1. EAST POINT RESERVE
Clifftop walks, swimming, food trucks and history: it’s no wonder this is one of Darwin’s most popular family destinations. The 5km loop track around the reserve will entertain everyone from toddlers to grandparents, with great views over the harbour, as well as the chance to explore World War II relics including gun emplacements. Lake Alexander has safe swimming year-round, or have a crack at stand-up paddling: lessons, and board hire can be arranged through Fun Supply. Add in playgrounds, picnic and barbecue areas for a good time (almost) guaranteed.
2. LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK
With stunning waterfalls, natural plunge pools and shady monsoon forests a day trip to Litchfield is worth every minute of the two-hour drive. The Florence Creek walk links two of the park’s best swimming holes, Florence Falls and Buley Rockhole, in an easy 90-minute saunter. Give yourself all day to explore and swim below Florence’s falls and in Buley’s cascading pools. Another option is Wangi Falls, where twin waterfalls cascade into an enormous pool. There’s an in-season kiosk, grassy lawns for picnics, as well as bushwalking and camping options. (Check that the falls are open first.)
3. DARWIN HARBOUR
A boat trip gives a different perspective on the NT capital. Sea Darwin offers everything from one- hour World War II history tours to evenings spent on remote islands. The Sunset Cruise is a crowd -pleaser: this 90 minute trip includes fish and chips, the chance to visit sandbars, see dolphins and appreciate the artwork of a Darwin sunset. For those with kids aged eight and over, the four hour trip to the remote Bare Sand Island is straight off the bucket list: watch the sun set before waiting for huge flatback turtles to plod up the beach to lay their eggs. (Fingers crossed!)