Skip to main content

Habitats & Ecosystems

Home / Welcome to Darwin / Environment / Habitats & Ecosystems

Darwin is home to a diverse range of habitats from the coastal, marine and mangrove environments to the monsoon rainforests, woodlands and sandstone escarpments. To manage our land well we must understand each habitat and how to look after them.

Did you know in Darwin we have different habitat types all with their own uniquely adapted plant species?

Darwin Harbour

The ecological values of Darwin Harbour supports a range of estuarine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. Mangroves support specialised flora and fauna suited to the intertidal zones and includes species that are entirely restricted to mangrove environments such as the Chestnut Rail and White breasted Whistler. The Harbour itself has 15 threatened species calling it home and is right on our doorstep. It is such a special place that is has been classed as a Sites of Conservation Significance

Coastal and mangrove environments

These low lying areas are found along beaches and are suited to sandy free draining soil. Mindil beach along the foreshore to East Point has a mix of coastal species and areas of mangroves.


In the Top End wetlands include areas of permanent and seasonally inundated lakes and water bodies, some areas only have water in them for a few months of the year. They provide habitat for a range of animal species and are frequented by resident and migratory bird species.


Rapid Creek is a great example of Riverine habitat right in the northern suburbs. These areas are the transitional zone between the aquatic and terrestrial environments. The vegetation is characterised by tall shady trees over a mix of grasses and smaller shrubs.

Monsoon rainforest

This vegetation has many different names it is sometimes called Monsoon Vine Thicket, Dry Vine forest or simply Rainforest.

These areas contain a variety of species adapted to a moist microclimate, as you walk through areas such as East Point of Casuarina coastal reserve you can feel the temperature difference. Features of this habitat include an over storey of mature shade trees with an open understory ideal for bush walking.


Much of Darwin was once completely covered in woodland, it has a multi layered vegetation structure of trees over shrubs, grasses and herbs

Sandstone Escarpments

Ranges and rocky outcrops are identifying features of sandstone escarpments. This type of habitat can be seen in areas alongside Tiger Brennan Drive. These plants are well adapted to the rocky soils, and lower rainfall.

Green Spaces and Reserves

To manage our land well we need to know the community and biodiversity values attached to these. We have over 1074 parcels of land classed as parks, reserves or green spaces. We looked at each one and assessed its potential as both a biodiversity and community asset. We use this assessment to help guide our future actions at each park and figure out how we can make them better!


Help us improve this site