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Things to do in Darwin

A stone's throw from some of Australia’s best natural scenery, this state capital is a tropical oasis.

Our most recommended things to do in Darwin

From Darwin: Kakadu Wilderness Escape Day Tour

1. From Darwin: Kakadu Wilderness Escape Day Tour

Discover the spectacular Kakadu National Park for its exceptional natural and cultural values. Visit the infamous Cahills Crossing to safely spot saltwater crocodiles, explore the floodplains of Ubirr, go to Fogg Dam Conservation Centre and the Bowali Visitor Centre. Leave tropical Darwin, traveling through the rich floodplains towards Kakadu National Park, a 20,000 square kilometer area, teeming with wildlife, important Aboriginal rock art sites, and diverse landscapes. Make an optional stop at the Jumping Croc Cruise on the Adelaide River, or visit the Fogg Dam Conservation Centre. See the traditional lands of the Limilngan-Wulna people (who are active in the reserve's management) to explore the diverse wildlife of the Top End, home to numerous species of birds, turtles, water pythons, and of course, the iconic Saltwater Crocodile. Go to the Bowali Visitor Centre and learn more about this special place's rich indigenous culture and history. Visit the famous Cahills Crossing searching for crocodiles at this eye-opening stretch of water, the only road access point between Arnhem Land and Kakadu National Park. Visit the World Heritage-listed, sacred site Ubirr rock art, home to some of the oldest and best-preserved rock art galleries in the world dating back some 20,000 years, and discover the hidden secrets with a guided walk.

Litchfield National Park: Full-Day & Lunch from Darwin

2. Litchfield National Park: Full-Day & Lunch from Darwin

Enjoy a full-day trip to Litchfield National Park from Darwin. See lush monsoon forests, termite mounds, unusual rock formations, waterfalls, and cascades. Experience a park that includes the spectacular Tabletop Range, a sandstone plateau surrounded by cliffs. During the green season, 4 major waterfalls thunder down to tropical rock pools below. They flow more gently in the dry season, making them perfect spots for a refreshing swim. Follow the Stuart Highway to reach Litchfield National Park. Visit park waterfalls like Florence Falls, where you’ll enjoy a scenic and interpretive bush and monsoon vine forest walk. Go for a swim by making your way down the stairs to the plunge pool below. Continue on to Tolmer Falls and see water cascading down into a deep waterhole at the base of the falls. Visit Wangi Falls, which features a large, crystal-clear pool that’s a perfect spot for a cool dip. Finally, enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by the park’s natural wonders.

Katherine Gorge & Edith Falls Full-Day Tour from Darwin

3. Katherine Gorge & Edith Falls Full-Day Tour from Darwin

Discover a network of 13 gorges carved into billion-year-old sandstone rock by the Katherine River of Nitmiluk National Park on this scenic full-day sightseeing tour from Darwin. During the tour you will learn about the Aboriginal culture abundant in the area and see rock art sites dotted throughout the park. With its rugged landscapes, dramatic waterfalls, and lush gorges, the Nitmiluk National Park is a haven for nature lovers, with plentiful flora and fauna. Travel south through tropical country, passing former World War II airstrips en route to the Adelaide River. Make a short stop at the Adelaide River War Cemetery to pay your respects to those killed in the air raids of Darwin in the 1940s. Continue to Edith Falls for a refreshing swim in the paperbark and pandana-lined waterhole (conditions permitting). After an inclusive lunch, enjoy a 2-hour scenic cruise through the Katherine Gorge, looking for freshwater crocodiles sunning themselves on the banks of the river. Keep your eyes open for the many interesting species of birdlife. Enjoy a brief tour of Katherine, hub of the region’s cattle and farming industries. Then, travel via the historic mining town of Pine Creek to an evening stop along the Adelaide River. From May through September lunch can be taken on board your cruise, while dinner is available at your own expense at the evening stop, before your transfer back to Darwin.

From Darwin: Litchfield National Park Day Trip

4. From Darwin: Litchfield National Park Day Trip

Get panoramic floodplain views, see sandstone pillars, picturesque waterfalls, and discover the thriving plant and animal life at the Litchfield National Park. Leave Darwin and make your way towards the world-class Litchfield National Park, just over an hour's drive from the city. Be surrounded by thick pockets of tropical rainforest, a cool respite from the top-end heat. Jump on the famous Jumping Crocodile Cruise (optional extra) on the Adelaide River, alternatively visit the Fogg Dam Conservation Centre. Explore the traditional lands of the Limilngan-Wulna people and discover the diverse wildlife, home to numerous species of birds, turtles, water pythons, and the iconic Saltwater Crocodile. Visit some incredible monolithic Magnetic Termite Mounds, then have an opportunity to cool off in one of Litchfield’s beautiful natural plunge pools like Buley Rockholes or Wangi Falls. Go to a thundering waterfall-like Florence Falls or Tolmer Falls and marvel at the sheer beauty carved out amongst the rocky escarpment. After a day in the stunning tropical national park, travel back to Darwin.

