Australia`s Northern Territory is two holiday destinations wrapped into one, from the tropical paradise of the Top End to the authentic outback of the Red Centre.

The lure of the Top End has always been its relaxed tropical lifestyle.

Darwin, the Northern Territory`s capital, is a modern vibrant city fringed by the Arafura Sea. It boasts a harbour twice the size of Sydney`s and is encompassed by coastal reserves with extensive walking and cycling trails.

Restaurants and sophisticated accommodation houses, many with sea views, are located in and around the city centre and dining is recommended at Cullen Bay Marina or the Darwin waterfront area at Stokes Hill Wharf.

Darwin is also a getaway to some of the world`s most renowned national parks. Kakadu National Park and Litchfield National Park are easily accessible from Darwin.

Spectacular waterfalls and idyllic swimming holes ensure their popularity among locals and visitors. Fishing is great in the Top End and if you are ever going to land a `Barra` this is the place to do it.

The mystique of Aboriginal culture is revealed through many tours in the Top End across the water to the Tiwi Islands and in central Australia.

Daily flights connect Darwin to the centre of the Northern Territory or you can experience the centre of Australia at Uluru, just a short flight from Alice Springs. There are also direct flights from Darwin to Uluru.



Sightseeing Opportunities (Half Day)

  • Visit Darwin’s History and Heritage attractions (Darwin Military Museum, RFDS and the Bombing of Darwin Experience, Aviation Heritage Museum, WWII Tunnels or join a Walk Darwin tour visiting sites and buildings around Darwin City;
  • Darwin Harbour Cruises: Explore the sandy beaches, mangroves and isolated reefs on one of the many cruises;
  • Adelaide River Jumping Crocodile Cruise;
  • Crocosaurus Cove: 360 degree viewing of some of the largest Saltwater Crocodiles in captivity.

Sightseeing Opportunities (Full Day / Overnight)

  • Litchfield National Park: this park has spectacular falls within its 143 square kilometre area such as Florence Falls, The Lost City, Tjaynera, Tolmer, Wangi Falls and Buley Rockhole. These falls are spectacular and set amid the monsoon forests of the park;
  • Tiwi Islands (accessible by air or ferry) - Aboriginal Culture -): These islands are part of the Territoryメs tropical coastline and only 20 minutes by air. The islands are rich in history and Aboriginal culture and are populated by indigenous Tiwi people. Local traditional arts and crafts for sale;
  • Kakadu National Park (coach and air tour): Kakadu hosts a breathtaking expanse of lush tropical landscape, Aboriginal rock art and flora and fauna typical of the Northern Territory;
  • Territory Wildlife Park: a 400 hectare nature attraction presenting native Territory animals in their natural habitat;
  • Australia's best-known icon, Uluru: located in Central Australia and best visited by staying overnight at the Ayers Rock Resort. Tours in Aboriginal history, including the Olgas (Kata Tjuta) and Kings Canyon are available.

Dining (Best Restaurants for Lunch and Dinner)

  • Darwin Waterfront Precinct - Alfresco waterfront dining (Snapper Rocks, Wharf One, Oyster Bar);
  • Darwin City Centre (Hanuman, PM Eat & Drink, Char)
  • Cullen Bay Marina : enjoy alfresco dining all year around and choose from seafood, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and many other cuisines;
  • Pee Wee’s at the Point, offering a stunning waterfront location at East Point. Menus aim to reflect the local produce, climate and multiculturalism of the Territory;
  • Outdoor Mindil Beach Sunset Markets operate every Thursday and Sunday from 4pm to 9pm from April to October and are a culinary delight;
  • Darwin City Boutique Markets, Smith Street Mall, May-October, every first Friday of the month.
    For more information please visit

Evening Entertainment

  • Visit one of the many pubs, clubs and theme bars in the city and the Mindil Beach Casino Resort.

