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Darwin

City Guide

Darwin might be small, but Northern Territory's capital city packs a tropical punch. The fact that it's closer to Indonesia than it is to pretty much any other Australian city should give you an idea of just how different Darwin is. It's the centre for aboriginal culture and heritage and with heaps of awesome hostels, cool nightlife, markets and galleries, its the perfect stop-off for a few days, before you head on to the popular sites of Kakadu, Uluru, or blaze south down the Stuart Highway... 

What to do in Darwin: the highlights

  • Kakadu National Park
    A mere hour and a half drive from Darwin, there's no excuse not to visit one of Australia's most amazing national parks. A sure fire must-do in Northern Territory, Kakadu's 20,000 square kilometres of land is filled with amazing wildlife, rock formations and waterfalls. Let's get wild!
  • Mindil Beach
    Would an Aussie city be an Aussie city without a huge beach to head to every day? Mindil is within easy reach of Darwins Central Business District and hosts sunset markets from April to October. 
  • Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
    Located in the suburb of Fannie Bay (giggle all you like), near to the Botanic Gardens, this museum is your one stop shop for all things Australia. Learn about Northern Territory's interesting history, see indigenous art, and meet heaps of stuffed critters - the most famous of which is the five-metre long crocodile, 'Sweetheart'.
  • Road trip to Katherine
    Four hours is a relatively short journey time to most Darwinians! Take a trip to the tiny town of Katherine to see the Outback's raw beauty. As dusty and red as it is tropical, Katherine has as many gushing blue waterfalls and swimming spots as it does canyons and cattle farms. 
  • Litchfield National Park
    Katherine too far? Kakadu too big? Litchfield it is then! Just an hour from Darwin, this smaller (by Aussie standards, that is) national park boasts one of the pretties swimming spots in Australia. There's waterfalls, tabletop rock formations and heaps crystal clear rock pools to paddle in. 
  • Wildlife encounters
    Hop on a cruise through the mangroves to spot crocodiles, visit the city's Crocosaurus Cove, or chill at a kangaroo sanctuary. There's heaps of interesting wildlife to spot around Darwin - you'll never be far from the nearest reptile...

Plan your trip

Kakadu national park
Adventure tours & day trips
Darwin is the jumping off point for Uluru and Kakadu National Park - the state's most unmissable natural wonders. It's also the best spot to start your East Coast adventure, since you're way up in the north! 
Oz experience bus passes
Hop-on hop-off bus passes
Whether you simply want an easy and reliable way of getting from A to B while you travel independently, or you want a full guided adventyre, we have a range of Australia bus passes for you. They're all flexible, meaning you can stay as long as you like in the places you love the most then hop on the next available departure!
campervan uluru
Campervan hire
Get out of Darwin! Campervans are an ideal way of exploring the Northern Territoy independently, and since they also provide you with a roof over your head each night too, they're the best budget option! Click below to see all of our best deals. 
From £19pp a day
find out more

Start planning your adventure

Our pick of Darwin hotels and hostels

chillis backpackers hostel darwin
Chillis Backpackers
Right in the center of Darwin, close to all the best bars and clubs, this lively abode has an outdoor pool, two hot tubs and two outdoor spa decks.
From £18 pppn
Call to book
Melaleuca hostel Darwin
Melaleuca on Mitchell
Right in the heart of Darwin's CBD on Mitchell Street, this budget backpacker joint has plenty of activities week-round, a nightclub and bar, and both male and female-only dorms as well as privates.
From £16pppn
Call to book

How easy is it to find a job in Darwin?

Darwin is a lot smaller than Sydney or Melbourne which means there aren't as many jobs... but there's also not as much competition! The best thing to do is grab yourself a working holiday visa - which is valid for up to a year, or even better, one of our Work & Travel Starter Packs. There are heaps of online jobs boards and forums so it will take you no time at all to find hospitality, shop, bar or cafe work. 

Darwin is a very popular place for people to do agricultural work - such as farming and fruit picking, so you can head there to start your three month's 'regional work' in order to meet the requirements to have your working holiday visa extended for another year.

What's on in Darwin?

You'd be forgiven for thinking at first that Darwin might be a sleepy place, where everyone just loves to relax and fish. Wrong!

Mindil Beach hosts bustling sunset markets every evening between April in October. There's the annual Noonmah Tavern Rodeo throughout the winter months, and the annual Beer Can Regatta each July, when teams race boats made entirely of empty beer tins. Then there's the Royal Darwin Show from 27-29 July, and the Darwin Cup Carnival in August - an awesome excuse to get dressed up and go for a day at the races with your newfound travel mates.

Not there for any of these months? Don't worry - there's always Darwin's awesome nightlife. Head to Shenanigans Irish pub any night of the week for some budget backpacker drinks and the chance of meeting colourful new friends. 

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