13 Things To Do with the Kids in Darwin
Darwin, the sunny tropical hub of Australia's north, is the perfect destination for unforgettable family adventures. Whether you're travelling with little explorers or adventurous teens, this offbeat city has a treasure trove of activities for all generations to enjoy. Dive into the croc cage, learn about Australia’s darkest day, swim in wild waterholes, and connect with culture when you visit the Top End.
Create lasting memories in the heart of the tropics when you make Darwin your next family holiday. And if you need a place to stay, we know just the place for families of all ages and sizes.
Go crazy at Crocosaurus Cove
Dive into a heart-pounding adventure at Crocosaurus Cove! Located in the heart of Darwin, this is a thrilling experience for the whole family where you’ll get up close and personal with Australia's saltwater crocodiles, some of the world's most fearsome reptiles. From the safety of the Cage of Death, you'll dive into the depths with these giants. Being in the water with these real-life dinosaurs is an unforgettable, adrenaline-pumping encounter.
Find peace in the Botanic Gardens
For a serene escape with the little ones, look no further than the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens. Nestled in Darwin's lush surroundings, this verdant paradise offers a calm journey through diverse plant life. Stroll along meandering paths, discover the Water Garden, and keep an eye out for the vibrant birdlife. The gardens are a perfect spot for picnics, educational explorations, and simply unwinding amidst the beauty of nature.
Surf’s up at the Darwin Wave Pool
When it's time to cool off and catch some waves, the Darwin Wave Pool or Wave Lagoon is the place to be. Situated in the heart of the city, it's a tropical oasis offering a safe and salty aquatic adventure, free from crocs and stingers. Kids can ride the waves, splash around, and even take surf lessons. With its sandy shores and crystal-clear waters, it's a piece of paradise right in the heart of Darwin.
Catch your lunch at Barramundi Adventures
Have you ever wanted to cast a line and catch the Top End's prized barramundi? Well, you’re in luck. Barramundi Adventures is a land-based barramundi-fishing farm, set at the southern end of Darwin harbour in Berry Springs. This unique fishing experience gives you two hours to have a go and catch your own lunch or dinner.
Kick back at the Deckchair Cinema
Darwin's iconic Deckchair Cinema is the ultimate outdoor movie experience. With 250 comfy deckchairs and mesmerising harbour views, it's the perfect setting for movie lovers. Operated by the Darwin Film Society, this independent cinema brings exclusive films to local audiences, spanning from family favourites to captivating Australian and foreign films. Under the twinkling night sky, you’ll enjoy these cinematic treasures in a unique setting.
Dive into history at the Darwin Military Museum
On February 19, 1942, more than 188 Japanese aircraft launched a massive attack on Darwin's harbour and airfield. This was the largest foreign assault ever on Australian soil, and the local military museum will take the kids on an educational journey back in time. Discover profound insights into this pivotal moment in Australian history and the broader military heritage of the region.
Splash about at a local waterhole
Nature is your playground in and around Darwin. Just 50 kilometres from the city, Berry Springs Nature Park makes for a relaxed day trip during the dry season. Here you’ll find inviting freshwater pools, picnic areas, and remnants from World War II when more than 100,000 men were camped here.
Connect with Aboriginal culture
Unlocks more than 65,000 years of history with Pudakul Aboriginal Tours. This hands-on experience engages little ones with Aboriginal traditions and customs. Kids will be fascinated as they learn to play the didgeridoo, try spear-throwing, go foraging for bush tucker, craft rope and dilly bags from natural materials, and hear captivating stories of the local people.
Enjoy the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets
Taking place on Thursdays and Sundays during the dry season, the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets offer an array of entertainment, from musical performances and pony rides to fire breathers and street food. Take in the market while snacking on snow cones and churros as the sun sets on another day in the north.
Explore two stunning national parks
Just 150 kilometres east of Darwin, Mary River National Park is a natural playground for families and wildlife enthusiasts with waterways, wetlands, and billabongs that teem with diverse birdlife… and crocodiles. Explore the Northern Territory's largest saltwater crocodile population with fun family-friendly wildlife cruises or a fishing charter.
Or 110 kilometres southwest in Litchfield National Park you can dive into the pandanus-fringed plunge pools at Florence and Wangi Falls, or cool off with the gentle cascades at Buley Rockhole. On land explore the famous termite mounds, take in the view from lookouts, and hike a short trail or two together.
Ride the Skyline Ferris Wheel
Soar above Darwin's beauty on the Skyline Ferris Wheel, a towering 35-metre marvel. It offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the harbour and cityscape. During the dry season there’s even more family fun at Stokes Hill Wharf with a nine-hole Australiana-themed mini-golf course and a pop-up pizza bar – that’s the perfect family night out!
Visit the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory
At the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, you can expect exceptional permanent and rotating exhibits. Wander through the impressive NT flora and fauna exhibit, then delve into the poignant story of Cyclone Tracy's impact on the city in 1974. The museum's Discovery Centre caters to young minds with interactive educational exhibits designed just for kids. The best part? Entry is free.
Feed the fishy fish
Since 1981, Aquascene Fish Feeding Sanctuary has been making the most of a natural phenomenon in Doctors Gully. The kids will love tossing feed out into the water and watching the big fish gobble it up. Here they can wade into the water and feel the fish playfully tickle their feet. Thankfully, these fish have no teeth!
Create lasting memories in the heart of the tropics when you make Darwin your next family holiday. And if you need a place to stay, we know just the place. Oaks Elan in Darwin offers comfort and convenience for families of all ages and sizes. Choose from spacious hotel rooms or self-contained 1- and 2-bedroom apartments.