From Darwin: 4-Day Kakadu Outback Group Trip with Meals

5. From Darwin: 4-Day Kakadu Outback Group Trip with Meals

Explore Kakadu National Park with this small group tour from Darwin. See the oldest Aboriginal rock art in the world, visit waterfalls, and cruise through wetlands on this unique experience. Day 1: Depart from Darwin and head out to the floodplains of the Mary River to board a Corroboree Billabong Wetland Cruise. Take in the views as you sail to Kakadu. Get an introduction to the park's landscape at the Bowali Visitor Center. Head to your accommodation to relax for a bit before going out to Cahills Crossing on the border of Kakadu and Arnhem land where you can spot crocodiles in the East Alligator River. See the Ubirr rock art as the sun sets over the Nadab Floodplain. Day 2: Partake in an exclusive aboriginal cultural experience. Hike out to Jim Jim or Twin falls and enjoy the shady monsoon forest. Stop for a hearty picnic lunch. Visit the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Center learn about the culture and management of Kakadu. Day 3: Begin bright and early to catch the sunrise at one of the best sunrise spots in the park, the Nawurlandja Lookout. Have a delicious breakfast at Anabangbang Billabong. Discover Burrungkuy Rock which houses some of Bininj Aborigional rock art. Drive up to Kunwarddewardde Lookout for incredible views of Kakadu’s Escarpment. Travel south and enjoy a picnic lunch at the plunge pool of the pristine waterfall Maguk. Travel back to your accommodation in Pine Creek to relax. Day 4: Explore and swim at Edith Falls or Butterfly Gorge, where you can cool off in the clear water. Start the return trip to Darwin with a stop at Adelaide River, a town steeped in history. Learn about the impact of World War II at the Adelaide River War Cemetery.

From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Cultural Day Tour by Ferry

6. From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Cultural Day Tour by Ferry

Tour the Tiwi Islands community and experience a traditional Tiwi welcome smoking ceremony. Visit the Tiwi Design art center and Catholic mission precinct in the company of a local guide. The Tiwi Islands ferry departs Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal, located 5 minutes from Darwin's city center. Boarding commences at 7:30 AM for a prompt 8:00 AM departure. Bring a book, sit back and relax on the 2.5-hour journey to the Tiwi Islands, 80km north of Darwin. Sandwiches, pies, coffee, drinks, and snack foods are available for purchase from the ferry kiosk.  Upon arrival, your local Tiwi guide will greet you on the beach and take you on a walking tour of the community. For those with mobility impairments, don't be disheartened as it is only a few minutes' walk between locations.  From the ferry landing, wander up to Tiwi Design for a traditional welcome ceremony and morning tea (damper and a cuppa). Your guide will then show you local paintings and teach you about the culture and history of the Tiwi People. On to the historic Catholic mission precinct before returning to Tiwi Design for lunch and a 'behind-the-scenes' screen printing session with a local Tiwi artist. Create your own screen-printed Tiwi-style art piece to take home – a memento of your day on the Tiwi Islands.  You also have the opportunity to purchase unique and traditional Tiwi artworks including paintings, fabrics, carving, pottery and clothing at island prices. Return to the ferry at 15:00 PM for the journey back to Darwin, arriving back in Cullen Bay at 5:45 PM.

From Darwin: Litchfield Park Tour & Jumping Crocodile Cruise

7. From Darwin: Litchfield Park Tour & Jumping Crocodile Cruise

Spend a day in the natural habitat of fascinating wildlife creatures at Litchfield National Park. After being picked up from your accommodation, ride to the famous Adelaide River. There, you'll board your private boat and cruise up the river. Feed the crocodiles from the boat that teem in the water and see an abundance of wildlife all around you. You may even see a crocodile launching itself out of the water with the power of its tail. At the famous Litchfield National Park, you'll visit three waterfalls – the Wangi, Florence and Buley rock holes – and get the opportunity to swim in all three. Lunch is prepared in the park by your guide – a big bush picnic with an array of wraps, cold meats, bread, salad and fruit. Snacks are also included along the way if you're ever feeling peckish. Local and knowledgeable guides will give you thorough commentary throughout the day and stop for lots of photo opportunities. Marvel at the magnetic and cathedral termite mounds, and take time to visit the butterfly farm. Return to your accommodation in Darwin, or on Sundays and Thursdays, at the famous Mindil Beach Markets.

