Best 8 Day Trips from Darwin

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From rugged escarpments to quirky outback towns, majestic waterfalls and croc-filled billabongs, experience life unleashed with our top eight-day trips from Darwin.  

The Island of Smiles: Tiwi Islands 

As soon as you step foot onto Melville Island, you’ll understand why it’s referred to as the ‘Island of Smiles’... it radiates out of everyone you meet.  With quite possibly the friendliest population in the Tropical North, a thriving arts culture, fishing lodges, pristine coastal landscapes and an exuberant passion for football, the Tiwi Islanders deliver culture and community in spades.  

Going off the beaten track on a day trip to the beautiful Tiwi Islands is a true bucket list moment and a number of very good Darwin-based tour operators offer cruise or fly packages depending on how much time you have to spend.. 

Insider Tip: For the ultimate souvenir, pick up a gorgeous carved memorial sculpture and take a piece of Tiwi culture into your home.  

Waterfalls and Waterholes at Litchfield National Park 

If waterfalls, pristine swimming holes and tropical settings are your thing, then hit the road to Litchfield National Park. Only a 90 minute drive from Darwin, it's a must-do on any trip to the Top End.  Our Insider Tip: Make sure you stop at the towering magnetic termite mounds for the ultimate photo opp before exploring Florence Falls, or cooling off in the cascading waterholes at Buley Rockhole. And for those that like to wander, there are plenty of easy walking trails to pick from - just don't forget to BYO drinking water! 

A Berry Nice Picnic Spot  

About 40 minutes from Darwin, Berry Springs Nature Park offers a picturesque setting for a picnic. Cool off in clear and shady freshwater pools and enjoy one of the cooling ice-creams from the kiosk. If you’re up for some adventure, explore the area on foot - the looped walking track takes you through monsoon forest and woodlands. 

Insider Tip: No trip to mango country is complete without stopping at Crazy Acres mango farm.... where you can sip, slurp or suck on fresh mangos and mango ice-cream and tour the farm. 

Spectacular Sandstone Country  

Darryl Somers had it right when he said: “You’ll never never know... if you never never go...”  

If you’re prepared for an early start and a highway that’s as straight as an arrow, then set course for Nitmiluk National Park - home to the famous Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge - and soak in some of the most beautiful scenery in the north. Explore by foot, boat (in the wet season it is spectacular) or helicopter. If you’re running short on time, hire a canoe to get a whole new perspective.   

You’re in Croc Country  

From Darwin, it's around 70 kilometres to the Mary River wetlands - one of the best places to spot the NT’s famous bird life in their natural habitat. There are more than 250 species of birds in the wetlands, so a cruise is a good idea if you're a keen twitcher. For those that like to stretch their legs, walking trails take you through the tranquil rainforest and lead to a number of lookouts overlooking the wetlands. 

Before you leave home, don’t forget to book a seat on the famous Jumping Crocodile Cruises – you’re in croc country after all! Over one (spine-tingling) hour, you’ll cruise along the Adelaide River as experienced guides tell you about one of the Territory’s most polarising critters. Here, giant crocs lurk just beneath the water’s surface and jump up to snap for the ultimate photo opp.

A True-Blue Territory Experience  

Humpty Doo - it’s all in the name really - is a tiny outback town only 45 minutes from Darwin’s city centre that’s known for its larger-than-life local pub.  The Humpty Doo Hotel is home to the world’s biggest set of water Buffalo horns, boisterous beer drinking competitions, plenty of characters and down-to-earth outback hospitality. It’s also not unusual to see horses in the front bar. It's a must-do on the road to Kakadu or a great afternoon out in the Top End. 

Arnhem Land Art

This big day trip starts with an early rise and a Territory sunrise and ends with a whole body glow after a great day out. You’ll head to Kakadu National Park, cross the famous croc-filled Cahills Crossing into Arnhem Land. As you hit the red dirt track, you'll leave any airs and graces at the border and immerse yourself in the beauty of the landscape enroute to Gunbalanya.

Thei tiny town of Gunbalanya is home of the world-famous Injalak Art Centre – check out their Etsy store – where talented First Nation’s Artists create stunning works of art. Bring your wallet and a big bag for all your goodies.  Only five minutes’ drive from Gunbalanya, Injalak Hill is home to numerous rock art sites that have been home to Kunwinjku people since time immemorial. Your local guide will unlock the dreaming legends and tell stories of their ancestors. Here you are up-close-and-personal with the art and with the artists themselves and it really is something special.

Serious Street Art Inspo

If you're in Darwin and looking for something a little different, take yourself on a self-guided walking tour of Darwin’s extraordinary street art. 

Since 2017, the Darwin Street Art Festival has brought vibrancy and colour to the city's walls, with international, national and local artists contributing to the city's open air art gallery. Start by downloading the Darwin Street Art festival App, then head to Austin Lane - home to some of the largest murals in the collection.  

Stay in Darwin  

Located conveniently along Darwin’s bustling waterfront, Adina Darwin Waterfront and Vibe Darwin Waterfront put you in the thick of the action. Both are just metres from Stokes Hill Wharf’s eateries and tourist attractions, Darwin’s famous Wave Lagoon, and a great selection of restaurants and bars.  

For those who want to be in the city centre, the Travelodge Resort Darwin, is close to shopping and the CBD tourist attractions. The spacious resort has 136 hotel rooms and 32 self-contained townhouses, as well as two swimming pools and alfresco dining at Treetops Restaurant. 

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