Local time Darwin



Travel to Darwin

Flying to Darwin

Although there are no direct flights to Darwin from the UK, several airlines offer through tickets, including Malaysia Airlines (connecting in Kuala Lumpur), Qantas (connecting in Melbourne or Sydney) and Singapore Airlines (connecting in Singapore). From the USA, the quickest route is from Los Angeles via Brisbane with Qantas. The cheapest time to fly to the city is between April and June. 

Flight times

From London - 19 hours (including stopover); New York - 27 hours (including stopovers); Los Angeles - 20 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); Toronto - 27 hours (including stopovers); Sydney - 4 hours 40 minutes.

Travel by road

Traffic in Australia drives on the left side of the road and highways are numbered, although they are more commonly known by name.

The minimum age for driving is 16 years. Speed limits in the Northern Territory are 60kph (37mph) in built-up areas (reduced to 50kph/31mph in some areas and 40kph/25mph near schools) and 110kph outside built-up areas. 

You can drive in the Northern Territory for up to three months with a valid foreign driving licence; this should be accompanied by an International Driving Permit. Insurance for temporarily imported overseas motor vehicles is generally not available, although RACWA does offer a tourist insurance policy (excluding left-hand drive vehicles).

Outback northern Australia is extremely dry and hot for most of the year and drivers planning to cross long distances are advised to take a large supply of drinking water, in addition to fuel, spare tyres and an emergency kit.

Emergency breakdown services

Automobile Association of the Northern Territory (AANT) (tel: +61 8 8925 5901; www.aant.asn.au).


It's 1,480km (920 miles) to Darwin from Alice Springs, along the desolate Stuart Highway. From the east, the Barkly Highway connects with the Stuart Highway at Warumungu, 960km (596miles) south of Darwin. From the west, the Victoria Highway joins the Stuart Highway at Katherine, 314km (195 miles) south of Darwin.


Greyhound Australia (tel: +61 7 4690 9850; www.greyhound.com.au) is the main operator and offers routes to over 1,100 destinations in Australia including Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne. Buses arrive at and depart from Darwin's Transit Centre, 69 Mitchell Street.

Time to city

From Uluru/Ayers Rock - 24 hours; Alice Springs - 17 hours 30 minutes; Litchfield National Park - 2 hours; Kakadu National Park - 2 hours 30 minutes; Tennant Creek - 11 hours 15 minutes.

Travel by Rail


Train links to Darwin are limited.

Darwin railway station is situated 20km (12 miles) from the city, about a 20-minute drive from the city centre on Berrimah Road, and only serves The Ghan, the iconic luxury train which travels the 2,979km (1,851 miles) to Adelaide via Alice Springs.


Great Southern Rail (tel: +61 8 8213 4401; www.greatsouthernrail.com.au) operates The Ghan, a unique rail route that traverses Australia from north to south coast. The train from Darwin to Adelaide through Alice Springs leaves on Wednesdays between November and March, and the train from Darwin straight to Adelaide leaves on Wednesdays between May and October.

Journey times

To Alice Springs - 24 hours; to Adelaide - 3 days.


Great Southern Rail runs shuttle buses between the city centre and the station.

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Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels


Value Inn

Don't be put off by the name, all the rooms in this affordable city centre hotel feature queen sized beds, a single bed, air conditioning and en suite facilities. There are also three pools, a licensed bar, and a spa available for guest use at Melaleuca on Mitchell, the award-winning backpackers hangout across the road.

Oaks Elan Darwin

This impressive newbie is a 301-room property with a range of one- and two-bed apartments. It has a decent central location, while the in-house restaurant, O.A.K., is another good reason to visit. Private balconies, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi are all part of the deal too.

The Cavenagh

This centrally located hotel is a great base from which to explore Darwin's vibrant nightlife. The Cav also delivers a touch of luxury, with a large outdoor swimming pool, TV lounge and free Wi-Fi throughout, in addition to a cozy bar and restaurant.

Skycity Darwin

It's always a gamble staying at a casino, especially if you're open to temptations. This place is a winner, though. It's a casino hotel set among 7 hectares (17 acres) of tropical beachside gardens. There is a selection of dining options on-site as well as a pool. It's also very close to the Mindil Beach Markets.

Mantra Pandanas

Neatly situated in the heart of the city, Mantra Pandanas has 336 hotel rooms as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments, some with private balconies overlooking the harbour and city. Expect a chic tropical style, evident in the modern rooms and down at the pool, which features its own waterfall.

Chillis Backpackers

A lively backpacker joint in peak season, this hostel offers budget rooms in the heart of the city, with a mix of private doubles and shared dormitory accommodation. Facilities include a launderette, a pool, an internet cafe, a sun deck and a kitchen. There are even a couple of (mercifully cool) whirlpool Jacuzzis.