Darwin is a fun place to explore with kids and has lots of kid friendly activities and things to do with kids close by. It’s also a great opportunity to teach your children about other cultures and get outdoors and connect with nature!
Things to do in Darwin with Kids
Swim & Play: The Darwin Waterfront Precinct is on the foreshore of Darwin right near the CBD. It has big grassy areas, a FREE recreation lagoon or alternatively a wave pool that has a small fee to enter. The Darwin Waterfront Precinct is also wheelchair accessible via lifts and ramps.
Crocodiles: Crocosaurus Cove is a popular place with families as its right in the CBD so it’s easy to get to and your kids will get a chance to get up close with crocodiles. Upgrade to the VIP experience to see behind the scenes and give your kids a chance to hold and learn about northern territory animals! I rang and confirmed wheelchair access is available at Crocosaurus cove (excluding the platform area). Scroll down for where to see crocodiles in the wild near Darwin.
Cinema: The Deckchair Cinema is an awesome not for profit outdoor cinema located right on the Darwin foreshore – you can watch the sunset from your chair and you might even see a possum run around the cinema! They play movies 7 nights a week in the dry season and sometimes do an early kid friendly session so check the program before you go. The cinema is also licenced so its parent friendly too 😉
Indigenous Culture, learn & museums: The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is FREE and located just 4km from the city centre (its accessible via local bus). It has interesting displays relevant to the history, culture and nature of the Northern Territory. While it doesn’t have kid specific areas like museums in the bigger cities kids will enjoy the giant crocodile replica and there are family friendly activities on certain days of the months.
The NT Parks and Wildlife Commission has a fabulous FREE program called ‘Territory Parks Alive’ which runs from June to August throughout the Parks around Darwin. It’s a chance to go on a free guided walk to learn about the wildlife and ecosystems of the area. The program always includes activities in a variety parks near Darwin. Download the guide from their website.
Markets: The Mindil Beach Markets are a fun place take kids to watch the sunset, try food from one of apparently 1200 meal choices and enjoy free entertainment like fire twirling and bands.
Things to do near Darwin with Kids
If you are hiring a car or keen to jump on a tour there are also many places to visit and things to do near Darwin with kids!
Connect with Nature: Litchfield National Park is only 115km away from Darwin and it a beautiful park with fascinating termite mounds, rainforest walk, swimming holes (at the right time of the year), pounding waterfalls, gentle cascades, walks and lookouts.
Top End Wildlife: The Territory Wildlife Park is the sister park to Central Australia’s Desert Park and is a great place to get up close and personal with top-end wildlife in natural looking habitats. Check out the bird of prey show and allow plenty of time to wander through the different ecosystem displays.
Fogg Dam Conservation Area is one of the more accessible areas to spot birds and animals in the wild and they often have FREE guided talks available in the dry season. If your lucky you may also spot a crocodile sunning itself.
Crocodiles: To see crocodiles in the wild head to the Adelaide River (about 70km from Darwin) where some of the tour operators have a licence to feed wild ‘jumping’ crocodiles. Alternatively head further afield to the Mary River Wetlands (100kms out of Darwin) to see crocodiles up close in the wild. You can also do organised tours to both these locations.
Indigenous Culture Connect: Jump on a tour with Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours which teaches you about Indigenous Culture in an interactive environment where you get to learn about things like basket weaving, didjeridoo, spear throwing and bushtucker. Check out their 5 star rating on trip advisor. You can self drive or book with transfers from Darwin.
Luxury Travel: If you can afford to splurge but are short on time you may like to book a 1 day air safari to Kakadu and Yellow Waters where you can do a cruise to see crocodiles and birds, learn about Indigenous culture and enjoy the spectacular Kakadu landscapes from above.
Wild Swimming near Darwin: Berry Springs Nature Park is swimming area popular with local about 50km from Darwin, as is Howard Springs about 27km from Darwin. The number 1 rule in the top end is ALWAYS check with local authorities that its safe to enter the water at the time of your visit ! Visit the Crocwise website for more information.
Get Active: Casurina Coastal reserve is one of the closer parks to town and lots of beaches and walking paths
How to get around Darwin
There are public buses to various areas around Darwin and they offer single use and daily tickets.
For families it may be cheaper and definitely more versatile to hire a car but check any parking costs at your hotel when budgeting for this option. Also be aware child booster seat laws can differ in each state.
If you don’t like to drive but would like to see areas out of Darwin, book tours which include transfers to and from your hotel or accommodation in Darwin.
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Disclaimer: This page is a researched travel article, I have not personally experienced everything included. This page contains a small number of affiliate links.