When it comes to Darwin, a list of things to do in the city really comes down to nature and being outside. The same goes for the free things to do in Darwin. The beauty of this small capital city up in the Northern Territory is simply its location and its natural charm.
For those looking for free and cheap things to do in Darwin in between their days of taking tours to the national parks and picture-perfect waterfalls, then this list should help out!
Mindil Beach Night Markets
The Mindil Beach Night Markets is a Thursday and Sunday night occurrence during the majority of the winter months (April to October) right next to Mindil Beach. The stalls come alive and the gang of locals and tourists gather to watch the sun melt into the ocean in a pool of rainbow colors.
>> Read more about the Mindil Beach Night Markets
George Brown Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens in most places of Australia are breath-taking, being laden with lush tropical foliage and flowers. The George Brown Botanic Gardens has been around for 130 years since the initial planting and testing phases for what works in the area began in Darwin’s early days. Today, the gardens are thriving, having survived many attacks from cyclones and even WWII.
With Darwin being right on the coast, you better believe there is fishing to be had. As long as you have some gear, fishing can be free. There is a good fishing area at Stokes Hill Wharf to while the time away and hopefully catch a fish or two.
Fannie Bay Gaol
The Fannie Bay Gaol is a building that has been around since 1883, was in use as a jail for nearly 100 years, and is now a heritage site. This gaol still has the original stone buildings A and B, as well as the additional cell blocks and buildings added over the years (the gallows for one). A visit will be a historical insight into Darwin’s past.
Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory
There is free entry to the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory, so there really is no excuse for not stopping by for a visit. Inside you can find several galleries of art from local and indigenous Australians, South-East Asian artists, in addition to items relating to the history of Darwin and the Northern Territory. There is an exhibit of stone axes that are said to date back around 22,000 years.
Darwin Wharf Precinct
The Wharf Precinct is a cool place to hang out, being lined with restaurants, shops and bars. It is composed of both the Stokes Hill Wharf and the Cruise Ship Terminal. Many of the establishments are open-air, letting sea breezes cool your body during the drier season. If you have the time, be sure to check out the Deckchair Cinema, an open-air movie theater.