How to Spend 1 Day in Darwin
Darwin serves as a gateway to the tropical landscapes and national parks of the Northern Territory in Australia, meaning that many visitors find themselves with just a single day in the city. Luckily, the compact city makes it easy to cram all the highlights into one visit—here’s how to spend one day in Darwin.
Morning: Hop Between Highlights
A hop-on hop-off bus tour is ideal choice for time-pressed travelers; tours ensure that no time is wasted traveling between sights and allow you to create your own itinerary. Take photos from the top deck as you pass Doctors Gully, and Cullen Bay Marina.
Hop off along the way to browse the shops at Mitchell Street and Smith Street Mall, visit the Darwin Military Museum or Museum of the Northern Territory, or cool off with a swim in the lagoons at Darwin Wharf Precinct. See more of the city’s coastline on a 45-minute sightseeing cruises from Darwin Harbour.
Afternoon: Discover Darwin’s Wildlife
Australia’s Top End is famous for its crocodiles, but you don’t have to go trekking through Kakadu National Park to spot one. Head to Crocosaurus Cove, conveniently located in Darwin city center, to see saltwater crocodiles alongside snakes, whipray, and Barramundi. Time your visit so you can watch the crocodiles being fed.
Afterwards, opt for a walking or Segway tour of Darwin Botanic Gardens. which hop-on hop-off buses stop right outside. Spend time admiring the colourful heliconias, orchids, and bromeliads, then enjoy coffee and cake at the park’s popular café.
Night: Browse the markets
Mindil Beach Sunset Markets are one of Darwin’s most popular attractions, and are held on Thursday and Sunday evenings between May and October. Home to live music and handicrafts stalls, you can easily spend the entire evening here. Grab some street food and follow the crowds to the beach for sunset before returning to the markets for some evening shopping.
If you’re not visiting on a market night, another fun activity is the Deckchair Cinema, held along the coast throughout the summer months. Alternatively, head down to Darwin Waterfront Precinct for dinner at one of the seafood restaurants.