Darwin is the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory and a former frontier outpost. It’s also a gateway to massive Kakadu National Park. Its popular waterfront area has several beaches and green areas like Bicentennial Park. Also near the water is the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, displaying Southeast Asian and Pacific art, plus a pearling lugger and other seafaring vessels.
Museum and Art Gallery
Tucked in a tropical garden on Darwin Harbour, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is one of seven related museums in the Northern Territory and provides an excellent one-stop dose of history and culture. If you only have one day in Darwin, this museum is a must-see. The gallery hosts an impressive collection of Aboriginal, Southeast Asian, and Oceanic art, as well as works by Australian painters, while the museum provides an overview of the region’s history.
Crocodiles are quite an icon of the Northern Territory – when you hear about people (Prince Harry, for example!) wrestling crocodiles, NT is the first place that would come to mind for most Australians, as well as anyone who remembers Crocodile Dundee.Because of the high prevalence of crocodiles in the waters around Darwin, there’s even beaches that aren’t safe to swim in, and checking those waters for a croc to wrestle might win you a Darwin Award. However, there are several places where you can enjoy getting up close and personal with these magnificent reptiles, minus the risk to life and limb.
Stokes Hill Wharf
A tourist hot spot minutes from downtown, the Darwin Wharf Precinct is a working wharf packed with restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, and attractions. You can dine alfresco on fresh seafood, cast a line from the free fishing platforms, embark on a harbor cruise, or browse the shops.One of the top attractions here is the RFDS Darwin Tourist Facility. This popular museum pays tribute to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), a lifeline to the country’s remote communities, and also features a virtual reality experience of the bombing of Darwin Harbour in 1942.
Every Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., rain or shine, locals hit the Parap Village Market to have breakfast, listen to live music and purchase fresh locally grown fruits, veggies, dairy and meats from market vendors. Local vendors sell handmade crafts, clothing, jewelry and Aboriginal art, and anything else you can imagine. And don’t miss the 50 shops located in the Parap Shopping Village, including boutiques, beauty salons, cuisines from around the world, homewares, art galleries and more.