Swim year round in Darwin City

Darwin is Australia's tropical capital. It's warm all year round, which is great for swimmers - as long as you know the right places to swim. 

You're probably thinking you'll come to Darwin to see some crocodiles and visit some iconic attractions. That's good, but Darwin is also about slowing down a bit, and enjoying life. This is reflected in the layout of its city and the people.

Yes, it is a slower pace and as you're on holidays, don't forget to take a breath, relax and get into the rhythm of Darwin. One very good reason that the pace here is slower, is the heat... it just makes sense not to rush about. You need to work with the elements, not against them. 

Don't forget to factor swimming time into your itinerary - it will be a welcome relief. There are some terrific local places to swim that are safe and unforgettable.

Darwin Waterfront

Sunrise over Darwin Waterfront Precinct

The Waterfront Precinct

Darwin's Waterfront Precinct offers a range of restaurants, pubs and cafes to eat and drink, and it also boasts a Wave Lagoon and an artificial beach area. There's a small fee to enter the Wave Lagoon, but swimming in the beach area is free. 

The multi-story car park has free parking for the first 2 hours, or you can walk down from the city via a pedestrian bridge and elevator. 

Bring your towel and a book, and pull up a spot on the grass under a shady tree. There's also plenty of lounge chairs about for anyone to use. It's only about 5 minutes walks from the CBD and Darwin Mall, but feels like you're on an island resort.

Sunrise at Darwin Waterfront

The artificial beach at The Waterfront is free and a popular relaxation spot for both locals and tourists.

The Darwin Waterfront Precinct at Sunrise

Click on any image to see the full sized picture.

Lake Alexander, East Point Reserve

Less than 10 minutes drive from the CBD is Lake Alexander on East Point Reserve. As you enter East Point, the lake is on your right hand side, with Darwin Harbour on your left.

There's plenty of shade, grassed and sandy areas, as well as a large kids playground area around the lake. 

Lake Alexander is a favourite for paddle boarders, swimmers, kayakers, joggers, early morning walkers, and those who enjoy yoga. Families come down to picnic on the weekends, and you'll see the odd kid's birthday party taking place.

During the Dry Season, chances are you'll be witness to some magnificent sunsets, but make sure you bring your insect repellent if you do plan on visiting early in the morning or late afternoon. 

If you're interested in Paddle Boarding lessons, then take a look at Fun Supply's website. They hire out equipment, as well as provide lessons.

Paddle Boarding at Sunset - Lake Alexander
Yoga at Lake Alexander
SUP in Lake Alexander
Lake Alexander at sunrise
Lake Alexander
Lake Alexander at sunrise

Your Hotel Pool

Ninja Shark Snorkel Masks at The Zen, Darwin

The swimming pool at The Zen is on the 3rd floor with views across Darwin Harbour.

It doesn't matter if you're staying in a swanky hotel or the local caravan park, they are sure to have a pool.

Darwin is known as a capital city but most people don't realise how small it is. It takes around 25 minutes to get from one point in Darwin, to another... and that's if you catch a lot of red traffic lights on the way. This means wherever you are, you're not going to be too far away from a safe swimming spot. 

Don't forget the local Council swimming pools. These are well maintained and located in Parap, Nightcliff, Casuarina, and Palmerston.

A fun place to take the kids is to Leanyer Recreation Park or the Palmerston Water Slides. Both of these have free entry. Visit the NT Government website for more info on opening times.

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About the site

I'm Sharon McKenzie and I’ve always loved spending time in and around water - which is not always easy when you live in Darwin. Living in the Northern Territory certainly poses some interesting challenges.

I enjoy swimming, snorkeling and Stand Up Paddle Boarding, and the weather in the Top End lets me do this year round.  

Darwin and the Top End of Australia is such a unique place. Many Aussies who usually travel overseas are exploring Australia at the moment.

I hope that if you're planning on visiting the Top End, that you'll find some useful information on this site so that your adventures are fun, safe and enjoyable.

Sharon McKenzie

Sharon McKenzie