Darwin Travel Guide


4) Crocodylus Park

See Darwin’s iconic reptile in captivity. Over a thousand crocodiles crawl within this research and conservation facility. Admission ranges from US$ 17.50 to US$ 90.

Address: 815 McMillans Road, Darwin, Northern Territory

5) Crocosaurus Cove

If watching crocodiles in captivity seems too peaceful for you, get some action and dive with crocodiles. You can actually choose your comfortable demons – you can cuddle a baby crocodile, go inside the Cage of Death and stare a live croc in the face, or dangle a line on the Fishing for Crocs platform. You can also have a photo swimming with crocodiles – it’s just a trick, though, there’s no reason to feed you to the massive reptiles. Tickets range from US$16 to US$84.

Address: 58 Mitchell Street, Darwin, Northern Territory

6) Jumping Crocodile Cruise

There’s no stopping the adrenalin rush with the Jumping Crocodile Cruise at Adelaide River. You can choose a single-deck boat and twin-deck boat. The single-deck boat allows for closer feeding encounters on the identified crocodile hot spots. You don’t get to feed the crocodiles, though, for understandable safety reasons. There is free tea, coffee, and water. A trip costs US$36.

Address: Arnhem Highway, Darwin, Northern Territory

7) Kakadu

This is the North Territory’s world-renowned national park, boasting of rich and diverse ecosystems, verdant monsoon forests, sparkling waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, reptile-habited billabongs, and so much more. The easiest and most practical way to explore the Kakadu safely is by joining tours and cruises. A national park fee costs US$25 and tour price starts at US$195.

Address: Kakadu National Park, Darwin, Northern Territory

8) Mindil Beach

After the excitement of Darwin’s wildlife and exotic natural landscape, take calmer grounds like the Mindil Beach. From your hotel, several minutes of idle walk will bring you to the sunset markets where stalls, music performers and the locals populate the sandy beach. Listen for the fusion of didgeridoo with the drums, find your nook among sand dunes, and enjoy the dusk.

Address: 35 Cavenagh Drive, Darwin, Northern Territory

9) Nightcliff Foreshore

You can take a cool night walk or cycle on the footpath and see the Nightcliff Jetty, Nightcliff Beach, and the Nightcliff swimming pool. Entry is free to the Nightcliff Foreshore, but if you wish to swim, there is a minimal fee of US$4. On Sunday nights, there are food stalls and live band music. This area links to the beaches, the mangrove communities, and World War II historical sites.

Address: Casuarina Drive, Darwin, Northern Territory

10) Darwin Wharf Precinct

The historic wharf continues to retell history with the still-standing Darwin’s Oil Fuel installations, Traveler’s Walk, Civil Aviation Terminal, Stoke Hill Power Station, and the Steam Pump House. You can idle by, and it’s free. There are al fresco dining restaurants where you can enjoy the sea breeze and even throw a fishing line.

Address: Stokes Hill Wharf, Darwin, Northern Territory

Where to Eat

After your Kakadu and crocodile escapades, relax and look for a gastronomic experience to sooth your nerves and stomach. Darwin has classy restaurants in the city business district. It also has shops in the Parap Markets where you will be enticed by all the mixing of aromas and local flavors. Take a feast – maybe in the comforts of posh restaurants, but don’t forget the markets where typical Darwin eats.

1) Moorish Café

You will notice this terracotta-tiled café because of its crowd during lunch. Arrive early or late after the swell of customers have dwindled, and order tapas, Northern Territory shrimps, jewfish coconut and lime. Or settle with their 6-course banquet at US$42. Price ranges from US$4 to US$37.

Address: 37 Knuckey Street, Darwin, Northern Territory

2) Cyclone Café

This café in Parap Market has Darwin’s best brewed coffee. You must try the aromatic hypercino to go with croissants, burritos and bacon and egg rolls. Price ranges from US$7 to US$14.

Address: 28 Urquhart Street, Parap, Darwin, Northern Territory

3) Char Restaurant

The Char is located on the ground floor of the historic Admiralty House. This is where you go for your, well, charred or grilled steaks. Sea food, crabs, vegetables, and croc-on-the-menu specialties are also available. Main courses start from US$31.