Best Hotels

  • Adina Vibe Darwin Waterfront;
  • Mindil Beach Casino Darwin;
  • Hilton Darwin;
  • Rydges Darwin Central Hotel;
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin;
  • Novotel Atrium Darwin;
  • H on Smith Hotel;
  • Palms City Resort;
  • Mantra Pandanas.

Best Beaches

  • Mindil Beach;
  • Casuarina Beach;
  • Nightcliff Beach.

(Please note that it is not advisable to swim between October and May. Be crocwise at all times.)

Golf Courses

  • Darwin Golf Club, Marrara;
  • Palmerston Golf and Country Club;
  • Gardens Golf Course (opp. Casino);
  • Humpty Doo Golf Club, Humpty Doo.

Tennis Courts

  • Gilruth Tennis Centre;
  • Darwin Tennis Centre.

Other Sporting Activities

  • Game and fly fishing;
  • Horse racing;
  • Squash;
  • Ten pin bowling;
  • Fitness centres;
  • Sailing;
  • Swimming;
  • Jogging/Bicycle tracks that surround the city centre.

Best Shopping Areas

  • Darwin Smith Street Mall: local pottery and art including Aboriginal art in all forms are strongly featured in many of the city's arts and craft shops;
  • Airconditioned shopping centres at Casuarina, Palmerston Gateway and Coolalinga.

Specialty Products

  • Unique to the region are the South Sea Island pearls, crocodile skin products and authentic Aboriginal products.

Normal Retail Trading Hours

  • Darwin City Monday - Saturday 9.00am : 5.00pm;
  • Casuarina Monday - Saturday 9.00am : 5.00pm;
    Late night shopping Friday 9.00am : 9.00pm.

Working hours

Customs Officers 24 hours
Quarantine Officials 24 hours
Immigration Officials As for Customs

Customs and Immigration

Passenger Manifest Three copies at the first port of call with one copy to Immigration with the passengers card one copy to Customs and the third copy to remain on board the ship.
Embarking Passenger Manifest 3 copies - 1 to Customs 1 to Port 1 stays
Crew Manifest 2 - 1 at first port to Immigration 2nd stays.
Stores List 2 (Aust. Customs Service and Sydney Ports Corporation
Customs Declaration (Ship) 1 (Australian Customs Service)
Customs Declaration (Crew) 2 (Australian Customs Service)
Forms Comments All forms listed above are produced at the first Australian port of call and then one copy of each form travels on board the ship to be produced at subsequent ports.
Customs Declaration (Passengers) One at first Australian port of call only.

Port health

Health Declaration One (pratique) at first Australian port of call only


Ground Operations

The following Ground Handlers are CDU members and supply superior ground handling services throughout Australia.

Port Approach


Arrival Departure Restrictions No
Tidal Variation 7.8 metres
Prevailing Currents up to 4 knots
Prevailing Winds  
Length of Channel Not applicable
Depth of Channel Least depth 14 metres
Comments N/A

Depth and breadth of turning basin

Location of Turning Basin N/A
Diameter 0.5 mile
Depth 20 metres
Other points Large open bay (estuary of 3 rivers). Unrestricted access for ships less than 9 metre draught - any length or beam. Largest recent vessel 'Ovation of the Seas'


Pilotage Name Darwin Port Pilotage
Pilotage Address GPO Box 390 Darwin NT 0801
Pilotage Phone No 61 8 8919 0887
Is Pilotage Compulsory Yes
Position of Pilot Pickup Channel 6 buoy or Channel 5 buoy
Distance from Berth 6 nautical miles or 14 nautical miles
Pilot VHF Channel 10
Description of Pilot Boat Orange hull, white upperworks
Pilot Hours 24 hours
Pilotage Fees n/a


Port Services


The following CDU members offer superior service throughout the region.

