Book Direct and ALWAYS Get the Best Deal!

  • Most up-to-date information and images
  • Secure online reservation system
  • Personalised booking service
  • Earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points on eligible direct bookings

What to Do in Darwin: Top 16 Darwin Attractions

Set amongst the tropical beauty of Australia’s Top End, Darwin is a rapidly evolving city that boasts plenty to see and do. From experiences that deepen tourists’ understanding of First Nations people to breathtaking national parks and contemporary hotspots, Darwin has it all. In this guide, we’ll run through 16 Darwin tourist attractions that are a must-see on your next trip.

Metro Hotels is your ideal travel partner, offering premium accommodation and food options, as well as assistance with getting around Darwin and organising tour packages so that you see all of Darwin’s tourist attractions. Let us tick items off your list of things to do in Darwin with our comprehensive and helpful services.

1. Visit the Mindil Beach Sunset Market

Held on Darwin’s stunning Mindil Beach, the Sunset Market is a bustling hub that offers food, crafts and entertainment to those wanting to experience Darwin’s cultural side. Watch the sunset over the Timor Sea as you tuck into a range of delicacies, collect some local creations or enjoy the entertainment of homegrown performers. The bustling atmosphere combined with a stunning beachside sunset makes these markets a must-see on any list of things to do in Darwin. The Mindil Beach Sunset Market operates in Darwin’s dry season, from April to October.


2. Explore Kakadu National Park

One of the most famous natural attractions in Australia, Kakadu National Park is a vast reserve of plant life, rock formations and waterfalls. The national park also includes a number of rock art formations that date back over 20,000 years. Visitors can take guided tours of the park, or participate in seasonal activities such as bird watching or fishing. Kakadu National Park is located a few hours’ drive from Darwin, so it’s worth setting aside a full day to see its beauty in full.


3. Tour Crocosaurus Cove

Crocosaurus Cove is one of Darwin’s tourist attractions for thrillseekers. Located in the heart of the city centre, visitors can learn more and observe the Northern Territory’s saltwater crocodiles in action. Alongside the reptile house and turtle sanctuary lies the Cove’s main drawcard, the Cage of Death. Tourists are submerged in a clear acrylic cage and can swim alongside the crocodiles for a close, yet controlled encounter with some of the most dangerous animals in Australia. While it’s not for the faint-hearted, the Crocosaurus Cove is an experience like no other. Metro Hotels guests can receive discounts off their ticket prices when they book using our Crocosaurus Cove Hot Deal.


4. Cruise Darwin’s Harbour

Darwin Harbour offers amazing views of the city’s burgeoning skyline and scenic waterfront. Cruises on the harbour are run by various operators, including sunset tours, dinner cruises and special events. Some cruises feature a live commentary of the city’s historical background, including its connections to Indigenous culture and military conflicts. Whichever tour you choose, you’ll see Darwin’s coastline and get as close to its marine life as possible. After a long day, why not round out your list of things to do in Darwin with a relaxing harbour cruise?


5. Visit the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) is one of Darwin’s leading indoor cultural institutions. It features a number of Indigenous and international art exhibitions, alongside displays of Darwin’s marine archaeology and connections to its natural history. One of the highlights of the MAGNT is the Cyclone Tracy exhibit, which details the extent of the impact the 1974 cyclone had on the city. A sound booth located inside the museum simulates the experience of the cyclone, making it one of Darwin’s most horrifying, yet educational, attractions.


6. Explore the Tiwi Islands

The Tiwi Islands are another day trip from the Darwin city centre that offer immersive experiences of Indigenous culture. Local guides share their traditions with visiting tourists, immersing them in traditional ceremonies and experiences of art and dance. There is even the opportunity for visitors to participate in art workshops, in which you produce your own Tiwi-style art.


7. Visit Darwin Military Museum

Another of Darwin’s attractions for history buffs, the Darwin Military Museum is dedicated to the city’s critical role in the defence of Australia during World War II. The museum features interactive displays alongside equipment and memorabilia used in the defence force. The Defence of Darwin Experience is an immersive recount of the 1942 Japanese air raids and their impact on the city. Located in East Point, the Military Museum plays an important part in retelling Darwin’s defence history to visitors.


8. Catch a film at the Deckchair Cinema

If you fancy watching a film with a backdrop of stars and the sea breeze in your hair, the Deckchair Cinema is for you. Screening a wide range of films, from much-loved classics to the latest blockbusters, the outdoor cinema is located on the waterfront in the Darwin Waterside Precinct. The Deckchair Cinema features 250 deckchairs and 150 straight-backed seats. It is open exclusively during the Darwinian dry season, from April to October.


9. Wander through George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens

If you’re after a bit of peace and quiet, the Darwin Botanic Gardens are for you. Showcasing a variety of plant species from the northern corner of Australia, the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens feature paths that meander through a haven of tropical plants and trees. The gardens are within walking distance of the city centre and are the ideal place to catch some shade and switch off. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a spot of bird watching, Darwin’s Botanic Gardens are a great place to spend an hour or two on your visit to the city.


