Charles Darwin National Park

Overview

Image of Darwin City from Charles Darwin National Park
Picnic overlooking the harbour

This Park protects areas of natural and cultural significance. It protects part of the Port Darwin wetland, one of Australia's most significant wetlands. It protects locally significant woodlands too.

Port Darwin is recognised as a nationally significant wetland because it is large, (48 sq. km) and diverse. Thirty-six of the N.T.'s 51 mangrove species occur in its convoluted system of inlets, islands and bays.

The Park lies on Frances Bay in Port Darwin, and includes the western bank of Sadgroves Creek, Reichardt Creek and part of Blessers Creek. Housing and industrial estates are its neighbours.

Although this Park is new, the land has history. Shell middens in the area show that Aboriginal people have used the land for thousands of years. Today, the Larrakia people speak for this land.

The area was part of a network of World War II military sites established during the development of Darwin as Australia's northern defence line. The historic ammunition storage and testing areas were built in 1944.

How to Get There

Travel east from Darwin city, along Tiger Brennan Drive. At Winnellie, opposite Bowen Road about 5.5 km from the city, highway signs identify the Park. Turn south through the gates.

When to Visit

The Park is available for day use only. The gates open between 8 am and 7 pm. Sorry - no camping.

What to See and Do

The area was part of a network of military sites established during the development of Darwin as Australia's World War II northern defence line. The bunkers and shelters in the Park were used for storage between 1944 and the mid 1980's.

Take a leisurely stroll or ride along the walking tracks and then relax with a picnic lunch overlooking the harbour.

  • Lookout Platform
    There are wonderful views of the harbour and its wetlands from the picnic ground.
  • WWII Display
    An overview of Darwin's role in the Pacific War. Free entry, open 8am - 7pm daily.

Visitor Facilties

There are toilets, barbecues, a WWII display, walking tracks, a lookout, and a cycle path for visitor use.

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Please Remember

Charles Darwin WWII Display
WWII Display

 

Biting Insects - beware biting insects are part of the coastal web of life. Midges are tiny two-winged flies that breed in the intertidal zone. They can be a problem in the Park around sunrise and sunset. Wear protective clothing and apply insect repellent. Their numbers are highest around the full moons between August and October.

Safety and comfort

  • Observe park safety signs.
  • Carry and drink plenty of water.
  • Wear a shady hat, and other protective clothing, sunscreen and insect repellent containing DEET.
  • Wear suitable clothing and footwear.
  • Avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day.
  • Beware of theft, lock vehicles and secure valuables.

Please remember

  • Put your rubbish in the bin or take it away with you.
  • Drivers - keep to the main entry and exit roads.
  • Walkers and cyclists - keep to designated roads and tracks.
  • All cultural items and wildlife are protected.
  • Pets are not permitted in this Park.
  • Nets, traps and firearms are not permitted.
  • Use only the gas barbecues provided - light no other fires.
  • Camping is not permitted.
  • Check that your vehicle is not transporting pests like weeds and Cane Toads

Fact Sheet

Recreational Activities

There are wonderful views from the lookout platform in the picnic grounds. There is also an extensive network of walking and cycling tracks throughout the park. Vehicle access is restricted to the main entry and exit roads.

  • WWII Display
    An overview of Darwin's role in the Pacific War. Free Entry, open 8am - 7pm daily.
  • Path
    Cycle paths are in conjunction with the walking tracks though many mountain bike riders use the Park tracks.
  • Picnic Tables
    Barbecues and shade shelters are available. Bring your own picnic.
  • Walking Tracks
    The network of tracks in the Park was developed in the war years.

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Scenic and Cultural Features

Although this Park is new, the land has history. Shell middens in the area show that Aboriginal people have used the land for thousands of years. Today the Larrakia people speak for this land.

The area was part of a network of military sites established during the development of Darwin as Australia's World War II defence line. The bunkers and shelters in the Park were used for storage between 1941 and the mid 1980's.

Plants and Animals

As well as protecting many of the Top End's mangrove species, the Park is also home to many native animals.

 

Top End Parks Alive

Territory Parks Alive is a program of talks and guided walks that NT Parks Rangers conduct across the Northern Territory. The program is offered from May to September each year. View the 2014 Top End Parks Alive brochure (pdf 1.5Mb).


Park Sites Access Comments Forecast Opening
Charles Darwin National Park Open Park closes at 7pm