawoyn and Wardaman people and the location of the Katherine Telegraph Station in 1872. Residents have fought off floods, cyclones and even a Japanese air raid during WWII, but their town is now more commonly famous for Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park and Katherine Hot Springs.
Everyone has the Mindil Beach Markets on their list to wander the tantalising food stalls beneath the coconut palms. Add a few more quintessential Darwin experiences..
- Handfeed big but friendly wild fish during high tide at Acquascene
- Swim in the cliff-top pool above the beach at Nightcliff
- Visit the Chinese Museum & Chung Wah Temple
- Catch an independent or art-house film at the Deckchair Cinema
- Partake of a colonial high tea on Sundays at historic Burnett House
- Take a day-trip to spectacular Litchfield National Park
- Tour the modern building of Parliament House
- Step out on white-sand Casuarina Beach and dip your toes in the Timor Sea
Bestselling tours in Darwin and the Top End at qantas.com right now
- 3-Day 4WD Small-Group Litchfield and Kakadu Camping Adventure
- Kakadu, Nourlangie and Yellow Waters Tour with Optional Return Flight to Darwin
- Litchfield National Park Day Tour from Darwin
- WWII Historical Tour of Darwin Including Harbor Cruise
- Darwin Sunset Dinner Cruise Aboard a Traditional Ketch
Book these or any of our huge selection of tours, activities and transfers with Qantas Activities and you'll enjoy a Price Promise and 1 point per AU$1 spent if you are a Qantas Frequent Flyer.
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Domestic and international flights arrive at the Darwin International Airport. Get into Darwin in a taxi, on a bus or with your own car hire, an economical and easy way to explore the greater area.
Due to the great number of travellers that visit Darwin and its surrounds, there are a huge number of tours pitched at all types of travellers. Check out our full range of tours in the NT. There’s also the iconic Australian tourist train, The Ghan, which runs from Darwin to Adelaide twice per week.
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Note that food and beverage offerings vary between flights. Audiovisual entertainment is not available on most QantasLink operated flights. Also note that all flights are subject to last minute aircraft changes. Seating configurations and product features may vary between aircraft, including aircraft of the same type.
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