From culture-packed museums to wonderful wildlife, holidays in Darwin give you a fantastic introduction to Australia’s Northern Territory. The sprawling coastal city is the capital of the region and one of the country’s most multicultural destinations thanks to its history as a frontier town and its proximity to Southeast Asia.
Discover all about Darwin’s past at major landmarks such as the Museum and Gallery of the Northern Territories, or make the most of the city’s tropical allures at sandy stretches like Mindil Beach.
Darwin is also a hotspot for food lovers, due to its abundance of fresh seafood, array of excellent restaurants, and numerous culinary festivals.
Got your heart set on a Darwin couple’s holiday? Set off on a romantic sunset cruise from Darwin Harbour, or head to Stoke Hill Wharf for some sensational al fresco dining.
Enjoy exciting wildlife on your Darwin holidays
Darwin is a city that’s packed with exciting outdoor attractions. Enjoy once-in-a-lifetime activities like swimming with crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove, or journey beyond the city to jaw-dropping nature reserves like Litchfield National Park and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kakadu National Park.
Both of Darwin’s national parks are home to rare native flora and fauna, as well as amazing native marine life, including saltwater crocodiles and turtles. Book a Darwin Christmas trip to witness the national parks at their greenest and to enjoy a quieter city centre.
Great sample itineraries
Extend your visit to the Northern Territory with a multi-centre holiday to Darwin. This will see you venturing into the wilderness to explore sites like Ayers Rock and Red Centre. Get inspired by our selection of popular itineraries.
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“Litchfield National Park is an easy 75 minute drive from the city and it’s bursting with crystal-clear swimming holes, waterfalls and vibrant wildlife that you can glimpse on bushwalks through the rainforest. Entry is free. Pack a picnic for the perfect day trip.”
“There are so many amazing places just a short drive from Darwin. Embark on a road trip to Territory Wildlife Park 45 minutes away, or head to Mary River National Park – an hour east of the city – for wetlands inhabited by wild crocodiles.”
Events & Festivals
Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your Darwin holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.
Celebrated over three weeks during Darwin’s dry season (May to October), Darwin Festival shines a light on the Northern Territory’s multicultural influences. It’s been going since the 1800s and is the biggest event on the city’s cultural calendar, encompassing various art exhibits, concerts and workshops, plus the National Indigenous Music Awards.
Great Northern Darwin Cup Carnival
Fans of horse racing will be in their element at Great Northern Darwin Cup Carnival. This major Darwin event usually takes place at Fannie Bay in August. As well as races that are broadcast to dozens of countries across the globe, it also sees thousands of people enjoying a carnival-style atmosphere, complete with lively entertainment and tasty food and drink.
Spice Islands Darwin Ambon Yacht Race
Another major sporting event in the city is the Darwin Ambon Yacht Race. It’s one of the world’s top international sailing races and is usually held in August. Why not cheer the competitors off from the starting point at Darwin Waterfront as they begin a 600 nautical mile journey to Ambon in Indonesia’s Spice Islands?
Territory Taste Festival
For the best local cuisine and Northern Territory wines, plan your holiday to Darwin in May for the outdoor culinary extravaganza of Territory Taste Festival. Get your taste buds tingling with pop-up stalls laden with regional delicacies, plus cooking demos and workshops from top chefs.
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair takes place in the heart of the city over a weekend in August and is one of the best events for viewing and purchasing Aboriginal art in Australia. It showcases works from over 70 different indigenous art centres dotted around the country, from woven handicrafts and woodwork to vibrant dot paintings.
Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Darwin holiday. Here are a few of our favourite dishes.
Darwin’s proximity to Southeast Asia has influenced this delicious dish made from one of Australia’s most infamous predators. Often described as tasting very similar to chicken, the white crocodile meat is cooked in a deliciously spiced coconut laksa curry sauce.
Wild barramundi is a Northern Territory treasure, which you’ll find served up in most restaurants in the city. During your Darwin holiday, book a table at Pee Wee’s along the coast at East Point to sample a buttery barramundi fillet that is beautifully-crusted with macadamia nuts, herbs and lemon myrtle.
Another popular sea creature that’s widely eaten in Darwin is mud crab. Caught on the mudflats around the city, mud crab is typically prepared in a piquant chilli sauce. Take a trip to Carmel’s Fish Market during mud crab season – the first half of the year – to see where the city’s eateries purchase their produce, or to tuck into some crab at a neighbouring restaurant.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
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