Darwin, Australia

Rocks and clouds in Darwin, Australia

Introduction to Darwin

Darwin - the Northern Territory's astonishing capital - is one of Australia's most interesting and attractive cities, combining the vibrancy of a modern cosmopolitan metropolis with the breathtaking natural wonders and landscapes of the world-famous Outback. Truly unique, Darwin begs to be explored.

This astonishing city - thanks to it's stunning tropical climate, diverse sights and extensive list of experiences and attractions to uncover - is a joy to explore and undoubtedly one of Australia's must-visit destinations. Whether you choose to wander the pretty streets and charming avenues of the city centre or head out into the famous Outback in search of incredible natural wonders, you won't be disappointed with what you find during your time in Darwin. 

Explore the city's culture and heritage in an array of museums and galleries including The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory - which is home to fine collections of Aboriginal art - and the Darwin Military Museum - which tells tales of the dark days of World War Two - or see fine views of the beautiful harbour from the central business district. Outside of the city centre you'll find beautiful botanical gardens, magnificent mangroves that are perfect for birdwatching, national parks and vast wetlands where crocodiles and other native creatures are often spotted - perfect if you're feeling adventurous.

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Aboriginal smoking ceremony, Darwin, Australia

Tour EXC - TIWI ABORIGINAL CULTURAL EXPERIENCE

Must do tour

A full-day tour to Bathurst Island provides us with the chance to learn about the lives of the Tiwi people from a local resident’s perspective.

Price£355.00-£365.00
DurationApproximately 7 hours
LimitationLimited to 40
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Snack includedSnack included
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

Discover the history and culture of the Tiwi people with this once in a lifetime opportunity to visit a modern day Aboriginal community. The Tiwi Islands are made up of Bathurst and Melville Islands, where almost 2,500 Tiwi Aboriginal people reside. A full-day tour to Bathurst Island provides us with the chance to learn about the lives of the Tiwi people from a local resident’s perspective.

Following the transfer to Darwin Airport and an approximate 30 minute scenic flight, we arrive at Bathurst Island, where upon arrival we will be met by our local guide to be taken on a journey through the progressive, modern-day Aboriginal community of Nguiu. We shall stop for morning tea with some Tiwi ladies, during which time we can enjoy billy tea and damper (bread) while they work on their weaving and painting.

Next we visit the museum, with its interesting displays of traditional art and depictions of the Tiwi ‘dreamtime’ stories, and Early Mission Precinct with its unique Tiwi-style Catholic Church. During our visit we shall hear about the colourful history of the early mission days and learn how the Tiwi people have blended their culture with Christianity.

Continuing, we will visit the successful arts and crafts centres and see where the artists work. We also have the opportunity to purchase Tiwi arts and crafts and screen-printed fabric. Our guides and the ladies will demonstrate their totem dances and perform a smoking ceremony to bless us, and explain the meanings behind them. We can also learn some of the complex rituals associated with the Pukamani (burial ceremony).

During our tour we can enjoy a light lunch and learn about traditional bush tuckers, bush medicine and natural fibres and dyes.

At the end of our visit, we will return to the air strip for the return flight to Darwin. Upon arrival here, we will be transferred back to the quayside and our awaiting ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2013 WORLD CRUISE

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour is subject to safe flying conditions, and can be cancelled or delayed without prior notice, at the Air Company’s discretion. Flight time each way is approximately 30 minutes. The aircraft will either be a five-seater, where the total weight is 450 kilograms, or a nine-seater, with a total weight limit of 970 kilograms. A moderate amount of walking will be involved, some of which is over uneven ground, and there are a few steps to negotiate. Unfortunately it is not suitable for wheelchair users. Guests are advised to wear lightweight clothing, comfortable walking shoes, sun protection and a bottle of water. Large bags are not allowed; guests are advised to bring a small bag or backpack if needed. Don’t forget your passport! All participants must advise the Tours Department onboard of their weight in kilograms at least six days in advance of our call. Please note that cancellation charges will apply should you not be able to participate on this tour after you have made a booking. The itinerary may operate in a different order to that described. Lunch includes popper juice and water.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2013 WORLD CRUISE


DARWIN - INFORMATION

Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory. A population of approximately 106,000 makes it notably the most populated city within the Northern Territory however it is still considered the least populous of all Australia's capital cities.

