Tourism Top End runs the official visitor center, 6 Bennett St. (at Smith St.), Darwin, NT 0800 (tel. 1300/138 886 in Australia or 08/8980 6000; www.tourismtopend.com.au). There is also a visitor center at Darwin Airport (tel. 08/8927 7071). They can make bookings and provide you with maps, national park notes, and information on Darwin and other regions throughout the Northern Territory, including Arnhemland, Katherine, and Kakadu and Litchfield national parks.
The city heart is the Smith Street pedestrian mall. One street over is the Mitchell Street Tourist Precinct, with backpacker lodges, cheap eateries, and souvenir stores. Two streets away is the harborfront Esplanade. The Wharf Precinct underwent a massive redevelopment in 2009, with a new swimming lagoon with a wave pool and artificial beaches, new apartment and retail blocks, a convention center, and two new hotels. The Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront and its neighboring sister property, Vibe Darwin Waterfront, are linked by a covered walkway right into the heart of the city, just minutes away. The precinct, which also encompasses a couple of preexisting tourist attractions, a jetty popular with fishermen, and a working dock, is now linked to the city center by an elevated walkway from the top of one of the hotels. Cullen Bay Marina is a hub for restaurants, cafes, and expensive boats; it's about a 25-minute walk northwest of town. Northwest of town is Fannie Bay, where you'll find the Botanic Gardens, the sailing club, a golf course, a museum and art gallery, and the casino.
Tours of Darwin
The Tour Tub bus (tel. 08/8985 6322; www.tourtub.com.au) does a loop of major city attractions and hotels between 9am and 4pm daily. Hop on and off all day for A$40 for adults, A$15 for children 4 to 7, or A$90 for a family of four (which includes entry fee to the World War II oil storage tunnels). A 2-day pass is A$55 adults. Your ticket will also get you discounts to some attractions. The bus departs the Knuckey Street end of Smith Street Mall every 70 minutes. Buy your tickets on board (cash only). The bus does not run in December or on Good Friday and New Year's Day.
By Taxi -- Darwin Radio Taxis (tel. 13 10 08) is the main cab company. Taxi stands are at the Knuckey Street and Bennett Street ends of Smith Street Mall.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.