Despite being the biggest city of the Northern Territory, Darwin and its surrounds doesn't disappoint in opportunities for scenic walks. With national parks only a few hours away, walking trails are a great way of getting some exercise while appreciating a variety of nature, wildlife and indigenous culture. There's a wide range of options, from short walks lasting a few hours to longer stretches for serious trekkers that go on for several days.
The best bushwalking in the region lies only a 1.5 hour drive from Darwin at Litchfield National Park. Tabletop Track is its signature walk, a 39km trail that takes three to five days leading through woodlands, termite mounds, rock formations, waterfalls and swimming holes. It's best suited to experienced walkers, but it's possible to break it down into sections for day walks.
Darwin itself is spoilt for choice with a great variety of walks. Choose from cultural tours with indigenous Larrakia guides, art and historical walks, and scenic trails through coastal and woodland parks.
Mary River and the Tiwi Islands
Head south east to the wetlands of Mary River National Park and traverse trails passing through monsoon forests and billabongs. There's sublime birdwatching, with boardwalks leading to the water's edge with bird hides for the serious twitchers. Alternatively, the Tiwi Islands, just north of Darwin has fascinating cultural walks where you'll learn about the local culture in this unique part of the world.
Keep in mind...
Before you head out be sure to abide by a few safety guidelines. With the tropic climate, it's essential to carry plenty of water, first aid kit, map and compass. If you plan on an overnight trek, you should notify the bush walking registry, or inform someone of your whereabouts. Also take 'no swimming' signs seriously, with many waterholes inhabited by saltwater crocodiles. And be sure to wear sturdy boots, thick socks and avoid long grasses where snakes could reside.