If you are looking for an adventure in Darwin, hire a car with VroomVroomVroom and travel in comfort. We compare car rental deals from major brands such as Budget, Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty and Enterprise so you can easily find the vehicle that best fits your budget and needs.
Darwin also referred to as the “Top End”, is Australia’s northernmost city. It serves as a gateway to neighbouring countries in South East Asia, including East Timor and Indonesia. Northern Territory’s capital city is known for its unexploited national parks, exotic cuisine and crocodiles so if you are in search of a unique adventure, take a trip to Darwin.
In and around Darwin, some of our favourite things to do year-round are:
Summer (December, January, February): The tropical summer sunsets in Darwin are breathtaking. The best way to see it is by going on a harbour cruise or enjoying a meal or drink at Stokes Hill Wharf. If the weather gets too hot, there are several waterparks in the city to help you cool off like Big Buoy Water Park and Leanyer Recreation Park.
Autumn (March, April, May): Autumn may experience occasional rainfall so spend some time enjoying indoor activities. Learn more about the history of Darwin by visiting the Darwin Military Museum and Aviation Museum. If you are into art, make sure to check out the exhibits in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
Winter (June, July, August): Tourists flock during this time of the year because the weather is cool and dry. A trip to Darwin won’t be complete without seeing the crocodiles. If you are daring enough, try the Cage of Death in Crocosaurus Cove. Another popular place to spot crocs is at Crocodylus Park.
Spring (September, October, November): This is the perfect time to go on a day trip and explore the outdoors. Berry Springs Nature Park is a 45-minute drive from the city centre. Here, you can enjoy swimming, birdwatching, and bushwalking. Litchfield National Park is another day trip destination that you should not miss. Just an hour and a half drive and you can take a dip in one of the many spectacular waterfalls inside the national park.
Year-Round: The Darwin Waterfront Precinct has everything you need, which makes it a favourite family hangout all year-round. It has a playground for kids, swimming lagoons, restaurants and shops. The Esplanade, which is just walking distance from the cruise terminal, is also a great place to chill and relax.
There are many rental car depot locations in both the Darwin CBD and surrounding suburbs to hire a car from in addition to the rental counters at Darwin Airport.
Major car rental companies such as Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty all have multiple depot locations in and around the city centre including:
Avis: 89 Smith Street (Open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5:15 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 12 pm)
Budget: Cnr Smith St & Mclachlan St (Open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 12 pm)
Europcar: 77 Cavenagh Street (Open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 12 pm)
Hertz: 55-59 Mitchell St (Open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 12 pm)
Thrifty: Value Inn, 50 Mitchell Street (Open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm and Sunday from 8 am to 12 pm)
Most car rental companies with non-airport locations usually have shorter depot hours, especially during the weekends and holidays. Make sure to get in touch with your rental agent if you are returning your car beyond their depot hours. For more information on early return and returning out-of-hours, click here.
The best way to get an idea of renting a car is to read about fellow traveller’s real recent experiences. Our team have reached out to some of our customers who recently rented from Darwin and their experiences are shared below.
Dean (August 2019): Dean booked a rental car with Avis for their trip to Darwin. They received a full-size car and rated its condition 10/10. They had a great experience collecting and returning their vehicle but would prefer if rental cars in Darwin would have unlimited kilometres.
VroomVroomVroom can help you find a set of wheels to suit your style and budget and set out on your road trip adventure. Here are some reasons to book with us:
Darwin is located in the tropical region of Australia, meaning that it has two distinct seasons. The dry season (April to October) is considered to be the best time to visit the city since the temperatures a milder, the days are sunny and there is minimal rainfall.
During the wet season rainfall and humidity increase, and the area is at risk of tropical cyclones. Some regions in the Northern Territory are difficult to access at this time of year. The wet season runs from November to March, with most of the rain falling from January to March.
If you have never travelled to the Northern Territory before, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the traffic regulations in the area. Click here for more information. It is also advisable to check the weather in Darwin here so you can plan your trip better.
Because of the landscape of the area surrounding Darwin, you may find that your rental car has restrictions as to where you can drive it. In most cases, you will have a limit on the number of kilometres you can travel per day, and you may not be allowed to travel on certain roads. Check the terms and conditions of your rental before you sign your contract.
