There are quite a few activities and things to do in Darwin, Australia. While I personally didn’t stay long myself, I still wanted to share these five amazing places to see in and around Darwin as they really left an impression on me, even after all these years. I went with a local tour as I found that the easiest way to get around as a solo traveller and to cover quite a lot of ground and get a knowledgeable guide.
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Enjoy Life in the City
First and foremost, you should explore Darwin itself. The city is not terribly large or exciting at first glance. To be honest, I found Darwin slightly on the boring side after my extended travels around the Red Centre and along the Southern coastline. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t like it.
If you like partying, you might be happy to stay on the main street because that’s where it’s at – backpackers, bars and daily events.
For a more sophisticated and culinarily more advanced yet still casual hang out, check out the Sunset market by the beach.
Family time can be enjoyed by the lagoon and beach front with a stop at the local museum and library afterwards.
Marvel at Aboriginal Wall Paintings in Kakadu
In all earnest, Kakadu has been the most astounding National Park in my opinion. The sheer width of this land is enormous and the beauty of it incredible.
Slowly climbing up to the mountain top of where visitors are allowed is great in itself. You will see so many sites of aboriginal rock art with explanatory signs next to them.
Imagine all these thousands-of-years old wall paintings one on top of the other, clinging to the stacks of slim rock plates rising around you while you clumber along, using them as natural steps until you make it to the top, which is a platform overlooking huge stretches of the land.
On the one side, impressive mountain ridges with dense forest dominate your vision and only after you have gazed at them long enough will you take in the open grasslands and lakes that kind of remind you of photos of the African savannah.
Swim in Waterfalls in Litchfield
If you love waterfalls and swimming in them, Litchfield is a place for you to seriously consider visiting. Not as beloved as Kakadu, it still holds its own with volcanic craters that are filled with deep blue water that takes on green and yellow hues when it comes to the more shallow edges and is perfectly framed by the surrounding green rainforest.
There are several must visit spots, including Florence Falls, Buley Rockhole as well as the Tolmer and Wangi Falls.
Spot the fun termite mounds
One of the major attractions apart from all the natural water fun are the termite mounds which the Northern Territory is famous for.
Especially if you are driving Stuart Highway to get to or from Darwin, you will be easily bored. There’s not much happening scenery wise after a while. So it’s not surprising that people started dressing up the pillar shaped mounds with shirts, glasses and caps.
It’s classic Aussie humour for you and it really is fun to spot from your car or the tour bus.
Fun fact: Both types, the cathedral mounds and the magnetic mounds, can be found near Darwin and will definitely surprise you with their height and texture. It is mostly made out of spit and clay and surprisingly solid.
Kayak along Katherine Gorge
A beautiful specimen of the extraordinary landscape of the Northern Territory, Katherine Gorge will charm you with its blue waters, red rocks and green fields.
In hot season, it is less green but still beautiful. If you are not too keen on kayaking the many gorges (which is not advised in the cases a saltie is spotted, usually there are only freshies, though), you can still do a hiking trip up the gorge, which gives you a spectacular overview over the river.
The adjacent visitor centre has a nice exhibition on the area with its animals, burning cycle and aboriginal history.
Now that you know my subjective opinion, would you consider stopping by Darwin to see all the amazing surrounding nature or would you be more interested in seeing the bustling party life the city has to offer?