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Darwin
Travel Guide

A city where adventure and spectacle come with the Territory, and where each of Australia's cultural strands have something to offer to the intrepid visitor.

Darwin is as close to a border town as you're going to get on the vast island-continent of Australia. Lying at the tropical tip of northern Australia's coast, it is only a few hundred kilometres from here to Indonesia. The populated coasts around Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are over 3000 kilometres away. That makes a Darwin a stand-alone kind of a city.

It's also the sort of city you'll only ever fly into – roads are measured in days, not kilometres. Once here, though, you'll be wowed by the climate (it's as wonderfully sunny in the dry season as it is abysmal in the monsoon), by the beauty of its unspoilt beaches and crystal-blue seas – and by how close you can get to the Dreamtime world of the first Australians. Darwin is the gateway to the splendid isolation of Kakadu National Park, with its rock art, wallabies, lizards and dingoes.

Much of the old town was destroyed by two catastrophic events – the Japanese air raids of 1942, and Cyclone Tracy of 1974. Most of Darwin's buildings had to be rebuilt after that last episode. What it does have is an endless line of unspoilt and dramatic beaches, little-marked by man (though marked by a little danger – crocodiles and jellyfish can be fatal here). Mindil Beach and Casuarina Beach are the most frequented, and safest to explore and swim, outside the monsoon season. Or you could try Aquascene, a cove where the fish come to you, with no snorkelling required.

The city also takes its Australian nonchalance very seriously. It is home to an open-air cinema – the Deckchair Cinema. It is also the only place in the world where you can pay to swim with a hungry 5-metre long salt-water crocodile. The “salties”, as the locals call them, infest the coastal swamps and rivers around Darwin. A great place to get educated about them is at the Crocodylus Park, close to town. But if you go to the Crocosaurus Cove, you can take it a step further – getting within centimetres of all 24 of their razor-sharp teeth. You will be safely tucked inside a narrow glass-walled cylinder at the time, you'll be glad to hear.

Darwin does less adrenalin-fuelled activity too. The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory makes aboriginal art and culture a special focus. It hosts the annual Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, one of the most important in the world of indigenous art. Another museum worth visiting is the newly built Defence of Darwin Experience, which gives you an insight into the conflict visited on Darwin during the Second World War.

And go to the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre, and you'll see how Darwin became the last furlong for the transcontinental air races that were all the rage in the 1920s and 30s. Daring and excitement come easy to the city of Darwin, it seems.

Darwin Travel Guide Video

Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel
Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel
4 out of 5
31 Woods Street, Darwin, NT
The price is NZ$158 per night from 22 Mar. to 23 Mar.

Located in Darwin City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Smith Street Mall and Darwin Waterfront. Mindil Beach and Cullen Bay Marina are ...

4.1/5Very Good! (777 reviews)

"Good location and quiet. Walking distance to town"…"

Reviewed on 14 Feb. 2021

Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel
Mindil Beach Casino Resort
Mindil Beach Casino Resort
4 out of 5
Gilruth Avenue, The Gardens, NT
The price is NZ$146 per night from 11 Mar. to 12 Mar.

Located in The Gardens, this beach hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Mindil Beach, George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens and SKYCITY Casino. Museum and Art Gallery ...

4.2/5Very Good! (993 reviews)

"Loved both pools, being able to get a drink at the pool or in the pool, having a bath tub in room the sunsets the bars. The chinese and italian and the restaurant facing the lagoon pool they were all 5 star 😊"…"

Reviewed on 21 Mar. 2020

Mindil Beach Casino Resort
Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter Darwin
Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter Darwin
4 out of 5
6 Carey Street, Darwin, NT
The price is NZ$139 per night from 28 Mar. to 29 Mar.

Located in Darwin City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Smith Street Mall, Maningrida Arts & Culture and Darwin Waterfront. Wave Lagoon ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,132 reviews)

"It was just a really nice hotel, the staff were amazing. Great place"…"

Reviewed on 5 Feb. 2021

Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter Darwin
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel
Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel
4 out of 5
31 Woods Street, Darwin, NT
The price is NZ$158 per night from 22 Mar. to 23 Mar.

Located in Darwin City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Smith Street Mall and Darwin Waterfront. Mindil Beach and Cullen Bay Marina are ...

4.1/5Very Good! (777 reviews)

"Good location and quiet. Walking distance to town"…"

Reviewed on 14 Feb. 2021

Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel
Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter Darwin
Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter Darwin
4 out of 5
6 Carey Street, Darwin, NT
The price is NZ$139 per night from 28 Mar. to 29 Mar.

Located in Darwin City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Smith Street Mall, Maningrida Arts & Culture and Darwin Waterfront. Wave Lagoon ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,132 reviews)

"It was just a really nice hotel, the staff were amazing. Great place"…"

Reviewed on 5 Feb. 2021

Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter Darwin
Cullen Bay Resort
Cullen Bay Resort
3.5 out of 5
26-32 Marina Boulevard, Cullen Bay, Larrakeyah, NT
The price is NZ$138 per night from 8 Mar. to 9 Mar.

Located in Cullen Bay, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Cullen Bay Marina and Mindil Beach. The Esplanade and Smith Street Mall are also ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,010 reviews)

"Great harbour location just outside cbd. Rooms are fairly basic but have everything you need. Staff are friendly and attentive."…"

Reviewed on 19 Jan. 2021

Cullen Bay Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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