The default speed limit in built-up areas is 60km/h unless otherwise signed. Northern Territory’s major highways, including Stuart Highway, has a speed limit of 130km/h.
Driving in Darwin is fairly easy since it is a pretty laid back and small city so traffic is usually free-flowing even in the CBD.
There’s no need to worry about paying toll charges since there are currently no toll roads in the Northern Territory.
Look for designated parking bays in the city centre. Keep in mind that these are timed (except on weekends and holidays when parking is unlimited).
Not short at all of the attractions, the coastal city of Darwin has plenty of both spectacular views to see and a bounty of activities to have you coming back for more. Here's a list of super fun things to do in Darwin that we recommend.
Set within the lush tropical setting of the Darwin Waterfront Precinct, the Darwin Convention Centre is a stunning destination for local, national and international delegates to experience conventions and events. Since opening in 2008, the Darwin Convention Centre has established a reputation as a modern, multi-award winning Centre that consistently delivers outstanding customised event experiences, first class food and excellent personalised customer service. With a range of multi-purpose and adaptable event spaces, the Centre is large enough to cater for conventions of 1,200 delegates, yet small enough to offer bespoke and unique event experiences. The Centre attracts organisations, associations and corporate businesses that are focussed on thought leadership, sharing innovative ideas, showcasing new and innovative products and services, while taking advantage of the more relaxed atmosphere to get the best out of their delegates. It is also ideal for local and regional businesses, concert promoters, event organiser and individuals who want to host a special event in Darwin's premier venue. Choosing a special world-class venue like the Darwin Convention Centre adds a level of anticipation and excitement to a business event and gives people a unique taste of Australia's Top End culture and experiences that they can't get in other destinations.
Darwin would be complete without experiencing the famous fish feeding at Aquascene where hundreds of fish come to shore at high tide to be fed by hand. Milkfish, mullet, catfish, barramundi, rays and others can be seen close enough to touch as they compete with each other for food. From its beginnings over 40 years ago this daily feeding ritual has grown to the amazing spectacle it is today, attracting thousands of visitors each year. Access is easy and you can choose to participate in the hand feeding or just sit and watch the spectacle - either way it is a unique and memorable experience! Aquascene is within walking distance of major hotels and the city centre. As feeding times change daily with the tides please check their website for opening times, or call the fish feeding hotline. Bookings are not necessary, but group discounts do apply for 10 people.
The Mindil Sunset Beach Markets is where you can get up, close and personal with the locals. Because Darwin is very humid, the markets are open in the winter months - April to October each year. There is ample parking spots to park your hire car, so you can shop all night without worrying about how to get it home.
Turn west off the Stuart Highway about 47 km south of Darwin. Our destination is about 10 km along Cox Peninsula Road. The first stop: Berry Springs Nature Park. During World War II, Berry Springs was part of a camp set up by the armed forces for the 100,000 personnel based in the area. And you can still see the remains of the huts and weirs that were built there.
Berry Springs Nature Park protects a large part of the Berry Creek catchment. Berry Creek starts from a number of springs, forms a small creek then reaches Darwin Harbour through a mangrove lined estuary. The park is an ideal area for recreational activities and is also a nice swimming spot. If you swim with goggles, you can see many small native fishes. If you're not into swimming, then you can enjoy food in shady picnic areas.
Address: Douglas-Daly NT 0822
The Park is near Tjuwaliyn Hot Springs Park which is approximately 130 km from Katherine and 200 km from Darwin along the old Stuart Highway scenic route. The final 17 km into the Park is a four-wheel drive track and caravans cannot be taken into this Park. The beautiful Butterfly Gorge provides shelter for thousands of Crow Butterflies. There are also rock pools, which are shaded by paperbarks thus making the area alluring for a refreshing swim. This quiet gorge is located at the base of a low sandstone plateau and the rock faces offer beautiful shaded walks and stunning vista. Butterfly Gorge Nature Park is usually open from May to October each year.
