Image by Watty via Flickr
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory and well worth visiting. With a population of just over 100,000 people, Darwin is smaller than all other Australian State Capitals, but there is still plenty to see and do. The good news is that many of them are free, or can be achieved with a very low budget.
Before venturing off to other places in the Top End, it is worth spending a few days visiting Darwin. There’s plenty of options for accommodation in Darwin and places to eat, and then you can head off to some other attractions such as Katherine Gorge. So, take a look at some of our suggestions of free or low cost things to do in Darwin before when planning your next visit.
1. The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Here, you can learn all about the history of the NT, and you might just be amazed at some of the artefacts on display. Some of the fossils discovered around the Top End are the oldest known to man, and you can learn about natural history and evolution of the earth at the museum.
The art gallery houses some Aboriginal art from the region, as well as some special exhibits, including the Cyclone Tracy exhibition. You can also view a five-metre crocodile that was captured in 1979 after it had attached several fishing boats. The gallery is also placed at the harbour and is a wonderful place to watch the sunset in the evening.
The Museum and Art Gallery are both free to enter. There are also several other art galleries in the area including the Mason, Mbantua, and Aboriginal Fine Arts Galleries.
2. Watch the Sun Go Down
This might seem like a cliché, but Darwin is perfectly poised to watch a tropical sunset, with several waterfront venues facing west. Cullen Bay, East Point, and Mindil Beach are three of many places to watch the spectacular colour-cocktail of the sky as the sun disappears into the ocean and day turns into night. You could also indulge in a ‘sundowner’ drink – an Aussie tradition – to accompany the sunset, for a small price.
3. Spot Wildlife and Enjoy Nature at East Point Reserve and George Brown Botanic Gardens
East Point Reserve is a 200-hectare area that is a popular spot amongst the Darwin locals. You can walk, ride, or drive through the park; if you go at dusk, there is a good chance to spot some wallabies. The George Brown Botanic Gardens feature monsoon forests, mangroves, and woodlands, where you can spot endemic birds and discover traditional uses of local plants on a self-guided walk. There is also an orchid house and café onsite, and the Gardens are very easy to reach from the city centre.
Other Things to Do for Free in and Around Darwin
Those are our top three favourite free things to do in Darwin, but there’s still plenty more you can do in the area for low or no cost. Litchfield National Park is only a couple of hours away and certainly worth a visit if you enjoy bushwalking or swimming at the cascading waterfalls. Berry Springs Nature Park is also only a 40-minute drive from Darwin and a great place to swim in the pristine waters.
Whatever you choose to do in Darwin, we’re sure that you’ll enjoy your experience there at the Top End. Best of all is that many of the attractions are free or very low cost, so all the more reason to come and enjoy the Northern Territory’s capital city.