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Family Things To Do In Darwin, Australia


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Jenni Storm



Darwin, the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory, offers families an array of exciting activities and attractions to enjoy together. From exploring wildlife parks to learning about indigenous culture, Darwin has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore ten fantastic family-friendly things to do in Darwin.


Nestled on the Timor Sea, Darwin is known for its tropical climate, rich biodiversity, and vibrant cultural scene. It’s a city where the outback meets the ocean, providing a unique experience for visitors of all ages.


When planning a family trip to Darwin, it’s important to choose activities that cater to everyone’s interests and provide opportunities for both education and entertainment. Whether you have young children or teenagers, Darwin has a wide range of attractions that will keep the whole family engaged.


From up-close encounters with crocodiles and marine life to exploring museums and immersing in indigenous culture, Darwin offers an abundance of experiences that will create lasting family memories.


In this article, we will highlight ten family-friendly activities that should be on your list when visiting Darwin. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for an unforgettable family adventure!


Explore Crocosaurus Cove

When in Darwin, a visit to Crocosaurus Cove is a must for families looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure. Located in the heart of the city center, this unique attraction offers a thrilling opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most iconic reptiles.


Crocosaurus Cove is home to a wide range of crocodiles, including the famous “Cage of Death,” where visitors can enter an acrylic enclosure and be submerged in a tank with a massive saltwater crocodile. It’s a heart-pounding experience that allows you to witness these incredible creatures up close while remaining completely safe.


But the excitement doesn’t end there. Crocosaurus Cove also offers daily shows and feeding demonstrations that provide fascinating insights into the behaviors and characteristics of crocodiles. From watching the jaw-snapping action during feeding sessions to learning about crocodile conservation efforts, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained.


In addition to crocodiles, Crocosaurus Cove is home to other reptiles such as turtles, lizards, and snakes. Kids will love exploring the Turtle Billabong and having the chance to hold a baby crocodile under the guidance of experienced handlers.


For families seeking an extra thrill, the opportunity to swim with crocodiles is available (in a separate enclosure, of course). It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will certainly get the adrenaline pumping.


Crocosaurus Cove also offers educational experiences, ensuring that visitors of all ages can expand their knowledge about these fascinating creatures. With interactive displays, informative exhibits, and knowledgeable staff, you’ll come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation for Australian wildlife.


Whether you’re an animal enthusiast or simply looking for an adventure, exploring Crocosaurus Cove is an exhilarating experience that the whole family will never forget.


Visit Darwin Aviation Heritage Centre

For aviation enthusiasts and families alike, a visit to the Darwin Aviation Heritage Centre is a must. Located just outside Darwin, this fascinating museum offers a glimpse into the rich aviation history of the region.


The Darwin Aviation Heritage Centre showcases a collection of aircraft and artifacts that tell the story of Darwin’s role in aviation during times of conflict and peacetime. From World War II to present-day aircraft, the museum offers a comprehensive look at the evolution of aviation technology.


One of the highlights of the museum is the B-52 bomber aircraft, which stands as a symbol of the strategic importance of Darwin during the Cold War era. Visitors can step inside the aircraft and imagine what it was like for the crew during their missions.


The museum also houses a range of other aircraft, including a Mirage jet fighter, a Helicopter Gunship, and a Catalina flying boat. Kids and adults alike will be in awe as they explore these impressive machines and learn about their capabilities.


What sets the Darwin Aviation Heritage Centre apart is its focus on interactive exhibits that engage visitors of all ages. There are flight simulators where you can experience what it’s like to be a pilot and historic displays that recreate the atmosphere of previous eras.


In addition to the aircraft, the museum also showcases historical photographs, documents, and personal stories of pilots and crew members who were stationed in Darwin. It’s a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the significant role Darwin played in the history of aviation.


For families, the Darwin Aviation Heritage Centre offers an educational and entertaining experience. Kids can learn about the science of flight, the importance of aviation in wartime, and the technological advancements that have shaped the industry.


With friendly and knowledgeable staff on hand to provide insights and answer questions, a visit to the Darwin Aviation Heritage Centre is an immersive journey into the world of aviation that will captivate the entire family.


