Darwin
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Darwin History & Heritage

Katherine Gorge & Edith Falls Full-Day Tour from Darwin

1. Katherine Gorge & Edith Falls Full-Day Tour from Darwin

Discover a network of 13 gorges carved into billion-year-old sandstone rock by the Katherine River of Nitmiluk National Park on this scenic full-day sightseeing tour from Darwin. During the tour you will learn about the Aboriginal culture abundant in the area and see rock art sites dotted throughout the park. With its rugged landscapes, dramatic waterfalls, and lush gorges, the Nitmiluk National Park is a haven for nature lovers, with plentiful flora and fauna. Travel south through tropical country, passing former World War II airstrips en route to the Adelaide River. Make a short stop at the Adelaide River War Cemetery to pay your respects to those killed in the air raids of Darwin in the 1940s. Continue to Edith Falls for a refreshing swim in the paperbark and pandana-lined waterhole (conditions permitting). After an inclusive lunch, enjoy a 2-hour scenic cruise through the Katherine Gorge, looking for freshwater crocodiles sunning themselves on the banks of the river. Keep your eyes open for the many interesting species of birdlife. Enjoy a brief tour of Katherine, hub of the region’s cattle and farming industries. Then, travel via the historic mining town of Pine Creek to an evening stop along the Adelaide River. From May through September lunch can be taken on board your cruise, while dinner is available at your own expense at the evening stop, before your transfer back to Darwin.

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Darwin: Bombing of Darwin WW2 Tour with Harbor Cruise

2. Darwin: Bombing of Darwin WW2 Tour with Harbor Cruise

Travel back in time to 19 February 1942 and uncover the Bombing of Darwin on this half-day tour. Learn about how 2 Japanese air attacks on this forgotten military base killed 243 people and destroyed the city. Now a modern and vibrant city, Darwin still bares the scars of its history, which you will discover on this tour. The tour begins with an introduction into the Bombing of Darwin, as you listen to stories and information provided by local historians. Later, explore the sites that were hit by the Japanese air raids and remember those who lost their lives. Next, head to the Charles Darwin National Park to see bunkers and other WW2 relics before visiting the acclaimed Defense of Darwin museum as well as the East Point Military precinct and the Myilly Point Heritage precinct. The tour is concluded with a 1-hour cruise through Darwin Harbor which passes the historic Stokes Hill and Fort Hill wharf areas. You’ll also sail by the wreck sites of the SS Neptuna and USS Peary, the old flying boat base at Doctors Gully, and finally to Cullen Bay where you can see the gun emplacements from the water.

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Darwin Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tickets

3. Darwin Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tickets

Discover Australia's gateway to the Northern Territory's "Top End" on board the hop-on and hop-off sightseeing bus. Venture into the lush jungle at the Botanical Gardens, enjoy exotic street food at the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets and get up close to saltwater crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove. Learn the fascinating local history at the Military Museum and much more!  Enjoy unlimited rides for the validity of your ticket, and benefit from 12 strategic stops. Join the Morning Tour (Red Route) to see the best of Darwin from the city through to Fannie Bay. Climb aboard the Afternoon Tour (Purple Route) and follow the route of the morning buses before you venture further out to the East Point Reserve. Learn about Darwin's fascinating history, culture and geography from the entertaining and informative pre-recorded digital commentary, broadcast in English via on-board speakers. Choose from a 1-day (Classic) or 2-day (Premium) ticket to suit your schedule. Buses run every 35-45 minutes from April to September and every 60-90 minutes from September to April (subject to local traffic conditions). Catch a bus anytime from 09:00 to 17:45 between April and September, and from 09:00 to 16:30 from September to April. Bus Stops: • Tourist Information Center • Crocosaurus Cove • Doctor’s Gully, Aquascene Fish Feeding • Cullen Bay Jetty • Cullen Bay Apartments, Myilly Point Heritage Precinct  • Casino, Mindil Beach Sunset Markets and Botanical Gardens • Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory • Military Museum - Defence of Darwin Experience (90-minute tour only) • Parap, Parap Markets (markets held on Saturdays only) • Stokes Hill Wharf • Waterfront Precinct • Fort Hill Wharf (Cruise Ship Terminal)

