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Darwin's Beaches

Darwin's beaches, rock pools and waterfalls are naturally very popular in a climate with average temperatures above 30C. However some of these places are also popular with the local fauna. So before you take a running jump into some enticing cool water, check that it is a safe place to swim. If in doubt, you can always take the safe way and swim at one of the man-made swimming pools around Darwin. There is bungee jumping on weekends at the Wharf Precinct.
Swimming on Darwin beaches is considered safe at the right time of the year, however swimmers are urged to be keep their eyes open at all times for the presence of unwelcome visitors. The most prevalent threat is the deadly Box Jellyfish. The effect of a Box Jellyfish's long and poisonous tentacles brushing past a swimmer causes excruciating pain and has caused death, particularly among children, in a number of cases.
Saltwater crocodiles are unlikely to attack on suburban beaches, but this is not unknown, so exercise extreme care. Again, check first with authorities. The 'salties' will sometimes cruise the coast, but are probably on their way to the freshwater creeks in the mangroves. Again, care must be taken when fishing in these creeks. A good way to see crocodiles safely is at Adelaide River, where the handlers dangle meat on the end of poles for the crocs to jump up and grab.

Lameroo Beach

Lameroo Beach is nestled against the cliffs along the Esplanade near Government House in Darwin's CBD. It has long been a popular camping, fishing and swimming spot for the Larrakia Aborigines and early residents of Darwin and was the location of the once popular all-season swimming baths. The baths were built to keep out crocodiles, but were less effective at excluding box jellyfish, which caused a number of deaths to bathers. The baths fell into disrepair during the 1950s. During the 1970s Lameroo Beach was home to a large hippie commune until Cyclone Tracy destroyed the site in 1974. A path from the grassy area to the west of the Esplanade leads down to this fairly stony beach and the ruins of the seawater baths.

Watching the setting sun from Mindil Beach

Mindil Beach on Fannie Bay is Darwin's most popular spot for ocean swimming. Situated near the Skycity Casino resort, it starts about 2km from the city centre and is in fact the closest beach of good quality to the central part of Darwin. You can walk there from Darwin city centre or take a bus no. 4 or 6.
In the Dry Season, from May until October, Mindil Beach is the scene of a market every Thursday evening, specialising in food from many countries, reflecting the diverse ethnic origins of the residents of Darwin, but including many other wares and entertainments also. Swimming is safe in this beach except for the wet season when the box jelly fish are present. Stings from the long tentacles of this venomous creature can be fatal. They are transparent and difficult to see in the water, so check with local authorities as to the safety of the sea.
Nearby is the Museum and Art Gallery of NT, a bright, well-presented museum at Fannie Bay. Its collection of Aboriginal art is comprehensive and includes carvings and bark paintings from Arnhem Land, Bathurst and Melville islands.
Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta is held by the Darwin Lions Club once a year at Mindil Beach.

Vestey's Beach

Vestey's Beach is a gently curving 2.2 km long beach located within the city of Darwin. It is situated on the northern side of Bullocky Point near the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT. In addition to Arafura Surf Lifesaving Club, it is also home to the Darwin power boat, trailer boat and sailing clubs; many boats moor off the northern half of the beach, and there are two large boat ramps. The beach has a 100 m wide, moderately steep high tide section, then 400 m wide tidal flats. The main beach terminates at some low scarped bluffs. During certain times of the year sharks, box jellyfish, and crocodiles can inhabit the waters and swimming is not recommended at these times.

Cullen Bay beach

Cullen Bay has a reputation as one of the most desired Top End destination for holiday-makers, seafarers and locals alike. The main feature is the Cullen Bay Marina, being home to over 250 vessels; it encompasses some of the best restaurants that Darwin has to offer, and is fringed by Darwin's premium residential suburb. Cullen Bay has two beaches; the one on the west side behind Allen Avenue is the lesser known of the pair as it is within the Larrakeyah Army Base. The restaurants of Marina Boulevard overlook the other, a larger beach which curves towards Myilly Point, and a popular spot for viewing Darwin's magnificent sunsets.

Cullen Bay

Mandorah Beach

Mandorah Beach is a popular beach for fishing. Mandorah Beach gives you unspoilt city views. The Mandorah Jetty is a great place to throw a line in. Some of the common fish caught at the jetty are Queensfish, Shark, Barramundi, Mackerel and many more. Facilities at Mandorah Beach Hotel include a family size swimming pool, 24 hour liquor license, counter meals from the bar, dining room that caters for functions and business luncheons. As with other localities, visitors should check that the water is safe prior to swimming, as sharks and crocodiles can be found here at certain times throughout the year.
Mandorah is reached by a 14 minute ferry ride on the Darwin Sea Cat from the Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal, or a 128km drive from Darwin which includes 10km of gravel road.

Lake Alexander

East Point adjoins the beachside suburb of Fannie Bay. The man-made Lake Alexander is a salt-water, jellyfish-free lake where swimming is possible all year round. A spit of undeveloped bushland, East Point is good to visit in the late afternoon when the wallabies come out to feed. It is also home to the Darwin Military Museum, housed in a World War II bunker, which tells the story of the attacks on Darwin by the Japanese during the war.

Nightcliff Beach

Nightcliff Beach, on the northern side of Beagle Gulf, there is a stinger net protecting part of the beach. It is patrolled by the Darwin Surf Life Saving Club. A 20km long pathway along the foreshore of Nightcliff is used for walking and cycling. Along the way there is Nightcliff Jetty, Nightcliff Beach and Nightcliff Swimming Pool. The jetty is a popular place among amateur fisherman to launch their boats. In recent years Nightcliff has arguably become one of Darwin's most desirable suburbs, as it is mostly situated directly on the coastal fringe.

Rapid Creek

Rapid Creek Beach is located on the Nighcliff Foreshore at its eastern side. The beach is dissected by Rapid Creek which enters Beagle Gulf here. Its wide strip of clean sand extends north beyond Rapid Creek towards the Dripstone Cliffs.

Casuarina Beach

Casaurina Beach is located 7km east of the city. Backed by the Casuarina Coastal Reserve, it is an extremely wide ribbon of clean sand, particularly in the east. Casuarina Beach is home to the Darwin Surf Lifesaving Club. A 7km stretch of the beach is officially designated as a nudist beach. Casuarina is a small suburb taking in the large shopping and business area and the adjoining emergency service facilities/ buildings. The beach commences at Dipstone Park at the suburb of Brinkin. Here the beach is backed by the colourful Dripstone Cliffs.

The beach from Dripstone Cliffs

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