Enjoy a Day at the Wave Lagoon

When the tropical heat gets too intense, head over to the Wave Lagoon in Darwin for a day of fun and relaxation. Located in the Darwin Waterfront Precinct, this artificial wave pool offers a refreshing oasis for families to cool off and have a splashing good time.


At the Wave Lagoon, you can experience the thrill of swimming in ocean-like waves without the worry of unpredictable tides or dangerous currents. The pool generates a variety of wave patterns, from gentle ripples to more powerful waves, creating an exciting environment suitable for all ages and swimming abilities.


For families with young children, the shallow section of the pool provides a safe area for little ones to paddle and play. The kids will love jumping over the waves or simply floating on inflatable tubes.


If you’re feeling more adventurous, grab a bodyboard and ride the waves or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding. The Wave Lagoon offers equipment rentals, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own gear.


For those who prefer a more laid-back experience, there are also designated areas with gentle waves where you can relax and soak up the sun. Grab a poolside lounge chair and unwind as you watch the waves roll in.


In addition to the pool, the Wave Lagoon also features a sandy beach area, perfect for building sandcastles or catching some rays. The beach is equipped with shaded areas and picnic tables, making it an ideal spot for a family picnic or a BBQ lunch.


The Wave Lagoon is staffed by lifeguards who ensure the safety of all visitors, giving parents peace of mind as their children enjoy the water. It’s a family-friendly environment that allows everyone to have a great time while staying safe.


With its stunning waterfront location, crystal clear water, and vibrant atmosphere, the Wave Lagoon is a must-visit destination for families looking to make a splash in Darwin. So grab your swimwear, sunscreen, and sense of adventure, and get ready for a fun-filled day of waves and laughter at the Wave Lagoon.


Discover the Territory Wildlife Park

If you and your family have a love for wildlife and nature, a visit to the Territory Wildlife Park is a must when exploring Darwin. Situated in Berry Springs, just a short drive from the city center, this wildlife sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to encounter Australia’s diverse flora and fauna in a stunning natural setting.


The Territory Wildlife Park covers over 400 hectares of bushland and is home to a wide range of native animals, including kangaroos, wallabies, crocodiles, and a variety of bird species. As you wander through the park’s well-maintained walking trails, you’ll have the chance to observe these incredible creatures up close in habitats that mimic their natural environments.


One of the highlights of the park is the Flight Deck, where you can witness awe-inspiring free-flight bird shows featuring raptors, parrots, and other avian species. These captivating displays provide insights into the behavior and abilities of different bird species, leaving both children and adults amazed.


For an immersive experience, take a walk through the treetops on the Birds of Prey 360-degree viewing platform. From this elevated vantage point, you can observe these magnificent birds in their natural element, soaring through the sky and perching in the trees.


In addition to the bird exhibits, the Territory Wildlife Park also offers opportunities to learn about and interact with other native animals. Get up close to a saltwater crocodile during the feeding sessions at the Crocodile Pool, or have a close encounter with friendly kangaroos and wallabies at the Walk-through Habitat.


The park also features educational presentations, where expert guides provide insights into the habits, adaptations, and conservation efforts of various animal species. Kids will have the chance to participate in hands-on activities and learn about the importance of preserving Australia’s unique wildlife.


For a truly immersive experience, the Territory Wildlife Park offers a Nighttime Experience, where you can observe nocturnal animals and participate in a guided tour exploring the park after dark. It’s a rare opportunity to witness the activities of creatures that come alive when the sun sets.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an animal lover, or simply looking for a family-friendly adventure, a visit to the Territory Wildlife Park is an incredible experience. With its diverse range of wildlife, informative exhibits, and stunning natural surroundings, the park offers a unique opportunity to connect with Australia’s incredible biodiversity.


Take a Scenic Drive along the Stuart Highway

For families who love road trips and exploring the great outdoors, a scenic drive along the Stuart Highway is an absolute must when visiting Darwin. Stretching over 2,800 kilometers from Darwin to Adelaide, the Stuart Highway offers breathtaking landscapes, fascinating attractions, and the opportunity to immerse yourself in Australia’s vast and diverse outback.


Starting in Darwin, the Stuart Highway will take you through remote and rugged regions, showcasing the raw beauty of the Australian outback. The highway is well-maintained and offers plenty of rest stops and facilities along the way, making it an easily accessible and enjoyable journey for families.


