Nestled in the far north of the Northern Territory, Darwin is where tropical paradise meets the outback. It’s the perfect place to escape to enjoy the warmer weather and experience an authentic ‘Aussie adventure’.
Come face-to-face with some of the biggest Saltwater Crocodiles in the world. As the only place in Australia where you can do a croc dive, Crocosaurus Cove really is a bucket-list attraction. The aptly named ‘Cage of Death’ is sure to get you out of your comfort zone as you share the same water as one of the most dangerous reptiles in the world.
This unique and thrilling experience takes place during feeding time when the crocodiles are most active. You’ll start by being suspended in a clear cage above the enclosure, before being lowered down into the water for a closer encounter. And for a full 15 minutes, you’ll be swimming alongside a hungry, feeding croc – with only an acrylic cage separating you. Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Each croc has a name and a different personality, and you’ll get to see this first-hand. Keep your eyes peeled for Chopper the croc. Named after the infamous Australian criminal Chopper Reid, Chopper the croc has more than a few battle scars…. including two missing feet.
If you have a need for speed, then this one is for you. This day of adventure with the Outback Floatplane Tour company is the real deal. Their package includes helicopters, airboats, floatplanes and off-road buggies. It’s a great way to get the most out of your trip to Darwin if you have a limited amount of time.
The airboat portion of the tour will see you speed along the waters of Sweets Lagoon. And then meander channels of the rainforest and wetlands as you look out for passing crocodiles and wildlife. These super-fast boats are powered by air propulsion and are sure to blast your socks off. This Aussie experience is the perfect combination of natural scenery and adrenaline rush.
If you’re looking for a totally bonkers experience that you’ll never forget, then wander down to Doctor’s Gully at high tide and hand-feed fish straight from the wild. This wacky but wonderful tradition began over 50-years ago when a local resident started throwing leftover bread out to a few mullet at high-tide. Years on and these local fish are still returning every evening, in search of a free meal. The fish here are not shy and you will literally have them eating out of the palm of your hand.
Oh, and did we mention there are hundreds of them? From mullet, milkfish and catfish to bream, barramundi and even the occasional grouper, this really is a rare sight. Aquascene runs these sessions and provides bread for feeding, plus commentary on the different fish types and their habits. Be sure to bring your camera along, as your family and friends will need to see it to believe it.
Get off the beaten track and learn about modern-day life in a traditional Aboriginal community. The Tiwi Islands is a chain of small islands north of Darwin, two of which are inhabited. The indigenous Tiwi people have lived here for over 7000 years and were the very first recorded indigenous Australians to make contact with Dutch explorers in the 18th Century. The Tiwi people have managed to successfully combine both traditional and modern lifestyles, making them a unique community. You can learn about their rich culture and fascinating history at their local art galleries or on a tour of the islands led by a local Indigenous guide.
Whilst there may not actually be that many tourist attractions on these islands, that’s all part of their laid-back charm.
Ok, so we know that looking at termite homes really doesn’t sound like a ‘bucket list experience’, but trust us on this one. These cathedral-like structures are over two meters tall and there are hundreds of them scattered across the Northern Territory.
Built by magnetic termites, these structures are flat, with their thin edges pointing north-south and wide backs east-west. This is to minimise their sun exposure, keeping them nice and cool in the summer. That’s some smart termites!
Litchfield National Park, located near Darwin is one of the best places to get a good look at these unique structures. You really can’t get much more ‘outback Australian’ than visiting Termite Mounds in the desert!
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