3 Days in Darwin: A Must-Do Northern Territory Itinerary

There’s so much to do in Darwin, from museums and historical sites to world-class dining experiences and easy access to the Northern Territory’s most beautiful natural wonders. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t worry. We’ve put together a great 3 days in Darwin itinerary that will help you see the highlights of the city. You’ll visit all of the city’s most beloved attractions, as well as some of its hidden gems. 

Read our guide to help plan your trip to Darwin today!

Day 1, Morning:

Big Bus Darwin: Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour

Looking for things to do in Darwin without a car? If you don’t have a car (or, even if you do), a hop-on hop-off tour of Darwin’s attractions is the perfect way to see the city. You get a quick overview of the city without the stress of driving. You’ll see all of Darwin’s major landmarks, including:

  • Darwin Military Museum
  • Mindil Beach
  • Crocosaurus Cove
  • Waterfront Precinct

Perfect for your 3 days in Darwin weekend getway or if you’re travelling with small children, this tour is the ideal way to get around. Offered by Big Bus Tours, the tour bus takes two routes; you can choose whichever suits you best. You are free to hop off at a designated stop of your choice and can hop back on anytime within the span of 24 hours/48 hours. The audio commentary about the city is educational and entertaining. 

We highly recommend this as a first-time visitor to Darwin. Book your hop-on hop-off tour now!

Big Bus Darwin hop on and hop off

Day 1, Afternoon:

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory presents an impressive collection of Aboriginal art and offers a realistic look at the devastating effects of Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Immerse yourself in the vivid culture of the Northern Territory by visiting the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and discover the unique stories of the First Nations people, their art and the effects of Cyclone Tracy.

Follow the paved nature walk along the cliff top to see military artefacts, including gun emplacements from World War II.

After working up an appetite, you can take advantage of the area’s excellent dining options. Afterwards, soak up the tranquil atmosphere of the East Point Reserve, followed by a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters of Lake Alexander or enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the lake.

Tip: This is a popular picnic area and you might want to take part in this local pastime and enjoy a day in the sun. Just remember to bring your bathers, sunscreen, your favourite BBQ fixings and some water. 

Day 1, Evening:

3-5 hour Gourmet Dinner Art Tour

In your 3 days in Darwin, you have enough time to explore the city’s finest restaurants. One way to soak in the foodie scene is on the 3.5-hour gourmet dinner tour. You’ll taste a variety of delicious dishes, explore Darwin’s stunning street art, and savour the flavours of the city with a diverse selection of dishes. By the end of the tour, you will be stuffed to the gills. This is a must for anyone looking for a unique and unforgettable culinary experience.

What’s the food like?

The tour offers a wide variety of gourmet dishes. All dietary preferences including vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free, allergy-related and others are catered for.  Please note that the selections may vary from tour to tour, but you will be served with a selection of more than 12 different dishes. You’ll also enjoy produce that has been sourced locally, from the Northern Territory, or Aboriginal bush foods.

Book your next tasting adventure here. 

PepperBerry Special Gourmet Dinner at Darwin
dragonfruit at parap markets darwin northern territory

Day 2, Morning:

The Parap Markets

Whether you’re looking for an everyday item or a one-of-a-kind souvenir, the Parap Markets have something for everyone. Visit the markets during your 3 days in Darwin and explore the vibrant and diverse atmosphere that makes them a favourite for locals and visitors. With a huge range of unique items and traditional offerings, the Parap Markets provide an exciting experience you won’t find anywhere else.

The markets are open from 8 am to 2 pm every Saturday.

The fresh produce is worth writing home about! The most popular (and maybe, unusual) dish here is a Laska. Browse the markets and enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of the city.

And don’t forget to bring your shopping list and dollars (most stalls only take cash)! 


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Day 2, Afternoon:

Litchfield Fly & Swim Waterfall Tour

The Litchfield Fly & Swim tour is a thrilling adventure that allows visitors to explore the breathtaking natural beauty of Litchfield National Park from a unique perspective. This half-day tour takes visitors on a scenic flight over the stunning Top End landscape, where they can admire the park’s cascading waterfalls, crystal-clear swimming holes, and lush greenery.

After the flight, visitors get to take a refreshing dip in the park’s pristine swimming holes, surrounded by the region’s unique flora and fauna. With an experienced guide, visitors also get to learn about the region’s rich indigenous history and culture. This tour is perfect for those looking for an exciting experience during their 3 days in Darwin getaway.

Book this spectacular experience here. 


woman in front of helicopter on waterfall at litchfield national park northern territory
amazing dinner of lobster tail on a bed of grains the darwin club northern territory

Day 2, Evening:

The Darwin Club

Do you want to enjoy modern Mediterranean seafood cuisine? At this restaurant, you can experience a variety of flavours from the Mediterranean Sea, such as calamari, mussels, and octopus. 

The restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients, so you are guaranteed to get the freshest seafood available. In addition, the chefs are highly trained and specialise in creating dishes that are a perfect balance of flavours, textures, and aromas. These combined with the picturesque setting will guarantee a memorable experience. 

Make a reservation today, you don’t want to miss this culinary adventure!

The Deckchair Cinema

Book an early dinner at The Darwin Club, or, instead eat here while watching a movie under the night sky!

Nestled under the twinkling stars in the magical Darwin Botanic Gardens, the Deckchair Cinema is a true treasure of movie magic. With its enchanting outdoor setting, this whimsical movie theatre is a haven for dreamers and cinephiles alike. Whether you’re a local or a curious tourist, the cinema showcases everything from the latest blockbuster flicks to indie gems. You can bring your own cosy blankets, cushions, and treats, or indulge in the scrumptious food and drink offerings available on-site.

Come and experience the magic for yourself!

Check the official website for the current line-up.

the deckchair cinema in darwin northern territory

Day 3, Morning:

Cullen Bay Marina 

On your 3 days in Darwin, the Cullen Bay Marina is a must-visit destination. This beautiful marina offers a stunning waterfront view and an array of dining and shopping options. If you’re planning a morning visit, you can grab a coffee from one of the many cafes in the area and stroll along the marina’s boardwalk, admiring the luxurious boats and yachts. You may even spot some dolphins playing in the water.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can book a fishing charter or a sailing trip to explore the crystal-clear waters of the Timor Sea. With its relaxed atmosphere and picturesque surroundings, Cullen Bay Marina is a perfect place to start your day in Darwin.

Day 3, Afternoon:

Crocosaurus Cove

Nestled in the heart of Darwin, lies a fantastical place where you can get up close and personal with some of the largest and most awe-inspiring creatures on Earth – the saltwater crocodiles!

At Crocosaurus Cove, you can marvel at these magnificent reptiles from the safety of purpose-built viewing platforms, or even immerse yourself in their world inside the ‘Cage of Death.’ And if that’s not enough, the Cove also offers interactive experiences, such as feeding and holding baby crocodiles, and other reptiles to explore. With its delightful mix of education and adventure, Crocosaurus Cove is a must-visit destination that will enchant visitors of all ages.

For the general entry book here.

If you’re wanting the more adventurous cage of death book here for one person or here for two

sunset at mindil beach darwin northern territory

Day 3, Evening:

Sunset at Mindil Beach

Imagine strolling along the sandy shores of Mindil Beach as the sun slowly dips below the horizon, casting a warm glow across the sky. The air is filled with the aroma of exotic foods from around the world, and the sounds of live music drift on the breeze. Welcome to the enchanting world of the Mindil Beach Sunset Market in Darwin, a place where time seems to stand still and magic fills the air.

With over 200 vendors selling everything from handmade crafts to delicious street food, this market is a true feast for the senses.

Darwin Sunset Cruise

Charles Darwin, the legendary naturalist, geologist, and biologist, is a name that evokes thoughts of evolution and scientific inquiry. His impact continues to inspire curious minds worldwide, and what better way to experience the stunning beauty of Darwin’s namesake city than aboard a luxurious cruise with Darwin Harbour Cruises?

If you’re looking for an immersive culinary experience, the Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise is not to be missed. This deluxe cruise includes a Territory-style dinner featuring fresh seafood and local produce, perfectly paired with a selection of Australian wines. As you enjoy your delicious meal, you’ll be surrounded by the stunning beauty of the harborr, and even have the opportunity to learn about the region’s rich history from your knowledgeable guides.

Couple having Dinner on Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise
darwin harbour cruise seafood platter with wine northern territory

More Sunset Cruising

For those looking for a romantic evening, the Gaze and Graze Sunset Cruise for two people is the perfect choice. You’ll set sail aboard a luxury catamaran and be treated to a selection of local seafood and grazing platters, all while taking in the stunning sunset views of the harbour. It’s the ultimate way to spend a romantic evening with that special someone.

We hope you have an amazing time on your 3 days in Darwin! Please comment to let us know if you think there’s anything we should add!

Get your daily fix of Northern Territory beauty courtesy of Norther® by following @darwinweloveyou and @northerhq. You can also check out more Northern Territory content by following Norther and joining the Darwin We Love you Facebook Group. Please sign up here to join our newsletter list to be the first to get travel hints and local recommendations. 

*Cover image by the amazing @louisedentonphotography go and check her work out at the gallery she has in the city. 

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NORTHER ® provides encouragement for travellers to value, enjoy and explore the NT in a one-of-kind way so they can honour and respect culture through care and integrity.

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