All The Places We’re Bucket-Listing in Darwin Cause We Haven’t Forgotten How To Dream

Contributor: PEDESTRIAN TV.

Without bumming us all out, travel is probably off the cards for a little while longer for some of us but that can’t stop us from dreaming, right? While international travel is probably a bit too ambitious, there’s no shortage of enticing destinations in our own backyard.

But where does one begin, you ask? Simple – the NT. From secret swimming holes to red rock climbs,there’s no shortage of ways to get your hands dirty and your heart full in Darwin. With average temps of 32 degrees, it’s the kind of climate any true blue Aussie would love. Pack a few tees and togs and you’ll be right for any kind of outback adventure.

Whether you’re keen to experience a world-renowned Darwin festival or just looking to check out the local brunch scene, this travel guide has your bucket-list NT travel plans covered.

Darwin Festival 

This festival has garnered nationwide notoriety for a reason – the reason being that it’s bloody awesome. From outdoor concerts to workshops and comedy sketches, it’s a 10 day celebration of the Top End’s rich cultural history with an open invite to all. Balmy nights under twinkly lights, it’s truly the stuff of dreams. 

Darwin Supercars 

Car fanatics have likely heard of the Darwin Supercar event and it’s not one they’ll want to miss. Typically held in August each year, this pedal to the metal event will satisfy everyone’s need for speed. Punters can place their bets and enjoy a few cheeky bevvies trackside before getting out the flag and cheering on their favourite drivers. 

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National Indigenous Music Awards 

A celebration of the diverse voices in Australian music, this event is as heartwarming as it is entertaining. Bring nan for a boogie, bring your friend with the great pipes, bring the whole lot. Taking place under the stars at Darwin’s iconic amphitheatre, it promises to be an unforgettable night filled with music and laughter. What’s not to love, really?

Once you’ve made the journey over, it makes sense to stay a while and soak in all the NT has to offer. Get those open-toed sandals a little dusty in the red dirt and book a tour (or five) to get better acquainted with the land. 

Day Tours 

History buffs will absolutely froth on Darwin’s cultural tours. Jump on the Kakadu National Park Tour and have a geez at 50,000 year old Aboriginal rock art and learn about historical customs and traditions. There’s also the Litchfield National Park Tour if breathtaking waterfalls are more your style. If you’ve got a few bob to spare, a seaplane and airboat experience comes highly recommended. 

Darwin Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Anyone who says bus tours are tacky truly hasn’t lived. Hop-on hop-off tours are the easiest way to get about town without having to hire a car – genius. The route includes the Darwin Military Museum, Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, Cullen Bay Jetty and Doctors Gully where you can feed bread to hundreds of friendly fish. There’s no limit to your hopping either so you can go wild from dawn till dusk. 

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Katherine Hot Springs

Ok this place looks like something straight out of a postcard so you best believe it’s at the top of the list. Enjoy a wholesome picnic on the banks of the river Katherine before taking a dip in the thermal pools. Activities include floating on your back, looking up at the sky and marvelling at the natural beauty of the Australian landscape, etc etc. 

Cage of Death at Crocosaurus Cove 

Don’t let the terrifying name deter you, this experience is 100% safe but probs not for the faint of heart. While the saltwater croc is snacking on other guests (kidding!) you can listen to the soothing sounds of its snapping jaws and thrashing tail. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to one without being… y’know, eaten alive. Darwin is famous for this experience and it’s undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime kinda thing (but maybe pack an extra pair of undies if ya catch my drift). 

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The Best Food Spots

You might not think it but the Top End is known for having some top eats, too. 

Looking for a lip smacking taste of some fresh NT seafood? Look no further than Crustaceans on the Wharf which has the best ocean views because you’re literally on the water. Hit up the Oyster Bar for well, oysters followed by Hot Tamale for a few fish tacos and spicy margaritas. 

Darwin Ski Club is the only place to be for sunset drinks and views of the harbour with Four Birds serving up an incredible recovery brunch the next morning. 

A local secret is Cucina Sotto Le Stelle which is Italian for ‘kitchen under the stars.’ Every week the beloved owner shares his special woodfired pizzas from a pop-up fired up oven on the Nightcliff foreshore. BYO – picnic rug and bottle of wine, Darwin will deliver the balmy night and epic sunset.  

If all this hasn’t got you hot and bothered for Darwin and its tropical climate, I’m not sure what will. Consider me sold cause’ I’m declaring Darwin the new capital of cool.