 

The city was founded as Australia's most northerly harbour port in 1869, and its population rapidly grew after the discovery of gold at nearby Pine Creek in 1871. World War II put the city on the map as a major allied military base for troops fighting the Japanese in the Pacific. Today we can see signs of Darwin's World War II history at a medley of preserved sites including ammunition bunkers, airstrips and oil tunnels in and around the city. Darwin also made world news when the city was rebuilt in the wake of Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

Its colourful history has contributed to the Darwin's cultural diversity - more than 50 nationalities make up its population, including the area's traditional landowners, the Larrakia Aboriginal people. The city has many miles of unpolluted beaches, including the Casuarina Beach and well renowned Mindil Beach, home of the Mindil Beach markets. Swimming in the sea during the months of October to May should be approached with caution due to the presence of Box jellyfish. Saltwater crocodiles are very common in all waterways surrounding Darwin and occasionally are even found swimming in Darwin Harbour and on local beaches.

Swimming in the sea during the months of October to May should be approached with caution due to the presence of Box jellyfish. Saltwater crocodiles are very common in all waterways surrounding Darwin and occasionally are even found swimming in Darwin Harbour and on local beaches.

Please note that depending on the berth of our ship, there is a walk of approximately 350 metres from the ship to the tour transport, and vice versa.

The currency used in Darwin is the Australian Dollar.


ICONIC DARWIN STORIES (TOUR H)

  • Visit one of the newest locations using technology to bring history to life
  • Uncover the history of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS)
  • Learn more about the bombing of Darwin Harbour
  • Enjoy time at leisure at the Aviation Heritage Museum
Price£55.00 - £65.00
DurationApproximately 3 ½ Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

Uncover the iconic stories of Darwin with a visit to the RFDS Tourist facility and the Aviation Heritage Museum.

You begin with a visit to the RFDS Tourist Facility, where you are invited to learn through the wonder of technology as this facility brings history to life. Listen to heroic tales about the birth and growth of the RFDS and relive the drama of the bombing of Darwin Harbour that rocked Australia in 1942.

The RFDS uses the latest innovations in holographic technology in a life-size hologram cinema experience. Discover the story of John Flynn’s vision and its realisation into the RFDS of today. Experience a decommissioned Pilatus PC 12 aircraft which is completely aero medically equipped and learn about the activities of the pilots, engineers, doctors and nurses as well as the experiences of the patients that are carried and cared for each day.

The second iconic story featured at this facility is the bombing of Darwin on the 19th of February 1942. The bombing of the harbour brought destruction to the city of Darwin and many of the experiences and stories of what happened that day are told within the centre using cutting edge technology. Uncover the story of Etheridge Grant via virtual reality and a projection window of the Japanese air attack on the harbour.

Your concluding visit is to the Aviation Heritage Museum, which is home to a massive B-52 bomber along with a spitfire and other military aircraft. Enjoy time at leisure to wander through the displays at your own pace.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2018 WORLD VOYAGE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Guests will spend approximately 75 minutes at the RFDS Tourist Facility and around 90 minutes at the Aviation Heritage Museum where the amount of walking undertaken is at the discretion of the individual. The majority of the walking will be over flat, paved terrain however there are approximately ten steps to negotiate at the Aviation Museum.


Darwin Government House, Australia

Tour A - DARWIN CITY SIGHTS

  • Discover the sights of Darwin on a narrated coach tour
  • Listen to stories of the city’s intriguing history
Panoramic Coach Tour
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
LimitationLimited to 80
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Darwin has a rich and colourful history; admire some of the important sights that help to chronicle this beautiful city's past.

Boarding your coach at the pier, you'll begin this fascinating journey by pausing for panoramic views over the entrance to the vast Darwin Harbour, three times larger than Sydney Harbour, and the old Coastal Defence Battery that once protected it.

