There are some interesting dive sites off the coast of Darwin and the wreck diving here will interest most experienced divers. The best time to dive is from May to October, with limited visibility in the wet season, you might not be able to dive so be sure to check with the dive centre before you plan your trip.
With about 15 sites to explore, most of these are wrecks and artificial reefs, you’ll get a good few dives and beginners will stick mostly to the reefs whereas certified and advanced divers will head to the wrecks. Where there are wrecks and reef, you’ll find fish and coral so expect to see a variety of hard and soft corals, wobbegong sharks, cod, coral trout, barracuda and jew fish.
There are many wrecks to discover and the history behind them makes it an even more interesting experience. Advanced divers will enjoy the Marchart which lies in 30 metres of water and surrounded by schools of trevally, big groupers and maybe a turtle. The Song Saigon site is a wreck and artificial reef that is home to many species of fish.
Certified divers can visit USAT Meigs Wreck, one of Darwin’s best dive sites. Sunk in 1942 during the first Japanese air raid on the Australian mainland, this cargo vessel has lots of interesting things to see such as trucks and railways lines and its home to many big fish like cod and snapper. A good reef site is the East Point Bommies where you can see lots of clown fish dancing around their anemones.
The water can be a little chilly here and if you can deal with the limited visibility then you’ll discover some great dives just waiting for you explore.
If you get a chance to dive the Wangi Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park then you'll get to experience some great freshwater diving in a shallow enviroment with lots of marine life. Definately worth checking out.
(By Kelly Luckman)
The capital of Australia ’s Northern Territory and located on the Timor Sea, Darwin has only recently grown into popular cosmopolitan city and international hub due to its proximity to Asia. A mixture of people from over 50 countries, working side by side, makes this city the multicultural centre of Australia .
Flying into Darwin is easy and cheap from so many destinations in Asia and sometimes it’s even cheaper than flying from other Australian cities! Darwin is also easily accessible from most major cities around the country. There are trains and buses to the city but it’s a long way so flying is the best option. Hiring a car is the best way to see the city as the sites are quite far from each other.
Rooms get cheaper the further you go from the town but look for something close to the esplanade if you want to be near the action. It’s quite an expensive city for accommodation but you can find a dorm bed for $30 a night, from $80 for a private room up to about $300 for a top of the range. There are a few camping options around the place from about $10 or go for a trip to the many parks in the area to stay in nature.
The city is full of cultural and heritage sites so grab a map and take a walk around, the WWII Oil Storage Tunnels are a must see and there are many museums and gallery dotted around the place. There are parks and natural reserved in abundance so if walking is your thing then you’ll love how many options you have. Be sure to check out the crocodiles at the park or wildlife reserve! Just an hour and a half's drive from Darwin is the Lictchfield National Park which has some gorgeous nature walks and the Wangi Wangi Falls best done in the wet season for swimming access.
Exploring the local markets is a great day out. Keep an eye out for the local arts and crafts and be sure to try the delicious fresh food at the stalls. You can shop til you drop in the city and see if you can pick up some traditional Aboriginal art to take home with you, a special piece of Australia that this area is famous for.
Darwin is the gateway to some of the most famous sites in Australia. Do a few day or overnight trips to the largest national park in the country: Kakadu, the Kathrine Gorge for an outback adventure like no other, the magical Litchfield National Park or a quick flight to see the Tiwi Islands.
You can spend weeks exploring the city and surrounding areas of Darwin so enjoy this fascinating part of Australia and get deep within the culture, history and nature of this special place.
(By Kelly Luckman)