Not much money? Don’t let that stop you getting out and about in Darwin. There are plenty of things to do and see in Darwin for families, that don’t cost anything (or not much).
So, round up a posse, pack a picnic and get out there!
Here are 15 ideas of what to do with your family in Darwin –
1. There are plenty of parks and gardens around both Darwin City and the outer lying areas. Start with a stroll along the Esplanade or through the George Brown Botanical Gardens. The Gardens have a dedicated children’s play area too.
2 .Visit one of the many outdoor markets throughout the year. Palmerston holds Friday markets during the dry season, Parap Village has markets weekly on Saturday mornings and Nightcliff markets on Sunday mornings. Mindil Beach Markets are a must visit (during Apr-Oct) offer entertainment, great atmosphere and a killer sunset viewing spot. You can grab something to eat for the family, or if budget is tight, bring your own!
3. Stop by the State Library and see one of the new exhibits. The exhibits change regularly and they are not just about books!
4. Head down to the Darwin Waterfront precinct, where there is something for everyone in the family. Laze by the water lagoon or go for a swim or build a sandcastle, grab a coffee from one of the many cafes/restaurants or take a swim in the wave pool (costs a little). The Waterfront also hosts a range of free activities for families.
5. Grab a bike and explore Darwin on some of the dedicated cycle trails. The trails run all the way from Darwin to Palmerston. Ride one way and catch the bus back.
6. Learn about the full story of the Darwin bombings at the Darwin Military Museum.
7. Take a hamper to Jingili Water Gardens and enjoy a picnic in the shady confines of a great nautical themed playground. There is an awesome skate park next door.
8. Go and play on one of the beachside playgrounds at Mindil, Kahlin, Bill Bell Park and Nightcliff Jetty. Fun with a sunset!
9. The NT Museum and Art Gallery has a great indigenous artefact, arts and demonstrations. The recreation of the noise and power generated by Cyclone Tracy has to be experienced. The Museum also offers a range of kids hands on learning and activities.
10. Show the kids what harsh prison life was like at the Fannie Bay Gaol. Open daily.
11. Visit East Point and Lake Alexander where you can go swimming without fear of being eaten by a crocodile! It has a great undercover playground, BBQ area and shady picnic spots.
12. Head to Stokes Hill Wharf precinct and grab some dinner or check out some of the free entertainment and give-aways (wet season). Kids will love seeing the huge fish swimming around underneath them – you might even see a shark or a ray
13. Jump in the car and go for an hour drive out to Buley Rockholes in the Litchfield National Park. It is one of the best places in the Top End to go swimming. It is a series of rock pools that has water cascading through them, and is a perfect place to swim with the kids.
14. Take a tour of Parliament House at 9am and 11am on Saturday mornings during Feb-Nov.
15. Check out Palmerston Water Park. It has a free huge speed slide, BBQ’s, picnic area, water play area and the best of all The Big Tipping Bucket – the kids will love it!
Darwin is full of surprises and has a lot of FREE activities for the whole family. Enjoy exploring!