Travel

Your Darwin hit-list of top things to do

Stick to the vibrant waterfront, head inland to an other-worldly national park - you can do it all.

If you fancy some city slicking alongside your escape to the great outdoors, spend a few days soaking up the vibes of the Northern Territory capital. Darwin is a bit of a contradiction – it has a relaxed country town feel and is small enough to get around easily, but also gives off a youthful energy (the average age of the population is just 33).

A lot of activities are based around the water, and you’re spoilt for choice: jet- skiing, kayaking, sailing and more. A sunset boat trip (darwinharbourcruises.com.au) is a more carefree way to take the sea air. Meanwhile, the Darwin Waterfront precinct is right in the CBD and features a manmade beach and Wave Lagoon – very popular with the kids as well as any adults who fancy some swim and sun.

Read on to see all the things we highly recommend you do while visiting Darwin.

Schooner under the stars

Darwin comes alive in the evenings, with the year-round warm and humid weather enticing locals and visitors into al fresco dining, all washed down (of course) with beer or a nice glass of white. Mitchell Street in the city centre is the best place to go, or extend your daytime visit to the Darwin Waterfront beyond sundown at the precinct’s bars.

Mindil Beach

The colourful Mindil Beach Sunset Market (mindil.com.au) is held every Thursday and Sunday in the dry season (April-October). It’s the place to go for street food, art, crafts and anything else you can think to buy, and it seems all of Darwin descends on the gorgeous setting to enjoy the fiery dying light over the bay. We shared in a Welcome to Country with Trent (saltwaterculturaltours.info).

Florence Falls

Within hours of Darwin lie the wonders of Litchfield National Park. Driving past eerie, two-metre-high magnetic termite mounds, you might stop off for a swim at the cascading pools of Buley Rockhole before ending up at the main event: Florence Falls, emptying into a gigantic natural plunge pool within a monsoon forest. It’s easy to reach by car and then by foot, and you’ll be tempted to float the day away.

One of the best restaurants in Darwin

Darwin is chock-full of great places to dine. Hanuman restaurant (93 Mitchell Street) offers Indian, Thai and Malaysian dishes under the auspices of head chef Jimmy Shu. The seafood is incredible; the curry crab out of this world.

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