The Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory has interesting collections that appeal to all ages and is a great opportunity to learn of the rich history of Darwin and the Northern Territory.
Our favourite collection is that of the, famous in Darwin, crocodile 'Sweetheart'. Sweetheart was a male saltwater crocodile over 5 meters long responsible for a number of dinghy attacks in the 1970s. Sweetheart drowned during his capture before he could be relocated to a nearby crocodile farm.
There is a really informative video above the exhibit and Sweetheart is on display for all to see and marvel at his size!
Other notable exhibitions is that of the distruction caused by Cyclone Tracy in 1974. There is a sound booth which you can step into and it is pitch black inside. All you can hear are recordings of the actual cyclone and it the dark it is quite frightening and disorientating. You can sort of imagine what it might have been like during the cyclone at that time. I would advise this to be too scary for younger children.
We also enjoyed looking at the maritime gallery, unfornately you can only view the the collection from above as they are currently adding more boats right now. It should be fully open to the public soon.
Also worth noting is the Discovery Centre especially if you have children. There is always a new activity to learn as well as games, books, soft blocks and puzzles for the children to play with. The Discovery Centre is open from 1pm - 3pm.
A cafe on site is handy if, like me, you forgot to pack lunch or to enjoy a coffee.
As the museum is free, we dont expect to look at every collection in one visit but if you only could visit once then I would estimate you could spend a few hours or more here if you were very interested in viewing/reading all of the collections.
Why we like it:
- Free parking
- Air Conditioned
- Lots of interesting history about Darwin and the NT
- Gift Shop
If you plan to take a pram be aware that there are stairs and you may need to carry it up or down a few stairs or backtrack through some collections. There is a wheelchair lift that you can use for your pram to veiw the South East Asia and Maritime collections. However a staff member will need to assist you with this and during busy periods staff weren't always available.