Cruises to Darwin
Contrasting starkly with the rugged, red landscape of much of the Northern Territory, Darwin is a vibrant, cosmopolitan tropical oasis. Rightly regarded by many as the gateway to Australia's fascinating Top End, this Australian cruise destination is filled with fascinating things to see and do. Whether you’re interested in exploring Australia’s military history, Indigenous culture, or craft brewing, or simply want to immerse yourself in spectacular scenery, this is one destination you won’t want to miss.
To make the most of your time in Darwin, book into a P&O Shore Tour and experience the very best of its many highlights. From historical tours that reveal the city’s storied past to wildlife excursions that introduce you to local flora and fauna, there’s a Shore Tour for every taste and budget.
Step back in time
Since its establishment in 1869 and the discovery of gold in Pine Creek in 1871, Darwin has constantly grown and evolved. Jump aboard the Darwin City Explorer Shore Tour and learn all about the city’s fascinating history and how this has shaped its unique tropical character. Pass the city’s many historic buildings and sights, some of which relate to the bombing of Darwin in 1942, and stop at scenic East Point. From there, head to the Botanic Gardens to explore the variety of species that flourish in Darwin’s hot, tropical climate, then pay a visit to the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.stralia until the road to Alice Springs was surfaced.
Interested in learning more about Darwin’s military history? Book into the Defence of Darwin Shore Tour to discover Darwin’s significant role in World War II, during which it was bombed 64 times. A local guide will take you to East Point, one of the key sites of defensive activities for protecting Darwin’s Harbour and city proper. Then, visit the Darwin Military Museum to view artefacts, exhibits, artillery, and more before reflecting on your new knowledge at the scenic Charles Darwin National Park.
At A Glance
120,586 (2011 census)
Reconnect with nature
For a multi-faceted understanding of Darwin’s history, join our Indigenous Litchfield Shore Tour, where you’ll gain an insight into local Aboriginal culture and traditions. Led by an expert local guide, you’ll discover waterfalls, ancient rainforest, and unspoilt woodlands, and learn how all of these relate to Aboriginal spirituality. After visiting the spectacular stone country of Tolmer Falls and the iconic Nyunydjurr (Wangi Falls), you’ll finish the day with a deeper understanding of Aboriginal ways of life and connection to country.
Alternatively, adventure lovers will delight in the hour-long Jumping Crocodiles Cruise Shore Tour down the Adelaide River. A true outback experience, this tour gives you a chance to glimpse the Northern Territory's unspoiled beauty and see crocodiles jumping out of the water in pursuit of their prey. Heart-racing and unlike anything else you’ll witness on sea or land, it’s an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.
Find a P&O Cruise to Darwin
P&O Cruises can take you to Darwin from Singapore onboard the Indonesian Explorer cruise. Over 15 nights, you’ll call into Kuala Lumpur (Port Kelang), Lombok, Darwin, Cairns, and Airlie Beach, before disembarking in Sydney.
Darwin Shore Tours
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What to See in Darwin
Visit Darwin’s intriguing museums
Located on Fannie Bay, the Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences displays seafaring vessels, Aboriginal art and artefacts, and other exhibits that offer insight into the unique region. To learn about the city’s evolution over time, visit Fannie Bay Gaol Museum inside Darwin’s old prison, which operated between 1883 and 1979.
Meet the local wildlife
Join a P&O Shore Tour to the Territory Wildlife Park for an unparalleled insight into the diversity of tropical Australia. For an unforgettable opportunity to get up close to the area’s crocs, take the Jumping Crocodiles Cruise tour and witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
Learn about Darwin’s military past
War history buffs will delight in The Military Museum at East Point Reserve, which contains bunkers and other artillery items from years past.
Litchfield National Park
Spend the day discovering Litchfield National Park, one of the incredible National Parks right on Darwin’s doorstep. There, you’ll witness breathtaking scenery ranging from cascading waterfalls to monsoonal rainforests.
More About Darwin
Your ship will dock at Fort Hill Wharf, an approximate 15 minute walk to town that runs along a scenic sea wall.
Shuttle buses can take you into town for a small fee. Visit the Shore Tours desk onboard or check your Good Times for prices and further details. Taxis are available pierside and throughout the city.
Darwin’s multiculturalism is reflected in its dining options. Popular restaurants are scattered throughout the centre of town and at Stokes Hill Wharf, Darwin Waterfront, Smith St Mall, or Mitchell St.
Please note that quarantine authorities do not generally allow food such as fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat products, and sandwiches to be taken off the ship. However, commercially packaged confectionery, chips, and bottled drinking water are allowed subject to inspection.
A number of small food and souvenir outlets are situated around the wharf precinct. The city’s main shopping area is in the Smith Street Mall, which offers a wide variety of souvenirs including Aboriginal paintings and wood carvings, t-shirts, and crocodile-themed memorabilia.
Darwin enjoys a tropical climate, with warm sunny days all year round. The dry season is from May to September, when temperatures range from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. From October to April it is humid, with temperatures between 25 and 33 degrees Celisus, and from December to March afternoon tropical showers abound.
Major credit cards and charge cards are widely accepted, and ATMs can provide currency to foreign card holders.
A public telephone is located at the pier, and mobile coverage is generally available. Free Wi-Fi is available at the Darwin Waterfront and in the Smith Street Mall.
What to Wear Ashore
To make your day ashore as enjoyable as possible, please wear comfortable flat soled shoes, lightweight clothing, and a hat. You are also advised to bring biodegradable sunscreen and bottled water.
Our Shore Tours can help you make the most out of your time in Darwin. Tours can be booked before departure via Cruise Control or onboard at the Shore Tours desk, and are subject to availability.
During your time ashore, we ask that you dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.