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Car Hire from Darwin Airport

Car Hire from Darwin Airport

The Northern Territory is one of Australia’s wildest. Aboriginal culture, vast national parks and incredible wildlife are all within reach from Darwin Airport. Hiring a car from Darwin Airport is the best way to get around and enjoy the beautiful scenery across this extensive swathe of Australia.

Where to hire a car at Darwin Airport

Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot and Thrifty all have car hire offices at Darwin Airport. The car rental area is located in the arrivals hall near baggage collection on the ground floor of the terminal building.

Petrol Stations near Darwin Airport

Depending on your hire car’s fuel policy you may be required to refuel the car before returning it at a nearby petrol station.

There are a number of petrol stations near Darwin Airport such as a BP and United Petroleum garage on Bagot Road and Stuart Highway, these roads run alongside the airport and are a 5 minute drive from the airport entrance on Charles Eaton Drive.

Driving around Darwin Airport

Driving around Darwin is relatively easy and free of congestion. Route 1 west goes towards Darwin, while the eastbound road heads for all other directions.

If you’re planning on driving in rural or remote areas of Australia, you’ll need to make sure your hire car has a spare tyre, tools and plenty of extra water. It’s also worth making sure you have enough food and the car has a spare can of petrol should you end up stuck between towns.

Getting to your destination

Around Darwin Airport, there are a number of top destinations within driving distance. Here are just a few of them.


As the Australian port closest to Asia, Darwin has a tropical feel unlike most other Australian cities. Bars and cafes spill out onto the streets which are also lined with numerous galleries and museums and there’s a popular outdoor cinema. The coastline offers yet more attractions with boat rides to local islands and the Mindil Beach Sunset Market, where you can find street food from around the world and enjoy a bottle of beer as the sun goes down. Darwin city is just 15 minutes’ drive from the airport. It’s most easily reached by picking up route 1 west. Driving and parking in the city is surprisingly easy. It’s a small city, laid out in a simple grid system.

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park is one of the Northern Territory’s natural highlights. It covers over 19000 square metres and is filled with waterfalls, lush forests and wildlife. With guided tours available, visitors can explore aboriginal rock art, go crocodile spotting on a river cruise or hike out to some of the more remote regions of this beautiful landscape.

The national park is an hour and 45 minutes’ drive from Darwin International Airport taking Route 1 and then the 36. There is plenty of easy parking around the outskirts of the park. Driving around the park is generally possible in a standard 2WD. However, if you’d like to venture into some of the wilder stretches, hiring a 4WD would be advisable. It’s also worth checking the park’s road reports for any roads affected by weather.


Katherine is one of the bigger towns in the Northern Territory. It is home to Katherine Gorge, an impressive natural structure which can be explored by boat trip, canoe or helicopter. Close by there is the aboriginal cultural centre, Top Didj, where you can learn how to make a fire from scratch and throw a boomerang. The attractions here are endless and also include hot springs, waterfalls and night bush experiences.

Katherine is just over three hours’ drive from Darwin Airport taking route 1 south and parking is straightforward and well sign-posted. There are three main stops along the way for fuel and bathroom facilities.

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