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How to Spend 3 Days in Darwin

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How to Spend 3 Days in Darwin
Three days in Darwin gives you ample time to tick off major city sights, explore the Northern Territory’s famous national parks, and learn more about the region’s rich Aboriginal heritage. Here’s the ultimate 3-day Darwin itinerary.

Day 1: Hop between the sights 
A hop-on hop-off bus tour is a great way to orient yourself if you’re visiting Darwin for the first time, and allows you to create your own sightseeing itinerary. Disembark to admire the views at Doctors Gully and Cullen Bay Marina, or stroll around Darwin Botanic Gardens. Alternatively, stay aboard for the entire loop and enjoy unobstructed views from the top deck. 
 
At lunchtime, hop off at Darwin Waterfront Precinct to enjoy a seafood lunch at one of the ocean-view restaurants. Don’t forget to visit the beach, where you can cool off with a swim in the lagoons—Darwin’s coast is plagued with stingers, so don’t try to swim elsewhere.

In the evening, head to the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, held on Thursday and Sunday evenings between May and October. Here, you’ll find stalls selling art and handicrafts, a huge variety of street food, and live entertainment.

Day 2: Explore Kakadu National Park
The wild landscapes and ancient wonders of Kakadu National Park, Australia’s largest national park, are a 3-hour drive from Darwin, which makes it possible to tick off the highlights on a day trip. For the best value, choose a tour that includes hotel pickup and lunch, or maximize your time by splashing out on a scenic flight or helicopter tour—the quickest and most memorable way to reach the park. 

Most tours include a cruise along the Yellow Water Billabong or the East Alligator River (Guluyambi), where you’ll have chance to spot crocodiles in their natural habitat. Other must-sees include waterfalls such as Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls, where you can dive in for a swim; the ancient Aboriginal rock art sites at Nourlangie Rock or Ubirr; and the Warradjan Aboriginal Centre. 

Litchfield National Park and Katherine Gorge National Park are also do-able on a long day trip from Darwin. 

Day 3: History and Heritage 
As the gateway to Australia’s Top End, Darwin is an important historic city; its Aboriginal heritage dates back thousands of years. For those who want to immerse themselves in Aboriginal culture, a full-day cruise to the Tiwi Islands is an obvious choice; you’ll visit local communities, sample traditional foods, and take part in handicrafts workshops. 

Alternatively, dedicate your last day to visiting Darwin’s museums—the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, the Darwin Military Museum, the Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Centre, and the Darwin Aviation Museum are some of the best. 

Spend your final evening admiring the city from the water. Opt for a romantic sunset cruise around Darwin Harbour, during which you’ll cruise past Stokes Hill Wharf, the Esplanade, and Fannie Bay, and enjoy a buffet dinner with a backdrop of Darwin’s illuminated city skyline. 
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Katherine Day Tour from Darwin including Katherine Gorge CruiseDay Cruises

Katherine Day Tour from Darwin including Katherine Gorge Cruise

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Take a full-day detour from Darwin to explore the beautiful natural playground of Katherine Gorge. Cruise between ancient sandstone cliffs for an up-close perspective of Aboriginal rock art and crocodiles lounging on the riverbanks. Take a dip in a natural swimming hole at the base of Edith Falls, and recharge with a delicious picnic lunch. Get a glimpse of local cattle culture on a coach tour of Katherine, and pass through the historic gold mining town of Pine Creek.
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  • 14 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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$196.93 
From  
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  • 14 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Kakadu, Nourlangie and Yellow Waters Tour from DarwinDay Trips

Kakadu, Nourlangie and Yellow Waters Tour from Darwin

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Experience the natural wonders and ancient cultural heritage of Kakadu — Australia’s largest national park. On this full-day tour from Darwin, cruise along the Yellow Water billabong while spotting crocs basking on the banks. Admire ancient Aboriginal art at the ‘desert museum’ of Nourlangie Rock, and delve deeper into indigenous history at the Warradjan Aboriginal Centre.
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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$202.58 
From  
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Litchfield National Park Day Tour from DarwinDay Trips

