Your Guide to Public Transport in Darwin
Everything you need to know about Darwin’s public transport system
It can be hard to getting used to public transport in a new city. There are so many new routes and timetables to learn. If you’re not sure what you’re doing when it comes to public transport in Darwin, then you’ve come to the right place. This guide will help give you a better understanding of how to use Darwin public transport.
The main form of public transport in Darwin is by bus. These run regularly across Darwin and Palmerston to get you to where you need to be. Buslink and Territory Transit run these services and most operate seven days a week.
- You will find the main bus interchanges in Darwin, Casuarina, and Palmerston.
- These will allow you to easily change services and find a way to get home safely.
You will also find a train service called The Ghan that runs between Darwin and Adelaide. This operates on the Adelaide-Darwin railway and services a range of cities in between, including Alice Springs. There is also a ferry service available between Darwin and Mandorah across the bay.
What to use
The best way to get around Darwin is using the bus services. These are widespread and accessible, making it convenient to get to your destination. All the buses in Darwin are comfortable and have wheelchair access, which makes it easier for everyone to use them.
If you want to travel between around the bay then it’s best to use the ferry service. This is operated by Sea Cat Ferries and there are two routes available. One runs to the Tiwi Islands, and the other runs between Darwin Harbour, Mandorah, and Cullen Bay.
How to use it
Darwin public transport is very easy to use. To catch the bus you can buy paper tickets or use a Tap and Ride card. You can buy these on a bus, using cash only, or at a bus interchange, using cash or EFTPOS. Paper tickets are ideal for single trips, whereas Tap and Ride Cards are better if you travel regularly
- If you use a Tap and Ride card, you will need to tap onto the card reader each time you ride on a bus.
- Unlike other capital city public transport systems, you don’t need to tap off when you get off.
You will be able to recharge your card on all buses and bus interchanges. You can also track the buses using the bus tracker app, which you can find online here.
When to use it
It’s important to know when the best time to use public transport in Darwin is. If you’re staying out late at night, make sure you check which services run late to help you get home after hours
- Although Uber isn’t available yet in Darwin, you can still use taxis if you’re can’t find a bus service that will take you home.
Air travel is also available if you need to go further afield. Darwin is very isolated from the rest of Australia and it can take a long time to drive to any of the other capital cities. Flying is your best option as this will get you there much faster and with much less hassle.
How much it costs
Public transport in Darwin is very affordable, making it easy to get around the city. A $3 ticket will allow you to travel for 3 hours on any bus route in Darwin.
If you’re looking to catch the ferry this will cost slightly more, but you’re less likely to use it as often:
- Catching a ferry to the Tiwi Islands will cost you around $60.
- If you’re looking to travel to Mandorah, this will be around $26 return or $15.50 one way for an adult.
- If you do need to regularly travel to Mandorah, you can buy weekly, monthly, or annual tickets.
- An annual ticket will cost you $2,875.
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