Travel down the esplanade as your guide regales you with tales of the city’s history before proceeding through Old Darwin. Your route will travel past historic buildings, including Joss House, Government House, the former Admiralty House, Lyon’s Cottage and St Mary’s Cathedral – home to Aboriginal paintings of the Black Madonna and Child.

Continue past Old Fannie Bay Gaol Museum and to the East Point Reserve for a short photo opportunity.

Following the convict era, Australian history was shaped by another phase, when colonial settlers travelled across the globe in the hope of finding a better world, eager to explore new lands in search of personal and financial growth. After a brief transfer, you will stop at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory for a short visit. The art gallery houses a comprehensive display of Indigenous art and artefacts that reveal much about the various Aboriginal groups from Darwin and its surrounding environs. The museum also tells the tale of how the city was devastated, then rebuilt in 1975 after Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin on Christmas Eve in 1974. Despite its ordeal, Darwin re-grouped, was rebuilt and today stands stronger than ever. A very realistic Cyclone Tracy display recreates the atmosphere of that fateful Christmas Eve.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2018 BLACK WATCH WORLD CRUISE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note this is primarily a driving tour, with a minimal amount of optional walking involved at the photo stops, therefore it is considered suitable for guests with limited mobility, providing individuals are able to board the coach unaided. Guests are advised to wear sun protection, and to bring a bottle of water. The order of sights visited may vary. For reference, there will be a walk of approximately 350 metres (1,148 feet) from the ship to the tour transport, and vice versa.


Crocodile, Darwin, Australia

Tour B - JUMPING CROCODILE CRUISE

  • Watch in awe as primeval saltwater crocodiles leap by the side of your boat
  • Discover more about these fascinating animals and the environment in which they call home
Boat Tour
Price£65.00-£75.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
LimitationLimited to 70 per departure
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Cruise the crocodile-infested waters of the Adelaide River and marvel at how these ‘salties’ leave the waters in search of food.

You begin with a journey out of Darwin city centre towards the Adelaide River, one of eight rivers in the Top End that have large floodplains in their catchments. These floodplains create a great expanse of coastal wetlands which are home to a large variety of unique animals and plant life. The Northern Territory is also renowned for being crocodile country.

Next you proceed to the Adelaide River where you will embark on an approximate one hour cruise, which will bring you up close to the famous jumping crocodiles. Keep an eye out for the tell-tale ripples of an approaching reptile to ensure you have your cameras ready in anticipation of capturing that breathtaking moment as the crocodile leaps out of the water to almost its full body length.

At the end of your memorable cruise, you travel back to the quayside via the outer suburbs of Darwin.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2018 BLACK WATCH WORLD CRUISE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately 150 metres (492 feet) of walking from the tour transport to the boat, and vice versa. Please note that depending upon the berth of your ship, there is a walk of approximately 350 metres (1,148 feet) from the ship to the tour transport, and vice versa. For reference the boat, is boarded via a gangway, which may be steep depending on river levels, and is partly covered. The boat will be exclusive to Fred. Olsen guests. Unfortunately this tour is not suitable for wheelchair users. All guests must be able to board the coach unaided. Guests are advised to wear lightweight clothing and comfortable shoes and bring sun protection. A bottle of water may be a handy addition to your bag. Your crocodile cruise will last for approximately one hour. This tour may operate in a different order to that described. Toilet facilities are located at the cruise check-in centre.


Darwin Waterfront, Australia

Tour C - DARWIN HARBOUR CRUISE

  • Spend a leisurely two hours cruising Darwin Harbour and admiring the sights
  • Sit back and enjoy refreshments as you take in the beautiful backdrop
Boat Tour
Price£50.00 - £60.00
DurationApproximately 2 hours and 25 minutes
LimitationLimited to 160
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Sit back and enjoy the beauty of Darwin Harbour, the foreshore and the city skyline on a relaxing and informative two hour cruise.

