I wanted to visit the Northern Territory in Australia ever since seeing Crocodile Dundee, and I finally made it!
I succeeded in seeing four and a half waterfalls, a rockhole, a gorge, a lagoon, fresh and salt water crocodiles, kangaroos, wallabies, a monitor lizard, and several giant termite mounds all in under 72 hours. People who know me well, know that I love waterfalls, and I’m happy to say that Darwin and the surrounding area exceeded my expectations in that department.
Darwin is certainly not short on hostels and you can find plenty on the main street. Chili’s backpackers hostel is an inexpensive and basic accommodation. However I’d recommend Melaleuca, the more exciting hostel across the street.
Then head to Crocosaurus Cove to see some of the indigenous fish and reptiles up close and personal. Don’t forget to pay a little extra to dive with a salt water crocodile from the safety of the glass cage of death! You can also feed all the baby crocodiles! For a refreshing swim, head to the lagoon and escape from the extreme heat and humidity of Darwin. Along the way you’ll pass the Parliament house and a memorial for the 1942 bombing of Darwin. There’s not much to do in Darwin city, but the surrounding National Parks are well worth the trip and you book tours through the hostels!
Optional Day Trips/Excursions from Darwin
- I highly recommend the day tour to Litchfield National Park (100 km South West of Darwin), which includes stops at Florence Falls, Tolmer Falls, Wangi Falls, Buley Rockhole and the ever exciting termite mounds. Other then the educational pit stop at the termite mounds where you’ll learn a great deal about the complex lifestyle of termites, you’ll spend the day viewing, swimming in and climbing waterfalls. At Florence Falls you can float in the natural pool at the bottom of the twin falls while taking in the surreal and breathtaking view. At Wangi Falls if you climb about half way up one of the waterfalls you’ll discover a hidden plunge pool. Unfortunately, you can’t swim in Tolmer Falls because it’s home to several salt water crocodiles. You’ll end the day at Buley Rockhole, which is basically the Australian version of Slide Rock in Sedona, Arizona. There you can swim in the pools alongside monitor lizards in between the mini falls, and do some “cliff jumping” off of the rocks.
2. Tour of Edith Falls and Katherine Gorge about 300 km South of Darwin. Edith Falls is also a nice swimming spot although the waterfall was much less impressive then those at Litchfield. However you spend the afternoon on a boat ride through the stunningly beautiful Katherine Gorge where you’ll spot fresh water crocodiles and 8000 year old aboriginal rock art.
Overall Darwin is party-oriented backpacker town and even though there is plenty to do in the surrounding areas, I think three days is a more than a sufficient amount of time to get a good feel for what the Northern Territory has to offer. Along the way you’ll see several wallabies, crocodiles and other wildlife, and experienced some beautiful waterfalls!