Charles Darwin National Park
Named after the world-famous scientist Charles Darwin, this national park provides stunning views across the mangroves and harbour to the city of Darwin. It is an ideal place to catch a late-afternoon storm in the early wet season or to watch the morning light bathe the city. The park lies on Frances Bay in Port Darwin, and protects part of Port Darwin wetlands, which is one of the largest wetland areas (48 square kilometres) of any city in Australia. Thirty-six of the Northern Territory’s 51 mangrove species grow here and there is an abundance of wildlife.
Ancient Aboriginal middens, piled high with the skeletal remains of shellfish and other marine life, attest to the long occupation by Indigenous people; today, the Larrakia people are recognised as the traditional owners of an area that stretches as far east as the Adelaide River.
For visitors with an interest in Australia’s wartime heritage, the park has a network of old ammunition storage dumps that were built into the surrounding hills, and a World War II firing range. A network of tracks, developed in the war years, takes people around the storage facilities, while there are short walking trails and cycling paths through the tropical woodland. However, visitors are warned that biting insects, such as mosquitoes and midges, are part of the mangrove and tidal system and can be a problem around sunset and sunrise (numbers are highest around the full moon, later in the year). Visitors are advised to wear protective clothing and use insect repellent. The park is open daily between 8am and 7pm.
Location and access
5.5 km east of Darwin via Tiger Brennan Dr to Winnellie
- PWCNT (08) 8999 4555
- PWCNT Charles Darwin (08) 8947 2305
Darwin (08) 8980 6000, 1300 138 886
- Back to nature, Charles Darwin National Park, Back to nature