13 Jun

Darwin – The Top End

Darwin is the capital city of Northern Territory and the Australian gateway to Asia. Rebuilt after the devastation of Cyclone Tracy in 1974, it overlooks a wide harbour.

Kakadu National Park

There are plenty of adventure tours to do in Darwin such as 4WD, bush walking, camping and fishing including scuba diving on WW II and cyclone wrecks.

Choosing the right time of year to travel to Darwin is important. There are two distinctive seasons: the dry, cool season from April to September and the hot, wet season from December to March. The months of October and November are called the 'build-up' and are the hottest and driest times of the year. It is usually more comfortable to visit during the dry season. Visit Darwin in August and for 18 days and nights in Darwin is abuzz with people attending the Darwin Festival with outdoor concerts, workshops, theatre, dance, music, comedy and cabaret, film and visual arts events.

Things to do and see:

  • Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory - exhibits highlight the region's art, history, culture and natural history (free, except for some special exhibitions).
  • World War 2 Oil Storage Tunnels - a short walk from the city centre, take a tour of the tunnels, including a photographic display of Darwin during WWII.
  • Fish Feeding at Doctor's Gully - at high tide, hundreds of fish arrive at Doctor's Gully at the northern end of the city centre, ready to be hand-fed by the public.

Suggested Drives and Adventures:

  • Rent a Campervan in Darwin or Motorhome and explore both Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks.
  • Kakadu National Park is unique with its deep gorges, pockets of ancient rainforest, aboriginal rock art, monster salt water crocodiles, rare butterflies and myriad flora species. It is also revered for it rugged escarpments, flood plains and abundant wildlife and Aboriginal artwork. There are stunning waterfalls, gorges, bushwalking tracks, billabongs, birds, native wildlife, ancient landforms and plant life to see.
  • About 2 hours to Darwin's south is Litchfield National Park with 15,000 square kilometres of weathered and ancient landscapes, magnetic termite mounds, warm year-round swimming in plunge pools, pleasant delightful bush walks, wildlife and 4WD tracks.
  • Scenic waterfalls with deep, crystal-clear plunge pools at their base are present year-round, for pleasant swimming and camping. Most popular of these is Wangi Falls. Be aware that that there can be freshwater crocodiles, who are fortunately more bashful than their estuarine cousins. Forests around the falls are scored with short and longer bushwalking trails.
  • On a recent trip to Darwin on route to Litchfield National Park we discovered a lovely spot called Buley Rockhole which is a series of cascading plunge pools. Highly recommend a short stop for a swim and picnic. There is a 3.2 km round trip hike when you follow the trail from Buley Rockhole along Florence Creek and up to the escarpment and finally onto Florence Falls, a magnificent crystal clear waterfall with a lookout offering excellent photo opportunities. This area is accessible with a 2WD vehicle – a must for those visiting the Park. Head south to visit Katherine Gorge and Mataranka. From Darwin you can also journey into the heartland of Australia and visit Alice Springs or head west into the Kimberley's and onto Broome.

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