The Darwin Waterfront includes a wave pool (referred to as the wave lagoon) and the adjacent
saltwater swimming lagoon (referred to as the recreation lagoon). The waterfront is located on the southern
edge of town, and is surrounded by medium rise buildings on three sides.
The wave pool has ten different sets of wave patterns that change every twenty minutes. Some of them are
choppy and can make you slightly nauseous, so try to pick a pattern with a wide clean wave front for your swim.
The pool is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike, and kids absolutely love it.
Above: The Darwin Waterfront Wave Pool
(Order this image, prints or photo gifts)
The saltwater recreation lagoon is protected by both a sea wall and a stinger net. The Darwin Waterfront
Corporation does not guarantee that the lagoon is free of stingers, but they have a management program to reduce
the risk. The water is good for wading in on a hot day, but it seemed a little stagnant and visibility in the water was poor, so
you were never clear exactly where or what you were stepping on. The lagoon probably needs
a few more aerators than the single one operating.
There is plenty of lawn area in the waterfront precinct, but shady trees are fairly sparse, so make sure you bring some
sunscreen if you are spending the day here.
Other Information Before You Go:
Kitchener Drive, Darwin
Walk or drive to the south-east edge of the CBD, down the hill. Parking
is available next to the wave pool (2 hrs free when I visited).
Toilets, sun lounges, life guards on duty
For the wave pool the entry fee is similar to a typical swimming pool.
The lagoon is free.
Clear in the wave pool, murky in the lagoon
Pebblemix in the wave pool and sand in the lagoon
Maximum water depth:
2 metres in the wave pool. The lagoon less than a metre deep
unless you venture well away from the shore. It is up to 2 metres deep at its deepest point.
Minimum suggested swimming proficiency:
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog:
In the wave pool: no surfboards allowed. In the
recreation lagoon: children under 1.1 metres tall and non-swimmers must be supervised within arms reach at
all times by a person 16+ years. No diving or jumping off the pontoon, seawall or walkways. No powered
vessels, no pets in the water, all babies and toddlers must wear waterproof nappies. At both locations:
you can bring shade tents but these cannot be pegged into the ground without permission from the managing authority.
Umbrellas and shadecloth at the wave pool, a limited number of trees at
10am to 6pm every day for the wave pool, lagoon open 24 hours but only patrolled
from 9am-6pm. The wave pool is closed on Christmas Day.
Yes at wave pool, a couple of steps and the sand at the lagoon might restrict
There is no camping on the Darwin Waterfront. If you want to stay overnight
near this swimming spot, you can try
accommodation in Darwin
At the time of writing the Adina Apartment Hotel was in the waterfront precinct next to the wave pool, but I can't vouch for it as
I haven't personally stayed there.
Darwin Waterfront Corporation.
World War II Oil Storage Tunnels, also in Kitchener Drive
Before you head out, make sure to read the
swimming safety information
and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions. Specific to this site, the lagoons are evacuated by the lifeguards when lightning
is nearby during the wet season.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the wave pool.
If you would like to leave a comment about this swimming spot, please fill in the comment box below.
I am particularly interested in your experiences after visiting, and any changes in conditions, etc.
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© Brad Neal 2019. All rights reserved.