Litchfield National Park Day Tour from Darwin

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Explore a landscape of ancient rock formations, monsoon forests, and cascading waterfalls on this full-day tour from Darwin to Litchfield National Park. Marvel at massive termite pillars, take a dip in natural swimming holes, and explore rock pools at the base of the sparkling falls. Enjoy lunch at the Litchfield Café and learn of the Aboriginal legends that surround this pristine landscape.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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$132.00 
From  
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Darwin Hop-on Hop-off Bus TourBus Tours

Darwin Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

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Go sightseeing in Darwin with a hop-on hop-off pass that is valid for 24 or 48 hours. Cruise to top spots including Crocosaurus Cove, the waterfront precinct, and Darwin Military Museum. Enjoy unobstructed views from the open-top double-decker bus and informative onboard commentary. Simply hop on board to travel from sight to sight, and explore in depth on your own by hopping off at any of the convenient stops. Opt for two different tour lengths to suit your sightseeing schedule.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$27.00 
From  
$27.00 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Darwin History and Wartime Experience TourHistorical Tour

Darwin History and Wartime Experience Tour

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Enjoy a history tour from a unique angle: the seat of a World War II truck. The vehicle sets the scene for many of the places you’ll drive past and the stories your guide will tell you. See important wartime sites and get the chance to visit a military museum (extra cost). An ideal tour for history buffs and travelers curious to learn more about Darwin.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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$35.29 
From  
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Tiwi By Design Day TourDay Trips

Tiwi By Design Day Tour

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Enjoy a rare chance to visit the Tiwi Islands and witness an Aboriginal community that holds on tightly to its traditions. Located off the coast of Darwin, the Tiwi Islands experience is led by an indigenous guide who shares local history and traditions. Partake in a traditional morning tea with Tiwi Islanders before visiting the Tiwi Museum and joining Aboriginal artists for an art-making workshop. You can also shop for Tiwi paintings, fabric, carving, pottery and clothing at island prices (own expense).
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$246.34 
From  
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Kakadu National Park Scenic Flight & CruiseAttraction Tickets

Kakadu National Park Scenic Flight & Cruise

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Board a plane and take off into the skies to look out from your window seat over rugged Northern Territory landscape during this full-day, guided flight-seeing tour that includes a cruise in Kakadu National Park. Land directly in the park and switch to a boat to traverse the picturesque water system and see the wild animals who live here.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
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$628.21 
From  
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Royal Flying Doctor Service Tourist Facility: Two Iconic Territory StoriesAttraction Tickets

Royal Flying Doctor Service Tourist Facility: Two Iconic Territory Stories

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The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) provides primary and emergency medical services by plane to Australia’s most remote outback areas. On this tour, visit the RFDS tourist facility in Darwin to learn more about the work of the RFDS team, hear heroic rescue stories, and enjoy interactive exhibits including a Virtual Reality (VR) presentation and the chance to explore inside an RFDS aircraft.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$19.76 
From  
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Darwin Military Museum: General Entry TicketAttraction Tickets

Darwin Military Museum: General Entry Ticket

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History lovers will enjoy visiting the Darwin Military Museum. Learn about the history of Darwin through several audio-visual exhibits, where you’ll hear the experiences of Darwin’s residents who lived through wartime in Australia. You can also enjoy walking through the tropical gardens, where military machinery and vehicles is on display. This is an interesting activity for travelers who want to learn more about Australian history.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$10.59 
From  
$10.59 
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Walk the Darwin Botanic GardensNature and Wildlife

Walk the Darwin Botanic Gardens

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Learn all about the Top End’s tropical flora on this walking tour with a local guide at the beautiful Darwin Botanic Gardens. Your guide will also help you notice the colorful birds that live amid the trees. An ideal tour for travelers who want to experience more than just a walk in the park and learn the stories behind it.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$34.59 
From  
$34.59 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Kakadu National Park Helicopter Tour from DarwinDay Trips

Kakadu National Park Helicopter Tour from Darwin

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If you’re driving from Darwin to Kakadu National Park, you can expect to spend up to six hours on the road. Shave half (or more!) of your travel time off with this helicopter flight from Darwin. Follow the Adelaide River from the sky before arriving at grand Kakadu. Enjoy birds-eye views of the park’s wetlands and gorges, including the impressive Ubirr lookout.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$1,694.06 
From  
$1,694.06 
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures


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