Whether you’ve never been before or you’re a regular visitor, a visit to the top end is a must-do for every Australian at some point, and makes for the perfect, fun filled family holiday. But as with any family holiday, one of the great struggles is figuring out just how you’re going to keep the kids entertained. The good news is that with a place as interesting as Darwin, you’re presented with a range of activities that will keep the whole family entertained. We’ve put together a list of eight of the best ways to keep the kids entertained when you’re heading up north to Darwin.
1. Darwin Festival
If you happen to be visiting Darwin between August 12 and 29, you’ll have a great opportunity to experience the amazing Darwin Festival. This vibrant, energetic celebration has a range of events that the whole family will enjoy, and the littlies might find the Teddy Bear’s picnic in Botanical Gardens, opening concert with Indigenous performers of the Under the Banyan Tree storytelling events particularly interesting. There is plenty to see and do there for you as well!
2. Lake Alexander
Odds are your visit to Darwin is going to be warm, and Darwin’s weather pretty much guarantees that Lake Alexander will be a good place to go to get out of the heat. The surrounds are nice and shady for watching your kids swim, and the beach is nice and safe with a sandy area that will be perfect for your kids to play in. Lake Alexander also has a playground nearby, in case your kids get sick of the water (but let’s be honest, they’re probably not going to any time soon).
3. Take a stroll around the botanic gardens
While Darwin’s famed Botanic Gardens took a bit of a hit due to Cyclone Tracey, it’s generally recognised that they’re back bigger than ever. Kids will enjoy exploring the green lushness of this beautiful natural rainforest with plenty of pools and secret pathways to explore, as well as a tree house that they’re bound to have plenty of fun in. The words “tropical wonderland” barely seem to do Darwin’s Botanic Gardens justice, making it a premium option for you and your family.
4. Take a ride on Darwin’s Tour Tub
If you want a cool way to get between attractions consider Darwin’s Tour Tub, the local tour bus that visits all the important sites in and amongst this fantastic holiday destination. It’s a great, low-stress way to get your kids acquainted to the new destination, as well as helping them get their bearings to the new area (and a particularly good option when you consider the bus’ air conditioning).
5. Crocodylus Park and Zoo
While getting up close and personal with a crocodile might not necessarily be your cup of tea, it’s the sort of thing that will have your kids enthralled and provide them with memories that will last the rest of their life. Kids can watch crocodiles being fed, learn about them in a museum, and even feel crocodile skin in a display. The zoo also is home to a range of additional animals including iguanas, turtles, and tigers (just to name a few) making it a great day out for the whole family.
6. Deckchair Cinema
If you’re lucky enough to be in the top end from April to November, be sure to check out Darwin’s famous Deckchair Cinema, which broadcasts movies every night from 7.30pm on the glorious Darwin Harbour. Ticket prices are generally very reasonable, making this a great way to keep the kids entertained without having to break the budget. Go have yourself a beautiful evening under the stars enjoy the latest Hollywood feature.
7. Mindil Beach Markets
During the dry season, Mindil beach comes alive every Thursday and Sunday with Darwin’s famous Mindil Beach Markets, with arts and crafts, food, music, and culture providing an immersive, sensory experience that the whole family will enjoy. This is arguably the best way to experience the different tastes and flavours of Darwin and get a sense of how this melting pot of culture has formed to become such a good destination for the whole family today.
8. Go for a stroll through Darwin
You’re never going to run short of beautiful walks to try your feet at in and around Darwin. Most walks also include playgrounds and picnic areas, which provide an extra incentive for children who aren’t being too cooperative on their walks and give tired walkers a well earned break. You can explore Darwin’s famous coastal areas, visit the amazing mangrove forests and if you’re lucky you may even be able to spot some of the fascinating wildlife that live in this unique, environment.