Australia’s borders are open: Travellers entering Australia no longer need to provide evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination status or take a pre-departure test.
Multicultural Darwin promises a Top End adventure with a difference. During this three-day program, discover the city’s vibrant food scene before embarking on wildlife safaris and outback adventures in Katherine.
After landing at Darwin International Airport, transfer 12 minutes by road to Mindil Beach Casino Resort. Set within 12 hectares (30 acres) of tropical gardens on a private stretch of Mindil Beach, this five-star hotel and resort offers 152 guestrooms and event spaces for up to 2,500 people. Once you’ve checked in, gather on the Lagoon Terrace for a traditional Welcome to Country ceremony from a local Aboriginal elder, followed by a cocktail overlooking the pool.
Take a five-minute drive to the Darwin Mall, where you can shop for crocodile leather at di CROCO, pearl jewellery at Paspaley and Indigenous artworks at Mbantua Aboriginal Art Gallery. From here, it’s a 10-minute walk to acclaimed restaurant Hanuman, where you’ll enjoy a cooking demonstration of Thai, Indian and Nonya dishes by top chef Jimmy Shu, followed by a delicious lunch. Return to Mindil Beach Casino Resort to explore the world-class facilities, including the private white-sand beach and infinity pool, which has held the accolade of Australia’s best hotel pool by Gourmet Traveller.
Host tonight’s welcome dinner at Char Restaurant, a five-minute drive from the resort. During the dry season from May to November, embrace the warm weather with an alfresco event on the terrace, surrounded by trees filled with lights. Char’s modern Australian menu combines the best local produce – such as barramundi, prawns and beef – with Asian flavours.
Enjoy a buffet breakfast at The Vue at the resort, a light-filled bistro with views of the Arafura Sea. From here, it’s a five-minute drive to Crocosaurus Cove, home to some of the largest saltwater crocodiles in the world. Have your photo taken while holding a baby crocodile and take a tour of the aquarium. Then, get your pulse racing with the Cage of Death experience, which takes you underwater and brings you face to face with a 5-metre (16 foot) crocodile.
Spend the afternoon on a private tour with Outback Floatplane Adventures. After sharing a barbecue lunch, board a floatplane for a scenic flight, touching down on Sweets Lagoon. Switch to an airboat for a fast lap of the lagoon, followed by a cruise through the wetlands and monsoon forest. Finish this exhilarating experience with a helicopter ride over the Finniss River Floodplains before returning to the resort to freshen up.
As the sun sets, stroll to the Mindil Beach Sunset Market next door. On Thursday and Sunday evenings from April to October, these colourful markets play host to more than 200 stalls selling food, arts and crafts. Book an exclusive event for up to 1,000 people, including a private enclosed space on the beach, cocktails and a gourmet barbecue, and performances from local musicians.
Take a 10-minute drive to Stokes Hill Wharf this morning, where you’ll board a boat for a breakfast cruise with Darwin Harbour Cruises. Large groups can charter the 25‑metre Charles Darwin catamaran for up to 270 passengers while smaller groups can choose the Tumlaren schooner, which can hold 45 people. Once you’re back at the wharf, transfer 15 minutes by road to the Larrakia Nation cultural centre for a one-hour clapstick painting and playing workshop. Then it’s just a 10-minute drive south to The Pearl restaurant for lunch, which offers a bistro-style menu and private dining for 20 to 50 people.
This afternoon, charter a plane for the 55-minute flight to Katherine, where you’ll visit a working cattle station for the Katherine Outback Experience. This 90-minute spectacular offers a window into life in the Australian outback, with horse-training demonstrations, animal feeding, music and storytelling.
Fly back to Darwin for dinner at Mindil Beach Casino Resort's Cove restaurant, a premium steakhouse overlooking the pool. Or host a gala dinner for up to 450 people in the Beachside Pavilion, finishing with fireworks over the sea.