Address: 70 The Esplanade, Darwin, Northern Territory

4) Saffron

As the name suggests, this is an Indian restaurant, named after the Indian herb. Here is where you can order kulfi, the Indian ice cream. But that’s for dessert. They have a wide array of food choices, such as Kerala lamb curry, vegetarian choices, rich butter chicken, and the Darwin snapper. Main courses start at US$14.

Address: Shop 14, 34 Parap Road, Parap, Darwin, Northern Territory

5) Stokes Hill Wharf

This food center at the edge of the wharf is ideal for al fresco dinner with a cold beer while the sun takes oh so slow to sink to the ocean. Order some fish and chips, stir-fried vegetables, oyster, and other local dishes. Price starts from US$8.

Address: Stokes Hill Wharf, Darwin, Northern Territory

Where to Stay

Wharf Escape Holiday Apartments

Photo credit: www.wharfescape.com

Australia’s northernmost frontier has progressed into a multi-cultural city. It accommodates migrants and travelers through many hotels, hostels and motels, backpacker’s lodges, and it has even opened its residential areas for bed and breakfast accommodations. Whether you are on a luxury trip or on a tight budget, Darwin has several places for you. Here is a list for you to check out.

1) Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin

For a really unforgettable stay in Darwin, this hotel offers top-of-the-line luxury. Situated in the middle of the city business district, it is also facing waterside promenades, lagoons and beaches. Sprawling parklands with graceful path walks are nearby to allow you early morning walks. Room rates range from US$260 to US$304.

Address: Darwin City Waterfront, 7 Kitchener Drive, Darwin, Northern Territory

2) Cullen Bay Resorts

Book early for a room reservation at this modern hotel, and enjoy the superb view of the Cullen Bay Marina, the harbor city, and the Timor Sea. A choice of restaurants and cafes lined along the marina are just a few steps away. Some rooms have kitchens and laundry area, and some have private balconies and wide windows. Choose a room that will suit your needs and desires. Room rates range from US$130 to US$435.

Address: 26 Marina Boulevard, Darwin, Northern Territory

3) Eden at Fogg Dam

If you really want to have a real taste of Darwin, take the residential areas. This accommodation, for instance, is a quiet sanctuary in the middle of an organic farm. It is located close to the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve and your mornings will oftentimes be greeted with chirps of visiting birds, the tranquil flutter of colorful butterflies and the friendly but jumpy wallabies. Morning strolls can carry you near the reserve and see lorikeets, kookaburras, barking owls, finches, and kingfishers. Rates range from US$125 to US$300.

Address: 530 Anzac Parade, Middle Point, Humpty Doo, Darwin, Northern Territory

4) Lily Pad

Take this beach area bed and breakfast accommodation. Situated along the beaches of Rapid Creek and bicycle trails, this quaint house has perfect views of gorgeous sun-downs. Breakfasts are prepared from the organically raised produce of the lush greenery and smoke-free surroundings. Bicycles are available free of charge, whenever you feel like following that winding trail to the beaches. Have your next Territory vacation at Lily pad for only US$150 per night. Organic breakfast included.

Address: 4 Waters Street, Darwin, North Territory

5) Grungle Downs Tropical Bed and Breakfast

This is an idyllic cottage, set in a relaxing location that is truly representative of Darwin’s hospitality and charm. You can choose the lodge with four queen beds and dining room. Or you may opt for a detached cottage which is great for families and pets. Rates start from US$150.

Address: 945 McMillans Road, Darwin, Northern Territory

Darwin is one place in the world that encourages its visitors to simply forget all the formalities, kick off their shoes, and savor life’s priceless moments. Make your Darwin vacation one that you will remember always – not only for the breathtaking cruise to the jumping crocodiles or the bone-chilling dive with one of the largest saltwater reptiles. Let it be carved in your memory because of its flora and fauna that your eyes have feasted on, its awe-inspiring geographical formations that nature have carved, its aborigines and their culture that still remains, and ultimately, its intrinsic serenity that you can’t find elsewhere. 


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Marv Perez