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If you’re heading to Darwin for your next holiday, you won’t be bored for things to see and do. The city is brimming with attractions, and often the biggest issue is how to fit them all in!

However the following attractions should absolutely be on your list. Don’t miss out on these highlights when you visit Darwin – they are real icons of the area, and each one of them will contribute towards a truly memorable stay.

Darwin Waterfront

This should be one of the first places that you go in order to start experiencing Darwin. Especially if you visit in the summer, it’s a very popular location, so you’ll be in good company!

There is a wave pool as well as a swimming lagoon which is perfect for families, and plenty of bars and restaurants around when you need a bite to eat. You could easily spend the whole day at the waterfront, so it’s a great choice for one of those days where you just want to relax for a while.

Darwin Waterfront

Darwin Wharf Precinct

Once you have had some fun in the water, you can head over to the Darwin Wharf Precinct to browse the open-air food stalls. Here you can get all kinds of seafood and Asian cuisine, then sit under an umbrella by the sea to eat.

It’s a great way to end the day, watching the sun set over the water. There’s plenty of ice cream for hot days, and you can even throw a chip or two down to feed the larger fish in the water!

There’s free parking nearby but it does fill up, so arrive early if you have a hire car. You may be better off walking from your hotel.

Litchfield National Park

Wildlife and beautiful scenery abound in Litchfield National Park. But there is one sight that you will never forget – the huge termite mounds here are incredible! All facing the same direction, standing up, they look almost like a row of tombstones.

There is an information centre with maps and guides detailing all you need to know, and you can take a tour if you wish too. It’s amazing to think that insects could work together to build something taller than yourself! The mounds are a strong symbol of this area, so you have to visit them before you leave.

Litchfield National Park

Florence Falls in Litchfield National Park

Fannie Bay Jail

This is perhaps the most famous attraction near Darwin! Fannie Bay used to be a jail which housed inmates who were transported here from the British Empire. It still stands today, having weathered events like Cyclone Tracy, and is now open to the public as a historical centre rather than a working jail.

You can walk around, explore all of the different parts of the gaol, and get an idea for what it would have been like back then. One of the highlights is the gallows, still standing in imposing fashion.

Parliament House

This is another historic building, but this time it’s actually in use. You can even visit when parliament is in session to see the debates!

There is a free tour which will tell you about the history of the city and the building itself. If you don’t want to go inside, you can at least admire the architecture, as this building is close to a number of other great attractions.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Featured photo by Mario Sainz Martínez. Darwin waterfront by Christopher Bearman. Litchfield National Park by BRJ INC. Florence Falls in Litchfield National Park by Peter Nijenhuis.


  1. There’s so much to see around Darwin! I didn’t expect that as it seems to be quite remote! The National Park looks gorgeous, especially the waterfall!

    • Absolutely, especially in it’s surrounds. Darwin is probably the most remote capitol city in Australia – though being so close and connected with nature is what it’s all about :)

  2. We are traveling with an Aussie right now and he actually was just telling us more about Darwin! Between this post and him we are really aching to not only go to Australia but to visit Darwin! I think I am most intrigued with Litchfield National Park! Those termite mounds look insane!

    • Great thing is that even though Darwin is remote, you can organize international flights direct from many hubs in Asia, so you can use this as your base to fly into Australia, spend some time, and then explore further south :)

  3. I don’t know much about Darwin but this looks excellent! I have heard they have the crocodile experience. The national park looks amazing because I love waterfalls so much. I would love to check them out in person. Great guide!

    • They do have the crocodile experience – Crocosaurus Cove is an attraction where they have the “Cage of Death” – it’s a 15 minute cage dive with the crocodiles! It’s fairly crazy!

  4. This place sounds fantastic, Meg! However, when I read that termite mound (and how it sounds like there’s quite a lot of them), I couldn’t help but cringe and feel a little bit uncomfortable! Clearly not a fan of these insects. But you’re right, it does look quite interesting!

    • Haha probably does sound rather odd to most people if you say you’re traveling to see a termite mound :D But these are truly incredible and it’s amazing to marvel at the sheer height!

  5. We’ve heard great things about Darwin and the surrounding area. We plan to spend a reasonable amount of time-based there on our trip around and this gives us a good starting point of what we must see and do.

    • Glad we could help shape your itinerary Toni – feel free to reach out if you have any questions before you do :)

  6. We were in Darwin earlier in the year and did see the waterfront and the wharf area, but missed the others. For us, it was a cruise ship port. Sadly, we missed Litchfield National Park. I would love to see termite mounds like this in person. Beautiful photos.

    • Sounds like the perfect excuse to plan for a return trip and organize a land based holiday this time :) The warf area and waterfront through are great places to get an introduction to the city if you’ve come off a cruise :)

  7. This looks pretty cool. Never been or thought of going, but the photos make it enticing.

    • Hope you have the chance to experience Darwin soon :)

  8. The two places that stand out for me is the Litchfield National Park, especially the termite mounds; Not only are they amazing, but it looks like art to me, and the Fannie Bay Jail. I have never been inside a jail (thank goodness for that … lol), but definitely interested in seeing the gallows.

    • The termite mounds do seem to be a form of natural art, don’t they! Something truly impressive about their enormity! Litchfield National Park is a fantastic stop for natural beauty, and Fannie Bay Jail for cultural and historic heritage … hope you have the chance to visit soon :)

  9. Ive never heard of Darwin before so thanks for posting this. So many beautiful places to see. If ever I have the chance to go, I’d definitely check out Litchfield National park. That waterfall is soo beautiful!

    • Glad we could introduce you :) The Northern Territory is one of the most spectacular of Australia’s regions, so much of the outdoors is untouched and wild as it used to be :)

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