As you embark on your drive, you’ll be greeted by stunning scenery, including expansive desert plains, ancient rock formations, and rugged mountain ranges. The ever-changing landscapes will provide a sense of awe and wonder that will captivate the whole family.


One of the popular attractions along the Stuart Highway is the Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park. This breathtaking natural wonder features a series of stunning gorges, carved by the Katherine River over millions of years. You can take a cruise along the river, go swimming, or even try your hand at canoeing, giving you a chance to witness the dramatic beauty of the gorge up close.


Further along the highway, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the iconic Devils Marbles, a collection of large granite boulders scattered across the desert landscape. These unique formations stand as a testament to the forces of nature and provide a picturesque backdrop for family photos.


Another must-visit stop is Alice Springs, an iconic outback town nestled in the heart of Australia. Here, you can learn about the rich Indigenous culture of the region, visit the Reptile Centre to interact with snakes and lizards, or even take a hot air balloon ride for a bird’s-eye view of the stunning landscape.


Throughout the drive, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings, such as kangaroos, emus, and an array of bird species. It’s not uncommon to spot native animals along the highway, adding to the sense of adventure and exploration.


Whether you choose to embark on a short portion of the drive or make it a longer journey, a scenic drive along the Stuart Highway is an unforgettable family experience. From the natural wonders to the cultural attractions, this road trip will allow you to create lasting memories and connect with the awe-inspiring beauty of the Australian outback.


Visit the Darwin Waterfront Precinct

Located just a stone’s throw away from Darwin’s city center, the Darwin Waterfront Precinct offers a vibrant hub of entertainment, dining, and recreational activities for the whole family to enjoy. Situated on the edge of the harbor, this modern and lively area is a must-visit destination for families looking for a mix of relaxation and fun.


The Darwin Waterfront Precinct is home to a picturesque swimming lagoon, a sandy beach, and a palm-fringed promenade, providing the perfect setting for a day of sun-soaked enjoyment. The swimming lagoon boasts a safe swimming area with lifeguards on duty, making it ideal for families with young children.


For water enthusiasts, the precinct offers a range of water sports activities. You can hire paddleboards, kayaks, or even take a leisurely cruise around the harbor on a water bike. The calm, turquoise waters are perfect for exploring and enjoying the serenity of the harbor.


When hunger strikes, the waterfront precinct has an array of dining options to satisfy every palate. From casual cafes and quick bites to fine dining restaurants, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes. You can indulge in fresh seafood, sample local cuisine, or simply grab an ice cream and soak up the relaxed atmosphere.


In addition to the beach and water activities, the Darwin Waterfront Precinct also offers a range of family-friendly events and entertainment throughout the year. From live music performances to outdoor movie nights, there’s always something happening to keep you entertained.


For a unique cultural experience, visit the Stokes Hill Wharf area within the precinct. Here, you can explore the WWII Oil Storage Tunnels, which have been converted into a museum showcasing the history and significance of Darwin during wartime.


The Darwin Waterfront Precinct is also home to a variety of shops, boutiques, and galleries, offering the perfect opportunity to pick up a souvenir or browse local artwork and crafts. You can also take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, soaking in the stunning waterfront views and enjoying the warm tropical breeze.


With its beautiful surroundings, abundance of activities, and lively atmosphere, the Darwin Waterfront Precinct is a fantastic destination for families. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, try your hand at water sports, indulge in delicious food, or simply enjoy the vibrant ambiance, a visit to this precinct is sure to make your Darwin experience memorable.


Explore the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by spending a tranquil day exploring the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens. Located just a short drive from Darwin’s city center, these gardens are a lush oasis that showcases the unique flora and tropical beauty of the region.


The George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens span over 42 hectares and are home to a stunning collection of more than 4,000 plant species, including some rare and endangered varieties. As you wander along the meandering pathways, you’ll be surrounded by a vibrant display of colorful flowers, towering palms, and lush foliage.


One of the highlights of the gardens is the Rainforest Gully, where you can immerse yourself in a lush tropical rainforest environment. This tranquil oasis is home to ferns, orchids, and other plant species that thrive in the shaded, moisture-rich conditions.


For families, the Botanic Gardens offer a range of activities designed to engage and educate. Kids will love exploring the Sensory Garden, where they can touch, smell, and interact with a variety of plants with different textures and fragrances.


