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Darwin Waterfront
Darwin, Northern Territory

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. Swimming at Darwin Waterfront Wave Pool Above: The Darwin Waterfront Wave Pool (Order this image)

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. Swimming at Darwin Waterfront Wave Pool Above: The Darwin Waterfront lagoon (Order this image)

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:
Location: Kitchener Drive, Darwin
Latitude:-12.467095 Longitude:130.847344
Getting there: 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).
Facilities: Toilets (including showers), sun lounges, life guards on duty

Entrance fee: For the wave pool the entry fee is similar to a typical swimming pool. The lagoon is free.
Water temperature: Mild
Water clarity: Clear in the wave pool, murky in the lagoon
Under foot: 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: Beginners
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.
Sun shade: Umbrellas and shadecloth at the wave pool, a limited number of trees at the lagoon
Opening times: 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.
Wheelchair access: Yes at wave pool, a couple of steps and the sand at the lagoon might restrict access there.
Managing authority: Darwin Waterfront Corporation.
Nearby attractions: 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.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the wave pool. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can sometimes occur when loading, simply click or tap on "View Larger Map" below.
View Larger Map
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