Darwin’s harbour is home to a rich array of wildlife, including crocodiles, marine mammals, native birds and fish. Admire the sights of the city from the water as you cruise by, and discover more about the rich history of the area as well as the many notable and interesting sites, such as Fort Hill Wharf, Government and Parliament House and the USS Peary memorial from World War II.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2018 BLACK WATCH WORLD CRUISE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately 15 minutes of walking from the ship to the vessel, plus some steps to reach the upper sun deck and the downstairs toilets. All guests must be able to board the tour transport unaided. The cruise vessel is boarded by gangplank, and there may be a steep incline depending upon the tide. Toilet facilities are available onboard. For reference, the harbour cruise will last for around two hours. We cannot guarantee the sightings of any wildlife. Guests are advised to wear sun protection, and to bring a bottle of water. 


Territory Wildlife Park, Darwin, Australia

Tour D - TERRITORY WILDLIFE PARK

  • Stroll amongst some of the most iconic species of wildlife found within the Northern Territory
  • Enjoy time at leisure to appreciate some of the park’s birds in full flight during one of the bird displays, or play a game of ‘I Spy’ when visiting the nocturnal house
Price£75.00 - £85.00
DurationApproximately 5 hours
LimitationLimited to 160
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

Discover the vast array of wildlife found in Australia on a visit to one of the Northern Territory’s best wildlife attractions.

Departing the quayside, you will leave Darwin city centre behind and enjoy the transformation into outback landscapes en route to the Territory Wildlife Park. The park is set within 988 acres of natural bushland, including wetlands, monsoon forest and crystal clear springs.

The park showcases the native flora and fauna of the Top End of the Northern Territory. During your visit here, your time will be your own, and you can wander through the various enclosures including the wetlands, monsoon forest and crystal clear springs. You may perhaps like to travel on the shuttle trains along a three-kilometre (two-mile) road or wander along five kilometres (three miles) of bush trails that link all 26 major exhibits. You might even prefer to take a journey through the Top End river system and come face-to-face with a four-metre (12-foot) saltwater crocodile. Whether you choose to stroll by the bird aviaries, explore the wetlands and the goose lagoon or encounter a crocodile, you are certain to enjoy your time at the Territory Wildlife Park.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2018 BLACK WATCH WORLD CRUISE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that you will not have a guided tour of the park; however park staff will be on hand to assist you should you have any questions or queries. The shuttle train is a complimentary service that runs continuously around the park’s three kilometres (two miles) of track. There are numerous sheltered pick-up points throughout the park, most of which are at the entrance to an exhibit. For reference, the full shuttle train journey will take approximately 20 minutes, it is possible you may have a wait for the shuttle train. Scooters are available to hire from the park on the day (at the guest’s own cost), however all individuals must be able to board the tour coach unaided. Please note that depending upon the berth of your ship, there is a walk of approximately 350 metres (1,148 feet) from the ship to the tour transport, and vice versa. Comfortable shoes and lightweight clothing are recommended, and don’t forget sun protection. A bottle of water may also be a handy addition to your bag. Refreshments and snacks are available to purchase from the park (at your own expense). For reference, the drive from the quayside to the Territory Wildlife Park takes approximately one hour each way.


Magnetic termite mounts, Litchfield National Park, Darwin

Tour E - PUB & CRAFT BEER WALKING TOUR

  • Embark on a walking tour of Darwin
  • Sample some local craft beers and learn more about the processes behind their production
Price£45.00 - £55.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
LimitationLimited to 25
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Snack includedSnack included
Free time includedFree time included

This tour offers a great opportunity for you to appreciate the city of Darwin, whilst learning more about the unique craft brewers of Australia.

Your tour begins at the pier, where you will meet your guide and embark on an approximate 40 minute walk into the city; a chance to observe the sights en route and discover more about this city steeped in history.

Stroll towards The Precinct Tavern, a favourite for locals and visitors alike, where you will be invited to sample a selection of four different craft beers. The selection may include the likes of James Squire's 150 Lashes, a cloudy pale ale with hints of passionfruit, grapefruit and citrus; or perhaps try the Feral Hop Hog, Matilda Bay Fat Yak, Mountain Goat Steam Ale, or a Prickly Moses Summer Ale. Your taste buds are sure to be delighted with a culinary treat of canapés to accompany the beers.

Your local publican host will then take you for a tour through the keg room to learn more about the unique craft brewers from all over Australia. Have a look behind the scenes and gain a sneak peek into what happens on the other side of the bar.