The Botanic Gardens also feature a dedicated Children’s Garden, complete with a playground, interactive exhibits, and a sand pit. It’s a fantastic space for kids to learn about nature, play, and let their imagination soar.


In addition to the gardens, the precinct is home to the Darwin Botanic Garden Visitor and Information Centre, where you can learn about the history of the gardens and pick up valuable insights on local plant species and gardening tips.


As you stroll through the gardens, keep an eye out for wildlife sightings, such as colorful bird species and butterflies. The gardens provide a peaceful habitat for numerous animals, adding to the natural charm and serenity of the surroundings.


The George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens also offer various events and workshops throughout the year, including guided tours, plant sales, and educational programs. Check the calendar of events to see if there are any family-friendly activities happening during your visit.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a gardening lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, a visit to the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens is a delightful experience for the whole family. So take a leisurely stroll, breathe in the fragrant air, and appreciate the beauty of nature in this tropical oasis.


Learn about Indigenous Culture at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of Australia’s Indigenous peoples by visiting the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) in Darwin. This world-class institution offers an invaluable opportunity to learn about the diverse cultures and artistic traditions of the region’s Indigenous communities.


The MAGNT is home to an impressive collection of artifacts, artworks, and exhibitions that celebrate the deep connection between Indigenous peoples and the land. As you explore the museum, you’ll have the chance to gain insights into the traditions, beliefs, and history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


One of the highlights of the MAGNT is the Indigenous Art collection, which showcases a wide range of contemporary and traditional Indigenous artworks. From intricate paintings to striking sculptures, these pieces provide a visual representation of the stories, spirituality, and cultural practices of the artists.


Through the exhibitions, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the significance of Dreamtime stories, the importance of kinship systems, and the ways in which Indigenous communities connect with the environment. The galleries often feature rotating exhibitions, ensuring there’s always something new to discover.


In addition to the art collection, the MAGNT also houses the acclaimed Strehlow Research Centre, which contains a vast collection of anthropological records and artifacts. This invaluable resource allows visitors to delve into the historical and cultural documentation of Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.


For families, the museum offers engaging and interactive displays specifically designed for children. Kids can participate in hands-on activities, listen to Dreamtime stories, and learn about the traditional tools and techniques used in Indigenous art-making.


The MAGNT also hosts regular cultural events, workshops, and performances that showcase traditional dance, music, and storytelling. These events provide a unique opportunity to witness the living traditions of Indigenous cultures and connect with the vibrant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the Northern Territory.


As you explore the museum, take the time to visit the exhibit dedicated to the Cyclone Tracy, which devastated Darwin on Christmas Eve in 1974. This exhibit provides a historical context and pays tribute to the resilience of the local community.


A visit to the MAGNT is a powerful and educational experience that highlights the importance of Indigenous cultures and their ongoing contribution to Australian society. It offers a respectful and insightful representation of Indigenous history and perspectives, providing visitors with a broader understanding and appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of the Northern Territory.


Visit the Defence of Darwin Experience

Step back in time and gain a deeper understanding of the significant role Darwin played during World War II by visiting the Defence of Darwin Experience. Located within Darwin’s historic East Point Military Precinct, this immersive museum offers a fascinating insight into the city’s wartime history and the impact of the war on the local community.


The Defence of Darwin Experience takes visitors on a journey through time, beginning with the events leading up to the Japanese bombing of Darwin in 1942. Through interactive displays, multimedia presentations, and authentic artifacts, you’ll learn about the strategic importance of Darwin as a military base and the experiences of the servicemen and women who defended the city.


The museum provides a poignant account of the devastating bombings that occurred in Darwin, highlighting the scale of the attacks and the impact they had on the local population. Through firsthand accounts and personal stories, you’ll gain a sense of the resilience and bravery of the people who endured this traumatic period in history.


One of the highlights of the Defence of Darwin Experience is the two-story immersion experience, which re-creates the atmosphere of a bunker during an air raid. With the use of audiovisual technology and realistic effects, you’ll feel as if you’re in the midst of the wartime action, providing a visceral understanding of the challenges and intensity faced by those who defended Darwin.


As you explore the museum, you’ll have the opportunity to view a wide range of artifacts, including military equipment, vehicles, and personal items. From tanks and artillery pieces to uniforms and letters, these objects offer a tangible connection to the past and bring the wartime experience to life.


