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 birdwatcher’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 bird watching tours, or stock up on maps and head out on your own.  

Remember to keep to the marked tracks and obey all signage, we do have some unique critters in the Territory that don’t necessarily like to be disturbed. 

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.

In and around town

Wander the lush grounds of the Darwin botanic Gardens, East point or Casuarina coastal reserve. There are many locations within a 100km drive from Darwin to spot some of the most elusive birds such as the rainbow pitta or the beautiful Gouldian Finch.

Day trip from Darwin city

Mary River National Park is a wonderful wetlands area where you can float through blue waters and lily-pads. It's great place to see birds such as the Azure Kingfisher, Australasian darter, plus Black and Whistling Kites. Join a tour to make the most of your visit so that you can get out onto the water.

Venture into Litchfield National Park and enjoy the unique surroundings and back drops of dramatic waterfalls. Birdwatchers can see Black Kites and other birds of prey wheeling overhead and seek out Yellow Orioles, Figbirds, Koel, Spangled Drongos, Dollarbirds and the Rainbow Bee-eater in the sheltered areas close to waterfalls.

See large numbers of wading birds at Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve which is one of the few wetland systems that is accessible year-round. Boardwalks take you through the different landscapes to observation platforms to view the large number of resident wading birds.

The Territory Wildlife Park also offers a great opportunity to see many of the species that you can find in their natural habitat, plus they have a fantastic birds of prey presentation where you can get up close and personal with some of the Territories best birds of prey.

Always make sure you are croc-wise as crocodiles do inhabit many of these areas.

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 critically endangered Tiwi Hooded Robin, or spot the more common Bar-tailed Godwit and Red-necked Stint. 

You will need a permit to visit the Tiwi Islands, however your tour operator should be able to make these arrangements for you.

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