To conclude, enjoy a glass of your choice of beer in the relaxing comfort of the tavern.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2018 BLACK WATCH WORLD CRUISE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that the legal drinking age in Australia is 18 years of age, guests under this age limit will be unable to participate in this tour. Unfortunately this tour is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users, as guests will be expected to walk for approximately one kilometre (half a mile), negotiate approximately ten steps and stand during the guided tour of the keg room. It is possible that the floors may be slippery during your tour of the brewery. For reference, the craft samples will be approximately 140ml in size. You may choose to finish the tour at the pub and make your own way back to the ship later in time for sailing, or return with your coach and guide.


Fruit Dove, Darwin, Australia

Tour F - DARWIN’S MILITARY HISTORY

  • Take a journey into the city’s wartime history and learn more about the day World War II came to Darwin
Price£75.00-£85.00
DurationApproximately 5 hours
LimitationVery Limited Capacity
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Free time includedFree time included

Delve into the military past of Darwin with a visit to three integral heritage sights linked to the city’s wartime past. Appreciate how Darwin played a crucial role in the fight against the Japanese during World War II and learn more about how the Territory’s airfields were used to carry out bombing and anti-intruder operations.

You begin with a stop to East Point for a photo opportunity of Darwin Harbour; adjacent to this vantage point is the extensive East Point Military Museum. Enjoy a visit to the museum, which was originally set up as an artillery museum by the Royal Australian Artillery Association to exhibit photographs and artefacts from Darwin’s wartime history.

Continuing, visit the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre, one of the principal aviation museums in the country. The museum features an impressive presentation of aircraft, both civil and military. The exhibits span from the early pioneers and record breakers, through to World War II and the jet age of the Vulcans and Concorde. Considered one of the most impressive displays in the museum is the B52 Bomber, one of only two complete aircraft of its type on display outside of the United States.

Your tour will conclude with a fascinating visit to Charles Darwin National Park. The site is both a significant wetland area and part of a network of World War II military sites established during the development of Darwin as Australia’s northern defense line. The park is home to a number of bunkers and shelters that were used for storage between 1944 and the mid-1980s. Enjoy a stroll along the park’s pathways and let tales of the past capture your imagination.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2018 BLACK WATCH WORLD CRUISE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note this tour will involve approximately two and a quarter hours of both walking and standing at the three stops; guests will also need to negotiate around ten steps, therefore we do not recommend this tour to individuals with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Guests will encounter hilly ground and uneven pathways at the Charles Darwin National Park. Depending on the weather of previous days, the paths may be slippery and/or muddy. We suggest guests come wearing lightweight clothing, with layers they are able to remove easily. Comfortable walking shoes, a sun hat, sun protection and bottle of water are all advisable. The visit to the museum is unguided, however at most of the sites there will be staff on hand to assist with any questions you may have.


WALKING TOUR OF DARWIN (TOUR G)

  • Uncover the many highlights of Darwin on foot
  • Walk with a local and share their knowledge and passion for the city
  • Capture the sights on camera
Price£25.00 - £35.00
DurationApproximately 2 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Explore the city with a local resident and enjoy learning about their perspective whilst getting a sense of how the city of Darwin has developed to blend the past with today’s modern multicultural vibe.

Throughout, your tour guide will share their passion for the city they call home and will regale stories about the history of the World War II bombings and cyclone Tracy.

Discover many of the remaining buildings such as the old Court House and Police Station, Browns Mart and the Old Palmerston Town Hall ruins, all of which have been painstakingly reconstructed. View Government House, Parliament House and the Northern Territory Supreme Court on your journey through the streets of this modern tropical city.

There are many hidden treasures to admire whilst on foot, like the Beagle Bells, as well as numerous opportunities to capture photographs of the indigenous sculptures, architecture, historic buildings, wildflowers and wildlife.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2018 WORLD VOYAGE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Guests will be required to cover a distance of approximately two and a half kilometres (one and a half miles) over mostly flat terrain, in addition to around 20 steps. We therefore do not recommend this tour to wheelchair users or guests with limited mobility. A hat, sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes are all advisable as is a bottle of water,


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