Cruise Darwin Harbour

The calm waters of Darwin Harbour and the balmy weather of the Top End's dry season combine to provide the perfect environment for cruising. A number of operators run cruises around Darwin Harbour, catering for all tastes and requirements. These include looking at the wildlife (dolphins, dugong and birds), exploring the mangrove ecosystems in saltwater estuaries, or just simply taking in the serenity of a tropical sunset. Barbecue Lunch, Sunset and Table Service Dinner Cruises are offered; utilising a variety of craft, from catamarans to fully rigged schooners and pearling luggers, where the focus is on the natural environment.

The pearling lugger Anniki once plied the waters of the Torres Strait as part of the thriving pearling fleet. Lovingly restored to her former glory, she now takes daily sunset cruises on Darwin Harbour.  You can view a magnificent Darwin sunset aboard this beautifully restored classic pearling lugger as the crew retell the stories of the old pearling days and hoist her traditional sails.

The Tumlaren is a beautifully restored 20- metre schooner that comfortably carries up to 45 guests. The Tumlaren was built in Lavender Bay, Sydney NSW in 1981, her design was based on the scaled down version of Dick Smith’s vessel that was taken to Antarctica, also designed by Bob Gordon. The ‘Tumlaren’ is rigged to sail and schedules and weather permitting, guests may have the opportunity to experience sailing.

The ‘Alfred Nobel’ is a beautiful 30 metre spotted gum schooner built in Newcastle, NSW and has a superbly colourful history. She was built by the New South Wales government in 1951 as an Explosives lighter and after years of service in Sydney harbour ferrying ammunition. She was purchased by the Tucker Family of Tasmania in around 1975 to become a floating cabaret boat. She was then towed to Tasmania for the first of her many restorations.

The Charles Darwin is a steel-hulled tri-deck catamaran originally named Shangri-La Princess. She was built in Adelaide in 1990 for the Stannard family, a well known name in the boating industry. She was built for use on the Gold Coast “Broadwater”, taking passengers from Surfer’s Paradise to the Shangri-La resort on Stradbroke Island. After many years service, two further owners and two name changes, she was brought by Darwin Harbour Cruises in April 2010.


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The Sea Darwin Harbour Eco experience varies from day to day and season the season.  Allow your crew to use their local knowledge in using the tides, the weather and the season to showcase harbour activity.  On each tour you will explore the unique diversity and dimension of Darwin Harbour, taking in the habitat, history and intrigue of what is happening on the day. Visitors will experience the sounds and sights of a city harbour abounding with contemporary interest, drenched in history and with an unparalleled tropical marine habitat.

A more adventurous alternative is to take a multi day boating or fishing safari to one of the outlying settlements such as Bynoe Harbour and Turtle Beach. Travel can be on board a luxury ocean going catamaran cruise, or a whole boat charter.

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