Things to do, Darwin & Surrounds, Northern Territory, Australia

Bird watching, Darwin

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Birds, Sunset, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Home to more than 400 species of birds, Darwin and its surrounding area is a twitcher's paradise. Diverse habitats – the harbour, mangrove-lined creeks, billabongs, savannah woodlands and seasonal wetlands – nurture diverse migratory and endemic species. Join throngs of birders from all over the world and take part in one of the region's many dedicated birdwatching tours, or stock up on maps and head out on your own. In the Dry season, you'll be treated to a spectacular concentration of birds congregating around receding water sources, and after the big rains of the Wet, you'll witness the rivers, floodplains and billabongs come to life, abundant with exotic species.

In and around town

Wander the lush grounds of the Darwin Botanic Gardens in search of rainforest birds, or visit the Territory Wildlife Park to see majestic, powerful birds of prey. Just out of town, watch the messiah of the wetlands, the Comb-Crested Jacana, walk on water among legions of other waterbirds at the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve.

National parks

Cruise the river at Mary River National Park and search the banks for birds such as the Azure Kingfisher and Australasian Darter, or go for gould and seek out the rare and endangered Gouldian Finch. See hundreds of native species make a splash at Litchfield National Park. Keep watch at the sheltered areas close to waterfalls for the Yellow Oriole, Figbird, Koel, Spangled Drongo, Dollarbird and the Rainbow Bee-eater. In the Dry season, look out for black kites and other birds of prey.

Tiwi Islands

Take a tour to the islands to see seabird rookeries, migratory shorebirds at extraordinary numbers, and rare and endemic species. See the largest colony of Crested Terns in the world, try to catch a glimpse of the endangered Tiwi Hooded Robin, or spot the more common Bar-tailed Godwit and Red-necked Stint.

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