Darwin, Australia
Cruise Ports Darwin, Australia

Darwin, Australia

Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory and a former frontier outpost, is gaining a reputation as a destination in itself. From the sparkling harbour, Asian-influenced food, World War 2 history and tropical lifestyle the city has something for everyone.

Darwin city is relatively small and easy to navigate around. Two highlights of the city are the Darwin Waterfront, with its popular wave pool and saltwater lagoon, and the many sites around the city highlighting the wartime heritage of Darwin during World War II including bunkers, tunnels, cemeteries and museums.

If time permits there are other sites well worth visiting in Darwin including the Royal Flying Doctor Tourist Facility highlighting the great work the service provides to remote communities, Crocosaurus Cove which is home to the world’s largest display of Australian reptiles or Darwin’s Smith Street Mall where you can wander through the luxury boutiques that sell fine crocodile and pearl products.

If food is your thing, why not visit Mindil Beach Sunset Markets which is open every week over the dry season. These markets had humble beginnings 30 years ago but today it boasts over 300 stalls offering every type of cuisine. The markets also have stalls offering local crafts and Aboriginal art.

Darwin also serves as the gateway to iconic regions such as the Tiwi Islands and national parks including Litchfield and Kakadu.

80 kilometres north of Darwin are the Tiwi Islands, a unique haven with thriving Aboriginal arts culture, fishing lodges and coastal landscapes. The Tiwi people are famous for their art, which hangs in galleries around the world. Everywhere you look you will see art decorating schools, on carved burial poles, adorning the altar of the white wooden church and in the islands’ renowned art centres.

Visit an art centre to meet the artists. Watch them paint, weave, sculpt and carve and learn the story behind their distinctive pieces. You can purchase artworks directly from the artist at reasonable prices.

Litchfield National Park is easily accessible from Darwin and takes an hour and a half from the city which is perfect for a day trip. The park is filled with stunning waterfalls and waterholes that are surrounded by monsoonal vine forests. One of the main highlights of the park are its towering Magnetic Termite mounds with hundreds dotted along the wide flat plain standing up to two metres tall. Some of these structures are up to 100 years old and provide for unique photo opportunities.

Kakadu National Park, only a 3-hour drive from Darwin, is iconic around the world for its ancient landscapes with thundering waterfalls, lush rainforests, wandering wetlands, exotic wildlife and ancient rock art.

Australia’s largest national park, covering nearly 20,000 square kilometres, is known for its natural and cultural values and is dual listed on the World Heritage List for both its natural and cultural significance. The lands have been inhabited by the Bininj/Mungguy people for 65,000 years and these traditional owners are able to pass on their culture and history to guests of the park.

Among the many things you can do whilst there, see breathtaking horizons from the top of a Kakadu escarpment or cruise on the stunning Yellow Water Billabong to spot crocodiles and wildlife in their natural habitat including millions of migratory birds who in-part call the park’s wetlands home.

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