Gateway to Australia's Natural and Cultural Treasures
Darwin is the perfect launching pad for all of the Northern Territory’s stunning natural landscapes and national parks, from tropical coastlines to heritage listed wetlands, wildlife parks, and escarpment vistas.
Natural treasures like the World Heritage-listed Kakadu, Katherine Gorge, and Litchfield National Parks are all within driving distance of the city. Many of these locations are still home to thriving populations of crocodiles, goannas, snakes, and wallabies.
Have a look at just some of the amazing attractions in Northern Territory that are well worth a visit during your stay. For more detailed infomation and tour bookings, please visit Tourism Top End.
Dotted with ancient rock paintings, Arnhem Land is an iconic Aboriginal Cultural region. It contains some incredibly diverse ecosystems that include rainforests, savannah woodlands, extraordinary rock formations, picturesque coastlines, and deserted islands. There are tours on offer that include sunset cruises on billabongs, wildlife watching, and even “bush tucker” walks for the adventurous.
Berry Springs is a great way to cool off and immerse yourself in nature. This nature park is home to palm fringed water holes filled with crystal clear, cold spring water you can swim in. You can even shoot down the natural waterslides of the creek’s cascades.
Kakadu National Park
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kakadu is Australia's largest national park covering some 20,000 square kilometres. You’ll discover a world of natural and cultural wonders through lush wetlands, rugged escarpments, and sandstone galleries inhabited by the Bininj people for 50,000 years.
The Nitmiluk National Park is home to a dazzling landscape carved out by the Katherine River. There are incredible lookouts affording views over the 13 gorges with 60 metre sandstone cliffs that rise out of the river. You can take tours that include kayaking between sheer cliffs, walks to see ancient rock art, serene rock pools and cascading waterfalls, as well as some incredibly remote fishing locations.
Litchfield National Park
The Litchfield National Park is comprised of amazing sandstone escarpments, natural spring-fed waterfalls and tropical lagoons. There’s also the famous ‘Lost City’; an incredible cluster of rock formations and an area housing thousands of giant magnetic termite mounds. You can hike through the monsoon forests, go in search of native wildlife, and even have a swim in natural streams amid cascading waterfalls.
Just a one hour drive from Darwin city, the Mary River is accessible all year round. You can sign up for a tour of the river to see its extraordinary birdlife and beautiful scenery, or even take a fishing tour to catch some of the Barramundi that thrive in the river. No matter what you do, make sure you keep an eye out for a glimpse of the crocodiles that inhabit the northern Australian waters.
Territory Wildlife Park
Just 45 minutes south of Darwin, the Territory Wildlife Park sits amid 400 hectares of bushland. See the aquarium for its incredible crocodiles, as well as the nocturnal house, birdwalk, monsoon rainforest, and ‘Animal Encounters’ presentation for an inside look at northern Australia’s furriest and fiercest creatures.
Just a 20 minute flight or two hour ferry trip from Darwin, Melville and Bathurst Islands are home to one of the world’s oldest living cultures; the Tiwi people. The Tiwi welcome visitors as they share stories, traditional ceremonies, and artwork of their culture that still survives today. You can also explore the island’s lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and crystal clear rock pools and even stay overnight.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is located 440 kilometres south-west of Alice Springs (or an 8 hour flight from Darwin) and is World Heritage-listed for its natural and cultural significance. Rising 348 metres above the broad desert plain is the magnificent Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia’s most recognisable natural icon and a must-see on any Australian outback holiday. To the west of the rock you’ll also discover Kata Tjuta, or the Olgas, a massive pile of rock domes dating back some 500 million years. These locations have great Aboriginal significance for the Angangu traditional land owners.