10. Wind down at your Metro Hotel

With so many things to do in Darwin, you often crave the peace of a well-equipped hotel. Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel Darwin features comfortable rooms and a number of thoughtfully laid-out facilities, including a pool, gym and laundry. Located close to Stokes Hill Wharf and with a range of rooms available, it’s the ideal spot to spend a day escaping Darwin’s tropical climate.


11. Spend a Saturday at Parap Village Markets

The Parap Village Markets are another option for those wanting to experience Darwin’s local culture in one place. The lively market stalls run every Saturday with a focus on food and art. Try unique local and international dishes as you wander the stalls and take in the bustling atmosphere. The Parap Markets offer tropical fruits, organic products and specialty crafts that you won’t find anywhere else.


12. Day trip to Litchfield National Park

Ask any Darwin local, and they’ll tell you that Litchfield National Park is a must-visit spot in the Top End. The park is renowned for its stunning waterfalls that tumble into crystal-clear pools, as well as its unique magnetic termite mounds. Visitors and locals alike enjoy swimming beneath the falls and relaxing in the waterholes. Litchfield is a popular day trip destination from Darwin with the drive taking just over an hour on well sealed roads. There are also several scenic walking trails throughout the park, with more information available on the Northern Territory Government’s Parks & Reserves website.


13. Take a Historical Walking Tour in Darwin

Darwin is a city rich with defence history. While the Darwin Military Museum allows visitors to see artefacts from Australian conflicts up close and personal, a walking tour is designed to take visitors to historic military sites in and around the city. The tours focus on Darwin’s involvement in World War Two, with guides relaying stories of the Darwin Bombing. During the tour, visitors are shown locations that played an important part in the city’s strategic defence role, including oil storage tunnels and lookout posts.


14. Swim or relax at Darwin City Lagoon

The Darwin City Lagoon is located on the city’s waterfront, right next to the famous Wave Pool. Owing to Darwin’s unique climate and dangerous marine life, the lagoon is the only place in the city where it is safe for visitors to swim. Various measures have been implemented to ensure that stingers do not enter the lagoon and that the pool remains safe for visitors. The Darwin City Lagoon is open all year round from 9am to 6pm and is wheelchair accessible. Take a swim or simply relax in the parklands that surround the Darwin City Lagoon to wind down after a long day.


15. Take a flight to experience Darwin from the air

While Darwin has plenty of attractions on the ground, seeing the city and its surroundings from the air adds another dimension to the experience. Several proprietors operate helicopter and fixed wing scenic flights that take in the sights of Darwin, including Mindil Beach and the CBD. Alternatively, there are several longer flights that take in the spectacular scenery, rock formations and waterfalls of Kakadu National Park and Litchfield National Park. Booking these experiences ahead of your trip to Darwin is recommended to ensure you don’t miss out.


16. Watch a thunderstorm

Many of Darwin’s outdoor attractions, including the Deckchair Cinema and markets, only open during the dry season of April to October. If you find yourself visiting Darwin in the wet season, some of the city’s most spectacular events will occur through the force of nature. While the thunderstorms can be dangerous to be out in, they are beautiful to watch. Seek shelter in your room or head to an oceanfront resort if storms are forecast to get a great view of Darwin’s climate at its most brutal.


A hotel that allows you to see all of Darwin’s attractions

Hopefully you now have a list packed full of things to do in Darwin. From vibrant market stalls at Parap and Mindil Beach that showcase a variety of cultures, to awe-inspiring national parks and a deep dive into the city’s history of defence and military conflicts, Darwin’s tourist attractions offer visitors a complete experience of what makes the capital of the Northern Territory unique. Add in daredevils’ favourites such as Crocosaurus Cave and relaxing hotspots such as George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens and the Darwin City Lagoon and you’ll understand that there are things to do in Darwin for everyone.


With so much to do during your stay, you need a hotel in Darwin that offers convenience, comfort and facilities. Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel Darwin is located within close proximity of Mindil Beach, Crocosaurus Cave and several other of Darwin’s tourist attractions. Offering comfortable, well-appointed rooms at great prices, Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel Darwin is an ideal choice for your stay in the Top End, whether it’s for relaxation or business.


Find out about available discounts by browsing our Hot Deals page and to make a booking at Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel Darwin.

Mindil Beach Markets Darwin
Mindil Beach Markets
Kakadu National Park Darwin NT
Kakadu National Park Darwin
Crocosaurus Cove Darwin NT
Darwin Museum
Darwin Museum
Darwin Tiwi Islands
Darwin Tiwi Islands
Darwin Military Museum
Metro Advance Apartments Hotel Darwin
Darwin Wangi Falls Litchfield National Park NT
Darwin Waterfront - Wave Pool
Darwin Lightning and Thunder storms