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From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Cultural Day Tour by Ferry

4. From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Cultural Day Tour by Ferry

Tour the Tiwi Islands community and experience a traditional Tiwi welcome smoking ceremony. Visit the Tiwi Design art center and Catholic mission precinct in the company of a local guide. The Tiwi Islands ferry departs Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal, located 5 minutes from Darwin's city center. Boarding commences at 7:30 AM for a prompt 8:00 AM departure. Bring a book, sit back and relax on the 2.5-hour journey to the Tiwi Islands, 80km north of Darwin. Sandwiches, pies, coffee, drinks, and snack foods are available for purchase from the ferry kiosk.  Upon arrival, your local Tiwi guide will greet you on the beach and take you on a walking tour of the community. For those with mobility impairments, don't be disheartened as it is only a few minutes' walk between locations.  From the ferry landing, wander up to Tiwi Design for a traditional welcome ceremony and morning tea (damper and a cuppa). Your guide will then show you local paintings and teach you about the culture and history of the Tiwi People. On to the historic Catholic mission precinct before returning to Tiwi Design for lunch and a 'behind-the-scenes' screen printing session with a local Tiwi artist. Create your own screen-printed Tiwi-style art piece to take home – a memento of your day on the Tiwi Islands.  You also have the opportunity to purchase unique and traditional Tiwi artworks including paintings, fabrics, carving, pottery and clothing at island prices. Return to the ferry at 15:00 PM for the journey back to Darwin, arriving back in Cullen Bay at 5:45 PM.

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Darwin: 1-Hour Bombing of Darwin Cruise

5. Darwin: 1-Hour Bombing of Darwin Cruise

This one-hour Bombing of Darwin cruise departs Stokes Hill Wharf at 11:00 AM. After leaving the wharf, you will uncover the historic Stokes Hill and Fort Hill wharf areas, the Pearling Luggers, wreck sites of the SS Neptuna and USS Peary, the old flying boat base at Doctors Gully, and HMAS Coonawarra, before eventually arriving at Cullen Bay. With real-time commentary from local guides, this cruise takes in Darwin Harbour’s World War II history. For an immersive experience select to try the Darwin Bombing virtual reality experience. You will later be free to disembark at Cullen Bay to join the hop-on hop-off bus, or stay aboard and return to Stokes Hill Wharf at 12:15 PM.

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Darwin: City Sights and Jumping Crocodile Cruise

6. Darwin: City Sights and Jumping Crocodile Cruise

Join a sightseeing tour in the morning for the perfect introduction to the city of Darwin, with expert commentary from a local guide. See the lush Botanic Gardens, the Chinese Temple, and discover the other historic sites of the city including the Darwin Aviation Museum. Explore the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, which features a vast collection of Aboriginal art, visual arts, and exhibits on the Northern Territory's history. After the tour, you will be dropped off in the city center for a 45-minute break and opportunity to have lunch. In the afternoon, head 60 kilometers outside of Darwin to the Adelaide River, home to over 1,600 Crocodiles and the famous "Jumping Crocodiles." Embark on a river cruise and be amazed as these awesome creatures launch themselves out of the water. See these prehistoric creatures at close range. Afterwards, visit the Wetlands Visitor Centre for a spectacular view over the Marrakai Plains. Then, make your way to the Fogg Dam Nature Reserve to experience a wetland ecosystem up close, followed by a journey back to Darwin.

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Discover the City of Darwin: Half-Day City Coach Tour

7. Discover the City of Darwin: Half-Day City Coach Tour

Join a city sights tour for the perfect introduction to Darwin, with expert commentary by a local guide. Your Driver Guide will point out significant landmarks and will speak about Darwin’s rich history and culture throughout. Darwin Aviation Museum: This is one of the major aviation museums in Australia. The main display is a B-52 Bomber, on permanent loan from the United States Air Force. You can view some rare amateur footage of the first air-raid in Darwin, and original footage from Japanese archives. There are 19 aircraft on display, from Mirage and Sabre jet fighters to a Royal Australian Wessex helicopter. Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory: home to internationally renowned artistic, cultural and scientific collections and research programs. You’ll get to see the largest permanent display of Aboriginal artwork in Australia as well as an eclectic range of visiting exhibitions. Darwin Botanic Gardens: find out how these gardens have survived numerous cyclones and the direct effects of World War II. Because the site extends inland from the sea to a plateau, it provides a range of planting environments and is one of a few botanic gardens in the world which has marine and estuarine plants naturally in its grounds. Not only will you have the chance to see some unique and exotic plants but even some local wildlife!