Darwin: Adelaide River Half-Day Jumping Crocs Cruise

8. Darwin: Adelaide River Half-Day Jumping Crocs Cruise

Experience leaping saltwater crocodiles up close on a half-day cruise along the Adelaide River, departing from Darwin. Once on the river, your local guide will entice the prehistoric creatures to leap out of the water for an alarming but thrilling display of their mighty jaws. Continue to the Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre, the highest point on the lower Adelaide River floodplain. From the top of the center, enjoy superb panoramic views across the scenic Marrakai Plains. Next, visit the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve to discover its diverse habitat and wildlife, including eucalyptus forest, open scrubland, and melaleuca woodland. The floodplain and open water attract a significant number of birds, as well as reptiles, mammals, and marsupials that add to your wildlife adventure. Stroll the boardwalks to keep your feet dry as your wander through monsoon and paperback forests.

Darwin: Jumping Crocodile Cruise

9. Darwin: Jumping Crocodile Cruise

How close are you willing to get to some of nature’s most aggressive and dangerous reptiles as they leap out of the Australian Northern Territory waterways to grab a little snack? Feel your heart beating as you see the biggest reptile in the world and the oldest creature to walk the planet since the time of dinosaurs from the safety of an Adelaide River boat cruise.  Stand in awe of these prehistoric beasts, which can grow up to 6 meters in length – the size of a small bus – and can weigh up to 1,000 kilograms. Don’t worry, you’re in the safe hands of highly trained guides who will ensure the safety of both the crocodiles and passengers at all times while feeding the crocodiles buffalo meat. See firsthand the powerful and spectacular hunting techniques of saltwater crocodiles.

Darwin City: Guided Airboat Adventure and Wildlife Encounter

10. Darwin City: Guided Airboat Adventure and Wildlife Encounter

Take fun and adventure to the next level with our custom built V8 Airboat on this 1-hour adrenaline fulled experience. Your journey begins at Dock 1, leaving Stokes Hill Wharf to cruise across Darwin Harbour enjoying the city’s pristine coastline. After some supercharged spins and a cruise along the mangroves you’ll head up towards Blessers Creek. Enjoy the local birdlife and keep an eye out in the waters below for sharks, crocs, dolphins and even stingrays as the V8 engine powers you across the mud for some sideway slides and 360º whirls. There is so much to see in Darwin Harbour from WW2 shipwrecks to crocodile traps and more. Our knowledgeable guides love sharing some of the rich history and spin a good ol’ Territory yarn. This tour is the perfect blend of adventure, nature and history and has something for all ages.

Available activities

  • Aussie crocs & river life
  • Darwin Harbor cruises & more
  • Tropical nature & wildlife
  • WWII history of Darwin
  • Aboriginal culture
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Frequently asked questions about Darwin

What are the best day trips and excursions from Darwin?

The best day trips and excursions from Darwin are:

Kakadu National Park

Other Sightseeing Options in Darwin

Want to discover all there is to do in Darwin? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Darwin

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,586 reviews

Our family of four had an amazing time today with Lee who was our incredibly informed and experienced guide for our 1 day tour of Kakadu. Lee shared a plethora of local knowledge gathered over years and his commentary, care for nature and ability to answer any question in depth was a highlight of the day. Ion the trip we made plenty of comfort stops and could buy from local roadhouses and water and a shared esky was provided. It was a long trip for one day and is really better experienced over three or more days. This was certainly a great introduction to the top end and Lee made it a highly educational and interactive experience, for example mid trip he stopped the bus, pointed out a grilled next lizard, caught it and brought it on the bud to show us! Highly recommend any tour with Lee as the guide! My questions were also answered quickly by emailing the company. We are now inspired to see much of the NT. Thanks Lee.

Rex was sensational , his knowledge of the crocodiles in their own sections of the Adelaide river was mind blowing, all the crocs that presented on the day wereso up close and real !!! best tour I have ever done Shout out to Lee our driver and his knowledge of Darwin was great also this trip will not disappoint

Dani was amazing! She was Informative, engaging, easy going, caring and a great bus driver! We all enjoyed it!

Had an amazing time! Our guide Andrea was very knowledgeable and friendly. Overall very happy with the tour.

Amazing experience, would definitely do it again and something I never realised I would enjoy so much.