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Must do experiences while house sitting in Darwin

Feature photo: Must do experiences while house sitting in Darwin

If you're wondering what to do in Darwin during your house sit, the good news is you'll be spoiled for choice.

Perched on a harbour five times the size of Sydney’s, Darwin is famous for its multicultural food, outdoor markets, waterside attractions and year-round holiday vibe. 

Here’s our list of Darwin’s must-do experiences. 

Make like a local & head to the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets

Find locally made treasures and indulge your taste buds at Darwin's most famous market. Park yourself on the beach with something to eat from any of the myriad food stalls as a glowing Darwin sunset sinks into the sea. There are street performers, musicians and market stalls selling all sorts of unique treasures and it’s an excellent way to soak up the tropical Darwin vibe. The markets start at 4 pm and go until about 9 pm or later, Thursdays and Sundays from April to October.

Discover Darwin’s art scene

Darwin is renowned for its art, including hidden galleries of contemporary street art featuring paintings from highly collectable Aboriginal artists. The Museum & Art Gallery of the NT is set in a scenic location overlooking Fannie Bay and is home to internationally renowned artistic, cultural and scientific collections. See ‘Sweetheart’ the 5.1-metre male Saltwater Crocodile, a legendary part of recent Northern Territory history. Discover the Cyclone Tracy exhibit with an eerie sound booth of actual recordings of the cyclone, and view the important collection of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art.

Street art on a wall of Gurrumul by Andrew Bourke & Jesse Bell. Beside it is another piece of street art by Wendy Yunupingu.

Relax at the Darwin Waterfront Precinct

One of Australia’s best waterfront facilities is right in the heart of Darwin, just a five-minute walk from the city. Cool off in the swell at the popular wave pool set on a spacious grassed area with lots of shade. Just meters away you can swim in the saltwater lagoon, a small bay that’s netted to prevent stingers from entering. The lagoon is open year-round so you can take a dip before recharging at nearby cafes, enjoying a craft beer in the tavern, or relaxing in the shade of the lush parklands.

If you’re not too tired after all that, you can visit nearby Stokes Hill Wharf which has fabulous views over Darwin Harbour.

Meet the wildlife

Have an up-close encounter with the animals of the Top End at the Territory Wildlife Park, a 45-minute drive from Darwin on the road to Litchfield National Park. The Park is a mix of zoo-type exhibits and natural bush, with attractions spread out around a 4km loop road linked with free shuttle trains and natural walking paths. Walk through treetop aviaries, stroll around a natural lagoon and walk into the tunnel beneath an aquarium to stand nose to nose with a 4-metre saltwater crocodile. Afterwards, call in at the adjacent Berry Springs Nature Park for a swim in the springs or stop in for lunch or dinner at the friendly Berry Springs Tavern.

Enjoy a sunset cruise with dinner and bubbly

The sunsets in Darwin are arguably the best in Australia so to make sure you get the perfect sunset experience, head out onto the water on a cruise across Darwin Harbour. You can sit out under the sails or in air-conditioned comfort and toast the setting sun with a glass of sparkling wine before enjoying a delicious barbecue dinner while soaking up the ever-changing views.

sun setting in a red sky over the water with boats at Mindil Beach.

Get up close to a jumping crocodile

Drive about an hour from Darwin on the scenic Arnhem Highway towards Kakadu to experience one of Darwin’s most popular tourist attractions - a jumping crocodile cruise on the Adelaide River. From the safety of your boat, watch as saltwater crocodiles leap from the water while spotting birdlife such as the Jabiru, Kites and Sea Eagles.  

While here why not try the other nearby must-dos like the bird and wildlife displays at the free Window on the Wetlands Centre. Alternatively, there’s the two-hour Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural tour, a 100% fully Aboriginal operated family business that delivers an original Indigenous culture and nature experience rich with local information and knowledge.

Explore Litchfield National Park

This beautiful park is a must-do on any visit to Darwin and is an easy 1.5-hour drive from the city. A favourite with locals, this park is home to stunning waterfalls, 4WD tracks and scenic walks however the main attraction here are the crystal-clear swimming holes. 

While here, take a 4WD to discover the Lost City, a series of large sandstone outcrops that evoke the remains of an ancient civilisation and wander through towering termite mounds. Entry is free.

Interested in house sitting in Darwin? Check out our current Darwin House Sits.

We had some great sits again during the five months we spent in Australia during 2015. You still are the best site and we had great hosts who have become good friends. Although we are now back home in Gibraltar we will be back with you at the end of 2016 ready for our next trip in 2017. Many thanks for your continued good service and easy to use site. See you again soon. Patricia and Howard

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