Darwin’s Rural Area encompasses the towns of Humpty Doo, Howard Springs and Berry Springs. It covers the area beyond Palmerston and is situated in and around the Stuart and Arnhem Highways. They are all located approx. 30-45 mins drive from Darwin CBD and offer some great recreational activities, sporting facilities, natural features and heaps of picnic opportunities.
Howard Springs Nature Park has been a recreational venue for the people of Darwin since World War II. The Nature Park includes facilities that will provide visitors and families with hours of fun. There are shallow rock pools where you can cool-off in an attractive setting and a playground which uses existing trees as features.The playground includes a slide, flying foxes and a tree-house. There is also a toddler pool and monsoon forest walk. You can enjoy the shady picnic areas with views to a beautiful spring-fed waterhole. Its diverse habitats include monsoon forests and extensive woodlands, providing a valuable wildlife habitat.
Humpty Doo, with a population of over 5,000 and a location only 38 km from the centre of Darwin, has effectively become a commuter town on the road to Kakadu National Park. Located in the heart of Humpty Doo, opposite Taminmin College is the Humpty Doo Village Green. Have fun in the skate park, children’s play equipment or unwind with a picnic or BBQ’s.
At McMinns Lagoon Recreation Reserve you can step back in time and enjoy the natural wonders of this very special place. If you have species on your bird watching list that you have not crossed off, this is the place you will find them! McMinns Lagoon is also well known for the many butterflies that flutter by.
Livingstone Recreation Reserve is located on Livingstone Rd, just off the Stuart Highway, approximately 50 kms from Darwin City.
Amenities include a large open hall, playground, oval, beach volleyball court and picnic area. The ‘34 Mile Bistro’ is open Friday nights serving meals from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
Berry Springs Recreation Reserve is located on Cox Peninsula Rd, and is a favourite relaxation spot for locals and visitors alike. With two large spring-fed pools and a small waterfall fringed by pandanus and monsoon rainforest it makes for an ideal spot for leisurely barbecues, swimming and walking. There are playgrounds, an oval, tennis and basketball courts and plenty of open space. Berry Springs is also the home of the world acclaimed Territory Wildlife Park, nestled on 400 hectares of natural bushland and showcasing the wildlife of Northern Australia in their natural habitats. There are six kms of walking trails and a free shuttle train to link the 26 major exhibits. Allow at least four hours to explore the park. Presentations and displays start from 10am daily.
The beachside town of Mandorah is near the Peninsula’s tip. Within easy access of Darwin, either by a 20 minute ferry trip from Cullen Bay, or 128 kms along the Cox Peninsula Road. There are excellent beaches, creek and blue water fishing opportunities and convenient boat ramp access at Mandorah. You can explore natural springs, wetlands and termite mounds rivalling those near Litchfield.