How To Get To And From Darwin, Northern Territory

Travelling by air might be the first thing that comes to mind when planning a trip to Darwin, one of the remote cities in Australia. But it’s not the only way to get to the Northern Territory capital.

In fact, if you’re open to the journey, there are quite a few different ways to get to the Top End. And have enough time.

Travelling To Darwin By Air – Darwin International Airport

As I just mentioned, due to its remote location, Darwin International Airport is the main gateway to the city. The airport connects Darwin to the rest of Australia, with all of the country’s major airlines offering direct flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Internationally, Darwin is also connected to Singapore and Bali with daily direct services.

In terms of travelling between Darwin’s CBD and Darwin International Airport, it is relatively straightforward. The airport is located only a 15-20 minute drive outside of the city centre. After all, Darwin isn’t that big of a city.

While renting a car is one of the most effective ways to all that Darwin has to offer, if you don’t want or need a car while you are in the city (especially if you embarking on an organised tour), my best suggestion is to take a taxi or one of the ride-sharing services – Uber being the most prevalent in the city. As a rough estimate, it’ll cost you about $25-$35 for a one-way trip between the airport and the CBD.

In my travels to Darwin, there have been a variety of shuttle bus services over the years, but they tend to change and often need to be booked well in advance. Personally, if I didn’t need a car, I would stick with Uber.

That said, I recommend renting a car while visiting Darwin. While the city is small and very walkable, many of the key attractions that you will want to see will need to be driven to. So renting a car at the airport just makes things much more convenient.

All of the rental car companies, particularly Thrifty, Avis, and Hertz, have a presence at Darwin International Airport.

How To Get To And From Darwin, Northern Territory

Travelling To Darwin By Rail/Coach

What could be Australia’s most famous scenic train service, “The Ghan”, connects Darwin with Adelaide through Alice Springs.

Passing through the heart of the Australian Outback, this rail trip is a bucket list journey for many people and a fantastic way to experience the vastness and diversity of central Australia. I haven’t done this personally, but the people I have spoken to who have travelled on The Ghan have raved about the experience.

Alternatively, Greyhound operates coach services that interlink Darwin with Adelaide, Broome, Townsville and Brisbane.

Travelling To Darwin By Road

Despite its remote location, a well-serviced highway network does connect Darwin to the rest of the country. The Stuart Highway, in particular, connects the city with Adelaide.

Branching off the Stuart Highway, the Victoria Highway/Great Northern Highway route links Darwin to Broome and all the way down to Perth. The Barkly Highway connects to Queensland’s highway network.

Just keep in mind these are all multiday road trips, and best completed at a casual pace so that you can see all the amazing sights along the way.

Save Money On Northern Territory Attractions

With so much to see and do in Darwin and right across Australia, the admission to all these attractions can really add up. A great way to save money is to make sure you take advantage of the bundle ticket offers. 

Personally, I use the Australia Klook Pass to save money by bundling a handful of big-ticket attractions and tours. That said, you can also find specials on many of Darwin’s other attractions on Klook as well.

Alternatively, you can also check out Get Your Guide and Viator to see if you can get a better deal on individual attractions and tours.

Need more help planning your trip to Darwin? Make sure you read my ultimate guide, covering everything else you need to know.

Also, make sure you check out the travel tools I use most to help you save money when booking your next trip.

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About the author

Rhys Vandersyde

Traveller, Photographer, Content Creator - I've spent the last 20 years actively seeking out new destinations and new adventures. Find out more about me here:

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