Darwin is Australia’s capital of tropical cities and is in the Northern Territory state. From its beautiful sunsets and harbors to the history of Darwin bombing during WWII, Darwin has a lot to offer. As part of my long weekend for Anzac day, I decided to head to Darwin. In this post, I have tried to list down my 2 days itinerary.
PIN for later reference
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How to get to Darwin?
- Flight – There are frequent International and domestic flights between Darwin and the other major cities. Darwin International Airport services both as International and Domestic terminals. The cheapest and economical flight provider is Jetstar.
- Train – Darwin can also be reached by train. ‘The Ghan‘ is the train journey that covers a total distance of 2979 kilometres and passes through to Darwin.
Before I proceed further with my post, I would like to mention:
- This itinerary does not include the flight travel time.
- 2 days is too less to see and explore Darwin.
- For one day trips from Darwin, refer my post on the day trips from Darwin.
Day 1 (Saturday)
I started my first day with the Katherine Gorge tour organised by AAT Kings. The pick up was at 6 AM from my hostel (Youth Hostel Association (YHA) Darwin) and the tour was a full on 14 hours day tour.
- The first stop was at the Adelaide River War Cemetery. It was a beautiful memorial in honor of all the men and women who had lost their lives during the World War II (WWII).
- The second stop was at Leliyn (Edith Falls). The falls is in the Nitmiluk National Park. The name ‘Nitmiluk’ means ‘Cicada Place’, that comes from the Jawoyn people. The Jawoyn people are the custodian owners of the national park.
- After lunch at Nitmiluk Visitor center, the third and final stop was taking the cruise along the Katherine Gorge. The Katherine Gorge is also in the Nitmiluk National Park.
- Katherine Gorge is a gorge carved through the sand stones and is around 320 kilometres from Darwin. It is made up of 13 gorges, but as part of the tour we explored only 2 of the 13 gorges. It has many fresh water crocodiles and we did see a baby fresh water crocodile.
- The colorful stand stones made it a perfect background for the pictures.
- The gorge also has few Jawoyn people’s paintings. Each painting describes a story.
- It was an eventful long day. And I was dropped back at my hostel at the end of the day.
- Tour Operator: AAT Kings.
- Cost: AUD 280 per adult.
- Duration of the tour: 14 hours.
- My experience: AAT Kings are a very well known tour agency in Australia and the tour is planned and organised really well.
Day 2 (Sunday)
- After having a heavy breakfast at The Ducks Nuts, located on Mitchell Street, I reached the Crocosaurus Cove at 9:30 AM. Crocosaurus Cove is a reptile park with wildlife exhibits of reptiles, turtles, and saltwater crocodiles. I had booked the ‘Cage of Death’ – Australia’s only crocodile dive at 10:30 AM.
- Since I had some time for the dive, I decided to do a photo shoot with a baby freshwater crocodile.
- Note: Even though I took pictures with a baby crocodile then, I will not do this now as I did not like the tape around the baby crocodile and the way it is used as an object.
- It was time for my dive with the crocodile. The dive experience started with some safety briefings and paperwork after which I was taken into the cage. Chopper was the name of the crocodile with whom I cage dived with. The experience of the Cage dive with the biggest predator salt water crocodile was mind-blowing and amazing.
- After the dive, it was time to explore the city for which I had booked another tour of Darwin city sight seeing. I was picked up at 12:30 PM by a driver of AAT Kings tour bus. The tour showcased all the city highlights.
- The first stop was at a lookout in Charles Darwin National Park. The national park is known for the WWII bunkers and has a display of WWII memorabilia.
- The second stop was at the Darwin Aviation Museum. The museum has a nice collection of notable aircraft. The highlight of the museum is the display of a massive B-52 Bomber. It has been permanently loaned by United States of America.
- The third stop was at the East point. The lookout has some spectacular views of Darwin city and the ocean.
- The fourth stop was at Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. I would say this is one of the must sees in Darwin. The gallery is the largest display of Aboriginal artwork in Australia. The museum and art gallery has a restaurant and the Chicken and mushroom pie was absolutely delicious and mouth-watering.
- The fifth and final stop was at the George Brown botanic garden. The garden was established 130 years ago and it provides a huge range of plants and flowers.
- The city tour was very well organised and informative. It definitely provided an insight into Darwin’s well known city sights and the history.
- Tour Operator: AAT Kings.
- Cost: AUD 95 per adult.
- After the city tour, I got dropped at Esplanade park to watch the most hyped Darwin’s sunset. The park has a lookout where the sunset can be viewed and enjoyed. And I must say the sunset lived up to its expectations and was as dramatic as possible.
Safety for solo female travelers
I would say I did find Darwin a bit unsafe when compared to other cities in Australia, especially in the city. Even though I have solo traveled to Darwin twice, I would recommend being a bit cautious and knowing the surroundings.
I hope this post helps all the travelers who try to make the best out of the short weekends. And Darwin is definitely a beautiful city and should be part of every traveler’s bucket list.
P.S. When Sydney and other parts of Australia was freezing, Darwin was boasting itself with an amazing hot weather.