Do the Top End – 6 day Itinerary

Darwin sunsets

So you want to explore the Top End?

Do the Top End with our favourite 6 day ‘quick visit’ itinerary.  It’s a surefire way to jam-pack your short stay with the very best Top End experiences and take home a swag of memories.

You want to see all there is to see in Darwin city and a few other much ‘talked about’ destinations in the Top End?  No doubt you’ve heard so much about the shenanigans in Darwin, the great sunsets, our perfect winters, the famous Mindil markets, our museums and historical points of interest in this tropical city?

But wait, there’s more … you want to try to fit in a trip to Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks to experience some of our best landscapes, extraordinary wildlife and cultural heritage too?

Yes, you can do it.  There is plenty to see and do in Darwin so we’ve put together a 6 day ‘quick visit’ itinerary (starting on Thursday) to make sure you see the best of the Top End!

Day 1:  Explore Darwin

Slow down, wind back the pace a little and visit one of Darwin’s best visitor experiences.  The Darwin Waterfront is just 5 minutes walk from the city centre and a great place to laze a morning away.

For your first stop we recommend you walk out onto Stokes Hill Wharf.  The Wharf is home to two iconic Territory stories which are well worth the experience.

  • The Royal Flying Doctor Service tells the story of how the RFDS was started, and the challenges it has endured over the years to survive.
  • The Bombing of Darwin Experience is a modern new display using the latest virtual reality technology to transport you into the bombing of Darwin. Its an exceptional experience and one that shouldn’t be missed.

Walk back to the Waterfront Precinct to enjoy lunch at one of the great restaurants, pubs & cafes or take a swim in the Lagoon or if you’re feeling adventurous, the Wave Pool.

Head out to East Point to spend some time in one of Darwin’s iconic attractions.  The East Point War Museum tells the human story of the devastation and horror experienced by the during the bombing of Darwin in 1942.

East Point was a significant military installation during the World War II and many of the fortifications remain for you to wander through.

East Point is also a wildlife sanctuary.  Don’t be surprised if you see agile wallabies, goannas, frilled neck lizards and birdlife in the park area.

Finish up your day in the tropics by catching a Top End sunset at Mindil Markets (April to October).  These markets are one of the most noted in Darwin and popular with locals and visitors alike.  Be sure to sample the range of exotic market foods, enjoy live music and relax in our balmy winter weather.

Day 2:  Venture into Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National ParkJust an hour’s drive from central Darwin you will find Litchfield National Park.  Drive yourself or take a day tour and see some of the Top End’s most unique scenery.

Monsoon rain-forest, stunning waterfalls, termite mounds, sandstone outcrops and historic ruins attract thousands of visitors each year.  Crystal clear swimming holes and bush-walking tracks are some of our favourite places in the Top End.

Make sure you visit:

  • Termite Mounds
  • Buley Rockhole
  • Josephine Falls
  • Wangi Falls

If you’ve got enough energy after a day at Litchfield, the Jumping Crocodile Cruises at Adelaide River are always good value.  You won’t ever think of dipping your toes in the water after one of these cruises!

Day 3:

Cullen Bay DarwinGet out and about in Darwin city for some sightseeing.

  • Breakfast at the Boatshed cafe
  • Take an early morning walk along the Esplanade
  • Check out the Street Art in Darwin City
  • Coffee at Allycats
  • Head down to Parap Markets

The Saturday morning ritual for locals is to visit Parap Markets for Mary’s Laksa and a fresh fruit juice.

People have flocked to Parap Markets for over 20 years for a bowl of Mary’s Laksa, you really must try it!  A spicy Malaysian soup made from Asian spices, chilli, candlenuts, and coconut milk, served over homemade rice noodles, lettuce and your choice of toppings.

Choose to have dinner out at one of our favourite restaurants

  • Darwin Sailing Club: Enjoy our balmy tropical weather as you watch the sun go down over the horizon with an icy cold beverage.
  • Thailicious: Rooftop dining at Darwin’s best Thai restaurant.  Try the crispy whole snapper!
  • The Cav:  Best pub meal ever!  Start with Nam Jim Shots and follow it up with a fantastic Beef Wellington.

Day 4:  Experience Kakadu

Kakadu National ParkMake an early start to drive to Jabiru – 3 hour drive.  Make sure you pre-book accommodation before leaving Darwin.

  • Cooinda Cultural Centre
  • Noarilangie Rock
  • Yellow Waters Sunset Cruise

Day 5: … more of Kakadu

Kakadu National Park

  • Ubirr Rock at Sunrise
  • Take an Aboriginal cultural tour

Lunch at Cooinda before driving back to Darwin

Finish a fabulous weekend away with one of Darwin’s favourite cinema experiences.  The Darwin Deckchair Cinema is one of the most unique experiences to be had in the Top End.   Its a unique outdoor cinema experience you won’t want to miss.

Day 6:  Catch your breath

Crocosaurus Cove is always an interesting to visit, showcasing live crocodiles, hatchlings, the Cage of Death and full of interesting fun facts about this prehistoric creature and other Top End aquatic life.

Visit Darwin Museum and take in a few of the exhibits before lunching at Cornucopia Cafe along the beach front.

  • Cyclone Tracy display
  • Sweetheart (the crocodile) display
  • Aboriginal cultural displays

Relax the afternoon away or catch up with anything you may have missed before heading to the airport on your way home!

Do the Top End

We really do have the best winters in Australia!

Slow down, dress down.  The pace in the Top End has a ‘no rush’ feel about it.  The dress code is decidedly casual.  Shorts, Tshirts, thongs (of the footwear kind) will not be out of place.  You won’t need winter wear but a light sweater might be useful if the breezes pick up when the sun goes down.

If you like it put a pin on it …

There’s so much more to do in the Top End, so be flexible when visiting our part of the world so that you get to see as much as you can.  You’ll enjoy the pace!