If you're looking for white sandy beach, mangroves, historic heritage and wildlife, then the Casuarina Coastal Reserve should be included in your stop over. The Reserve is located in Darwin's northern suburbs and can be entered via the Rapid Creek, Trower Road (Brinkin), Lee Point or Buffalo Creek Roads. The beaches are surrounded by Casuarina trees and beautiful sandstone cliffs. Behind the beaches and dunes are the mangroves, monsoon vine thickets and paperbark forests.
Offshore is Old Man Rock or the Dariba Nunggalinya which is registered as an Aboriginal sacred site. Fishing in the area is permitted but disturbing the rock in any way or the removal of shellfish at the site is strictly prohibited. You can also see World War II artillery observation posts that provide reminders of the area's wartime involvement. The area is also a popular picnic spot because of plenty shades. There are also cycle paths throughout the reserve and along the main roads. Animals such as ospreys, brahimny kites, red-tailed black-cockatoos, cormorants and gulls can be seen along the dunes or soaring in the skies. And during low tide, a variety of marine lives in the rock pools are visible.
During the tropical summer, from October to April, swimming is not allowed due to box jellyfish being common at this time of the year. But here's an interesting detail: there is a stretch of beach, north of the Dripstone picnic area, where nudity is permitted within the signpost boundaries.
Address: Jervois Rd, Darwin City NT 0800
This place is for the film buffs out there, or anyone really who loves spending some time outside under the stars. In the dry season, the Film Society put on a show so grab yourself a cushion, park up your Darwin rental car and relax under the stars with a good flick.
If you would prefer to enjoy natural springs there are a few located on the outskirts of Darwin. Due to some of the springs not being located on Gazetted roads, make sure your Darwin car hire can be driven to these roads beforehand.
Address: 215 Vanderlin Dr, Leanyer NT 0812
Enjoy an awesome fun filled day with your family or friends at the park. With both wet and dry activities, there really is something for everyone. The best news yet is that it is absolutely free!
Address: 58 Mitchell St, Darwin City NT 0800
Get ready for an adrenaline packed adventure at the Crocosaurus Cove. The kids will love this opportunity to see the Crocs up close and if you are feeling particularly brave, you can even take a dive with these magnificent beasts. Taking the drive out in your hire car to see the show is sight to remember.
Want to find out what else Darwin has to offer? Check out these awesome tours offered by Tourstogo.com.
Situated just 10 minutes drive south of the Darwin CBD via rental car, this locally owned friendly boutique holiday park provide a wide range of accommodation for your stay, including modern two bedroom villas, family cabins and open plan units, which are all air conditioned, self contained and most with a private patio. It also has perfect lodge style accommodation for up to two people, best suited for workers, groups for short or long periods, or for those looking for a quick getaway or night at Hidden Valley Race Track. Book now if you want to experience Hidden Valley Holiday Park and discover everything the spectacular Top End has to offer. From unwinding to taking a sunset cruise to grabbing a bargain at the famous Mindil Beach markets to seeing a crocodile, or taking in a tour of Kakadu or Litchfield National Park - enjoy a relaxed, peaceful holiday in Australia's Top End with Hidden Valley Holiday Park.
Address: 50 Mitchell St, Darwin City NT 0800
If you are looking for a budget-friendly hotel in Darwin, then drive your car hire to Value Inn which is located along Mitchell Street. It is situated right in the city centre for easy access to numerous shops, restaurants, and pubs. You can also find a wide selection of Darwin hotels in Wotif.
Address: 16 Stuart St, Daly Waters NT 0852
The multi-award winning Daly Waters Pub offers a great outback experience. It is an iconic part of the territory's diverse and colourful history. Built in 1930, it is steeped in history and wild stories from the past. We pride ourselves in offering great service, food, and icy cold beer. The pub has a variety of accommodation styles from two bedroom deluxe cabins to budget pub rooms. There is a caravan park as well as 2 crystal clear pools to escape the heat. Free entertainment nightly throughout the dry season. During your stay make sure you try our world-famous Beef & Barra (wild caught Territory Barra & premium scotch fillet) served with fresh salads & hot damper bread. Extensive wine list available. An experience not to be missed where happy memories are made and new friendships started.