Free Darwin Parking & Where To Find Them

Parking can get quite expensive when you visit big cities in Australia, Darwin is no exception. And what’s worse, parking in Darwin is rather confusing. The government segregates the city centre into 3 zones, with each zone having different rates and maximum parking duration. You must be thinking: “What? No Free Darwin Parking?!” There is, if you know how to find. So in this post, I’m going to teach you how to heck the parking system in Darwin.


PC: ABC News

Free Darwin Parking – A Little Background About Darwin’s Parking System

All parking throughout the Darwin Central Business District is controlled by parking meters. The cost ranges between $1.30 and $2.50 per hour depending on where you park. The nearer it is to the main shopping and business district, the more expensive is.

Once you park your car, decide how long you expect to stay and pay at the nearest meter. You will receive a parking ticket indicating when your parking time is up. Place the ticket on your vehicle’s dashboard, face up, so it is clearly visible to Council Rangers. WARNING, rangers petrol the city very frequently. If they catch you not displaying any ticket, or the ticket is expired, they will fine you very heavily. So DO NOT RISK if you decide to park at the paid parking areas.

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PC: NT News

Free Darwin Parking – Parking Signs & Zones

When you are there, you will see 4 kinds of parking signs. Yeah, 4, no kidding! They are marked 1/4P, 1P, 2P and 3P; which refer to 15 mins, 1-hr, 2-hr and 3-hr parking times. 1/4P parking is free for 15 mins, but 1P, 2P and 3P parking all require you to get a ticket.


PC: Trip Advisor


Parking in zone A costs $2.50/hr with a maximum parking time of 2 hours. If you move to another location in zone A, B or C before the time on the ticket expires, you can continue to use that ticket until the time expires.


It costs $1.80/hr with a maximum parking time of 3 hours. If you move to another location in zone B or C before the time on the ticket expires, you can continue to use that ticket until the time expires.


Parking in zone C costs $1.30/hr with a maximum charge of $7.50 per day, for all day parking. If you move to another parking bay within zone C before the time on your ticket expires, you may use that ticket until the time runs out.

What are the different costs and time restrictions in each zone?

2015/16 rates

Cost per hour

Max length of stay

All day rate

Zone A

$2.50 2 hours


Zone B

$1.80 3 hours


Zone C

$1.30 All day


15 minute areas No charge 15 minutes


Look at the map below to have a clearer idea of which zone lies. Alternatively, you can visit here for a clearer map.


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Free Darwin Parking – Where to get it?

Good news! Parking is FREE during weekends and public holidays. Parking meters only work between 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday. So it’s wise to plan your trip to Darwin during weekends and holidays.

There’s another way to get free parking, which is Kitchener Drive Multi-level Car park, right beside the Darwin Waterfront.


Free Darwin Parking – Charges:

Park up to 2 hours – FREE
Up to 3 hours – $2
Up to 4 hours – $4

Alternatively, you can save money by parking your vehicle further from the shopping district, and walk there instead!

Free Darwin Parking – Overnight Parking in Darwin City

Free overnight parking is available in all off street open air car parks (except West Lane and China Town car parks) every night from 5:00pm to 8:00am. Just remember to get up early and go!

Hope you find this post useful. If you have any other parking heck in Darwin, feel free to share with me and others by commenting below. Enjoy your trip in Darwin!

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