The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Esplanade Darwin is located next to the Darwin Entertainment Centre and overlooks the palm-lined esplanade, with stunning ocean views also available from select rooms. All rooms have been newly refurbished, and the hotel also boasts the largest outdoor swimming pool in Darwin, as well as free WiFi, a fitness room and beauty salon. While being located on the esplanade, the DoubleTree is also within walking distance of many Darwin hotspots, eateries and shopping areas. A later check out time of 1pm will also mean a relaxing end to your stay in Darwin.
Where to eat:
While staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade, you’ll receive 15% off food and beverages at the DoubleTree restaurant and pool bar, Aqua. The menu provides mouth-watering dishes that all boast delicious Mediterranean influences as well as hints of the Territory – a truly innovative marriage of flavours. You can also choose to soak up the sun by the pool while you sip a glass of fine wine on the outdoor terrace.
What to do:
While on the Litchfield National Park Waterfalls sightseeing tour, you’ll experience the stunning tropical nature of the famed National Park while also provided with lunch, an experienced driver guide and comprehensive commentary. Your first stop will be at the town of Batchelor (the gateway to Litchfield) before heading on to the magnificent Termite Mounds. It’s then on to view the double waterfalls of Florence Falls from a high vantage point before making your way down to the plunge pool below. Next, you'll enjoy an interpretive walk through the scenic bush and monsoon vine forest surroundings, before continuing on to the spectacular Tolmer Falls which is home to colonies of rare ghost and orange horseshow bats. Time for lunch at Litchfield Café before finishing the day at the popular Wangi Falls which is the perfect place to end your adventurous Litchfield tour.
Your Kakadu National Park and East Alligator sightseeing tour will see your exploring the largest National Park in Australia! With one of the most diverse landscapes you’ll find yourself enthralled by the varying flora and fauna found in the air, on the land and in the water. From Darwin you’ll travel through the pristine wetland regions to Kakadu before you arrive at the Warradjan Cultural Centre. Here you’ll be introduced to the way of life of the Bininj people who are the traditional owners of the land. It’s then on to an exciting cruise along the Yellow Water Billabong which is home to thousands of crocodiles just waiting to be spotted along with over 60 species of colourful birdlife including brolgas and kingfishers. That night you will stay at the luxurious Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel where you can relax after a day full of exciting exploration.
You’ll start day two by exploring the World Heritage area of Ubirr where Aboriginal rock art galleries believed to be over 20,000 years old will take your breath away. Climb your way to the lookout for stunning views over the impressive landscape which includes the floodplains, lush woodlands and dark ribbons of forest that make up the Nadab wetlands. It’s then on to a Guluyambi Cultural Cruise along East Alligator River where an Aboriginal guide will provide insights into the local culture and mythology as well as the rivers food chain and some bush survival skills. With special permission from the local people, you are even allowed to go ashore in Arnhem Land. Next, it’s on to a visit of the Bowali Visitor Centre for a wealth of information on the Park’s ecology and Aboriginal culture before finally returning to Darwin.
You will experience some of Darwin’s fantastic wildlife at the exciting Crocosaurus Cove, including a photo with a baby crocodile. Rated one of the best tourist experiences in Darwin, this tourist hot-spot allows you to get up close and personal with a multitude of reptiles, turtles and other animals, as well as providing fun activities such as fishing for crocs and informative shows throughout the day. If you’re feeling brave, you can also have a go at the once-in-a-lifetime crocodile experience known as the Cage of Death (at additional cost).
Sightseeing in the NT’s capital city is easy with the Hop on Hop off Bus which will allow you to customise your Darwin experience while also learning interesting facts via the entertaining audio commentary provided on the bus. The popular drop-off spots include the beautiful George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Crocosaurus Cove, Stokes Hill Wharf and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service Darwin Tourist Facility details two key elements within the Northern Territory’s extensive history. Founded in 1939 by Reverend John Flynn, the RFDS has a rich history of heroic tales from the pilots, doctors, nurses and patients that can experienced through life-size holograms, interactive storytelling, touch screen portals and even a decommissioned RFDS Pilatus PC 12 aircraft that you can venture into. Relive the iconic wartime experience through the immersive Virtual Reality of the Bombing of Darwin Harbour 1942 – a movie production whose magnitude has never been seen before in VR.
Starting at Stokes Hill Wharf your journey on the water takes in the historic wharf areas, the Pearling Luggers, the oil tanks, the wreck sites of the SS Neptuna and USS Peary, the old flying boat base at Doctors Gully, HMAS Coonawarra and the Emery Point gun emplacement. Your journey on water is in a comfortable fast open boat with a canopy, and fully equipped with state-of-the-art digital technology to allow you to view the remnants of the wreck of the USS Peary on the sea floor. At the culmination of this Bombing of Darwin cruise you can choose to disembark at Cullen Bay, or stay aboard for a fast boat journey back to Stokes Hill Wharf.
Location & how to get there
Darwin International Airport (darwinairport.com.au) is serviced by many Domestic and Regional airline carriers including Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Air North. Flights mainly operate out of Australia’s capital cities and generally take between 3 – 4 hours.
The airport is about a 15-minute drive from the centre of town. The Darwin Airport Shuttle meets all domestic and international flights and departs from the front of the terminal. Car hire is available from the counters close to the baggage carousels. There are also plenty of taxis available at the airport cab rank and private transfers can be pre-booked.
Darwin can also be reached by The Ghan, from Adelaide or Alice Springs, with trains arriving weekly on Tuesdays. While the rail station is situated a short drive from the city centre, free transfers are offered to all passengers.
For those driving there are a number of entry ways to access Darwin. Most roads are sealed however some are for the more adventurous 4 wheel drivers. If you are coming from Queensland the best route to take is the Overlander’s Way / Barkly Highway from Mt Isa. If you are leaving from Cairns you can take the Savannah Way which is a rugged, unsealed road which crosses the top of Australia from Cairns to Broome. You can also use the Savannah Way as an access from Western Australia. Other roads leading from WA to Darwin include the Tanami Road that runs across the Tanami Desert and to the north the Butine Highway. The drive from South Australia is especially scenic as you follow the Explorer’s Way through Coober Pedy and past the major centres of Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine before arriving in Darwin.