For families, the Defence of Darwin Experience offers educational programs and activities designed to engage younger visitors. Kids can participate in scavenger hunts, hands-on exhibitions, and interactive displays that provide a sense of what life was like during wartime.


Outside the museum, you can explore the East Point Military Precinct, which includes historic gun emplacements, tunnels, and observation posts. Take a stroll along the coastal path and soak in the stunning views of Darwin Harbor while reflecting on the significance of this site during World War II.


A visit to the Defence of Darwin Experience is a powerful and educational experience that pays tribute to the sacrifices and experiences of those involved in the war effort. It offers a chance to reflect on the resilience of the Australian people and the importance of preserving and learning from our shared history.


Enjoy a Sunset Cruise on Darwin Harbour

End your family’s adventure in Darwin with a magical sunset cruise on Darwin Harbour. Known for its breathtaking views and stunning sunsets, a cruise along the harbor is the perfect way to relax, unwind, and create lasting memories.


As you embark on your sunset cruise, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Darwin’s coastline, dotted with picturesque beaches and lush greenery. The harbor is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including dolphins, dugongs, and various bird species, providing opportunities for wildlife sightings throughout the cruise.


As the sun begins to set, the sky comes alive with vibrant hues of orange, pink, and purple, casting a magical glow over the water. The peacefulness of the harbor combined with the captivating colors of the sky creates a serene and romantic atmosphere that the whole family will appreciate.


During the cruise, knowledgeable guides will provide commentary on the history, culture, and ecology of the area, giving you a deeper appreciation of Darwin’s rich heritage and natural wonders. You’ll learn about the indigenous significance of the harbor and the important role it played in shaping the city’s development.


Many cruises offer onboard amenities and activities to enhance your experience. From complimentary drinks and snacks to live music and entertainment, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Kids can participate in interactive activities or simply marvel at the beauty of the surroundings.


Some cruise operators also provide dinner options, allowing you to indulge in a delicious meal as you sail across the tranquil waters. A sunset dinner cruise offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a relaxing family meal while being surrounded by picturesque scenery and the soothing sounds of the harbor.


For those seeking a more adventurous experience, some cruises offer the chance to go fishing or try your hand at crabbing. Your crew will provide all the necessary equipment and guidance, ensuring a fun and exciting family activity.


As the cruise comes to an end, you’ll witness the final moments of the sunset and the transition to a star-filled night sky. It’s a breathtaking moment that will leave you with a sense of awe and appreciation for the natural beauty of Darwin.


Whether you choose a luxurious dinner cruise or a casual sunset sail, a cruise on Darwin Harbour is a perfect way to end your family’s adventure in this tropical paradise. Relax, marvel at the stunning scenery, and create memories that will last a lifetime as you bid farewell to the enchanting city of Darwin.



Darwin, Australia is a treasure trove of family-friendly activities and attractions that cater to all ages and interests. From thrilling wildlife encounters to educational museum experiences, there is an abundance of opportunities for families to create lasting memories in this tropical city.


Exploring Crocosaurus Cove allows families to get up close and personal with incredible crocodiles, while the Darwin Aviation Heritage Centre offers a captivating journey through the history of aviation. The Wave Lagoon provides a fun-filled day of water activities, and the Territory Wildlife Park allows families to immerse themselves in Australia’s rich biodiversity.


For those seeking a scenic adventure, a drive along the Stuart Highway offers stunning landscapes and opportunities for exploration. The Darwin Waterfront Precinct provides a perfect combination of relaxation and entertainment, and the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens offers a serene oasis to discover the region’s unique plant life.


Visiting the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory provides a window into the rich Indigenous culture and artistic traditions, while the Defence of Darwin Experience allows families to learn about the city’s wartime history. Finally, ending your Darwin adventure with a sunset cruise on Darwin Harbour offers a magical and unforgettable experience.


With its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural beauty, and diverse range of activities, Darwin is an ideal destination for families looking for an exciting and educational getaway. Whether you’re exploring wildlife parks, learning about Indigenous cultures, or enjoying the beauty of the city’s surroundings, Darwin offers something for everyone.


So pack your bags, embrace the tropical climate, and embark on a family adventure in Darwin. With an array of family-friendly activities and attractions, this vibrant city is sure to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.