Port Operations/Services

Wilhelmsen Shipping Services
Address 9/189 Kent Street
Telephone +61 2 9439 7223
24 hour contact +61 416 189 760
Fax +61 2 9439 8587
Services Contact: Greg Coopman.
For details of services see the Barwil entry under Members and Contacts- then scroll down to Shipping Agents.
Inchcape Shipping Services
Address Level 8, 120 Sussex Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000
  GPO Box 3988
Telephone 61 2 9364 8960
24 hour contact +61 411 123 013
Fax +61 2 9364 8999
Website N/A
Services Contact Ian McAllister
For details of services see the ISS entry under Members and Contacts- then scroll down to Shipping Agents.
Information on other Shipping Agents can be obtained from the Port Authority (see Port Operator).


Are tugs available Yes
Are tugs compulsory No
Tug operator`s name Coastal Tug & Barge Ltd
Tug operatore's phone 08 8941 7102
Tug operator`s fax 61 89 417 647
Ship or tug lines Either
Tug working hours 24 hours


Working hours All hours

Port officials

Working hours 0700 to 1800
Overtime Yes when required


For details of suitable stevedores, please contact the Shipping Agent


For details of several quality, competitively priced provedores please contact the Shipping Agent.


Telephones Yes
How many 6
Notice required Yes


Fuel Grades Diesel
Quay or barge Quay up to 40 cst
Suppliers Shello / BP / Mobil / Ampol


Fresh Water Yes
Exquay or barge Quay
No of hoses 6
Capacity per hose/hour 100000 litres per hour
Tonnes per hour guaranteed 70
Type of connect Male Bayonet
Connect size in inches 2.5 inches

Dry garbage

Dry garbage Yes
Barge alongside Yes
Containers available Yes
Size of containers 3m3
Number available Unlimited
Incineration or dump Incinerator
Facilities to transport Not accepted

Wet garbage

Wet garbage Yes
Ship or shore pump Ship/Shore
Sludge disposal Yes
Sludge details Vacuum truck +/- 5000 litres per load


Port Charges Refer Darwin Port Operations

Repair facilities

Nearest dry dock Darwin Ship Repair
Length 300 metres
Maximum Tonnage 80000 GRT
Divers Available Yes
Engineering facilities Yes


Dredging undertaken Yes
Dredging when Last undertaken January 1992.


Port Operator

Port operator

Name Darwin Port Operations
Address GPO Box 390 Darwin NT 0801
Telephone 61 8 8919 0800
1300 327 946
Web Site
Email Address

Berth details

Berth Fort Hill Wharf
Maximum draft Fort Hill Wharf - 11.5 metres
Tidal variation up to 8 metres
Berth length 292 - 300 metres
Guaranteed berthing for cruise ships Yes
Are other ships able to dock Yes
Cargo ships at dock Yes
Security fences Yes

Nearest ports

Australia Cairns/Broome
Nearest Overseas Port Bali



Terminal facilities

Terminal Building Yes, absolutely
Meet and Greet Facilities Yes
Toilet Facilities Yes
Telephones On pier
Availability of Maps and/or Brochures Yes
Souvenir Shopping Yes
Money Exchange Can be arranged
Is the US Dollar Accepted? Yes


Closest Airport to Pier Darwin
Distance to Airport 12.5 km
Transport to Airport Yes
Can Passengers Walk to Town Yes, approximately 2 km
Drive Time from Pier to CBD 3 minutes
Distance from Pier to Town Centre 2 km
Are Shuttle Buses Necessary Yes but you can walk
Suggested Shuttle Stop in Town Smith Street Mall
Availability of Taxis at Pier Yes
Other Forms of Transport at Pier Taxis, limousines

Tour buses

Distance from Ship to Tour Buses 50 metres
What is the Normal Coach Capacity 45 passengers
Are Tour Buses Air Conditioned Yes
Are Refreshments Provided on Buses Yes
Are Cold Towels Provided on Buses By arrangement
Are Step Stools Provided on Buses Yes



Tourism operators in Northern Territory:

Darwin Port Operations

Tourism Northern Territory

Tourism operators