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Darwin: Harbor Highlights Cruise

8. Darwin: Harbor Highlights Cruise

Immerse yourself in the history, habitat and modern-day intrigue of Darwin, a tropical city nestled at the top of Australia. Enjoy a 1-hour interactive cruise through the largest natural harbor in the Southern Hemisphere and be stimulated by contemporary stories as well as those from times gone by. Board your vessel at Stokes Hill Wharf, one of Darwin's iconic historical locations, and enjoy vistas of Darwin's Waterfront Precinct from Kitchener Bay. Transit between Stokes Hill and Fort Hill Wharfs, and then allow your local crew to use the tide, the wind and the season to select a route to maximize your Darwin Harbor experience. Cruise past Fisherman's Wharf into a mangrove waterway to explore this intriguing environment, home to a wonderful pristine eco-system. Your Captain will then turn up the speed to take you out into the harbor proper, where you will hear stories of WW2, Cyclone Tracy, Darwin's Naval history and the buildings of the Darwin City Seascape. Return to Stokes Hill Wharf 1 hour later.

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Darwin: Royal Flying Doctors Service Entry Ticket

9. Darwin: Royal Flying Doctors Service Entry Ticket

The Royal Flying Doctor Service Darwin Tourist Facility provides an insight into the history of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Bombing of Darwin Harbour. This exciting development at Stokes Hill Wharf brings to life 2 quintessential Australian stories. The 1st story is the Royal Flying Doctor Service, affectionately known throughout Australia as the RFDS. Founded by the Reverend John Flynn, it began its aeromedical operations in the Northern Territory in 1939. The 2nd story featured is the Bombing of Darwin Harbour on 19th February 1942. The bombing of the harbor brought destruction to the city of Darwin. Many of the experiences and stories of what happened that day are told through state of the art technology. Take a self-guided tour of the exhibition, knowing that the staff members are always available to assist as required. When you arrive, a staff member will provide an outline of the facility, explain the timings for the holographic cinema sessions and the Window of the 1942 bombing platform. Enjoy a range of interactive and VR experiences that bring history to life. Learn about the heroes and survivors who experienced the raids. Admire a decommissioned RFDS Pilatus PC-12 that allows visitors to experience a fully equipped aeromedical plane.

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Darwin: Small Group 2-Hour Heritage Walk

10. Darwin: Small Group 2-Hour Heritage Walk

Departing from the meeting point in Raintree Park, begin the 2-hour guided tour as you walk the paths of pioneers. Your guide will cheerfully share their passion for the town they call home as they share its history including World War II bombings, Cyclone Tracy, and toady's multicultural atmosphere.  Discover many of the remaining buildings such as the old courthouse and police station, Brown's Mart theater, and the Palmerston Town Hall ruins, all of which have been painstakingly reconstructed. View Government House, Parliament House, and the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory on a journey through the streets of this modern tropical city.  There are many hidden treasures to see on foot and plenty of opportunities to capture photographs of the public artworks, architecture, historic buildings, tropical plants, and wildlife.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Darwin

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What people are saying about Darwin

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 71 reviews

We gad an enthusiastic and well informed tour guide on both the bus and boat sections. A very detailed presentation was given at each stop that was most enjoyable - and a trip around Darwin that helped us get our bearings!

This is the most amazing experience! The guides and people you meet are absolutely wonderful! The sharing of their culture is so generous and interesting!

Very well presented. I felt the plane, pilot and patient experience was well done

Absolutely brilliant day, bus driver icing on the cake.

Well worth doing, so much interesting information.