Darwin's commercial and public galleries are a fabulous way to appreciate the spirit of the Top End. Most galleries have free admission.
Darwin Waterfront Precinct
The bold redevelopment of the old Darwin Waterfront Precinct (www.waterfront.nt.gov.au) has transformed the city. The multi-million-dollar redevelopment features a cruise-ship terminal, luxury hotels, boutique restaurants and shopping, the Sky Bridge, an elevated walkway and lift at the south end of Smith St, and a Wave Lagoon.
Worth a Trip: Mandorah
Mandorah is a low-key, relaxed residential beach suburb looking out across the harbour to Darwin. It sits on the tip of Cox Peninsula, 128km by sealed road from Darwin, but only 6km across the harbour by regular ferry. The main reason to visit is for the ferry ride across the harbour and to throw in a fishing line off the jetty here. The Wagait Aboriginal community are Mandorah's traditional owners and number around 400 residents. Although there are a few small grocery stores, you're better off bringing your own food – nearby Wagait Beach is good for a picnic.
The Mandorah Ferry operates about a dozen daily services, with the first departure from the Cullen Bay Marina in Darwin at 5.45am and the last at 11pm (midnight on Friday and Saturday). The last ferry from Mandorah is at 11.20pm (12.20am Friday and Saturday). Bookings aren't required, and departure times can change with the tides, so check the website for an up-to-date schedule.