Australia's Darwin Airport has moved to a new phase of its ‘aertropolis’ expansion, with the opening of Australia’s first airport resort.

The Novotel & Mercure Darwin Airport Resort launches on December 5, following the reimagination and integration of two existing airport hotels. The opening follows an A$30m investment by the Airport Development Group (ADG), which also owns the adjacent Darwin Airport.

The project has involved the progressive refurbishment of existing rooms and the creation of new pool villas, suites and bungalows. Previously, the two hotels had separate receptions, but now a combined reception area has been opened, along with a new 60m/one million litre swimming pool (one of the largest city hotel pools in Australia), poolside cabanas, children’s aquatic playground, and new poolside dining. 

The newly launched resort will position itself as a premium destination venue for leisure visitors, business travellers and conference groups to the Northern Territory’s Top End

The provision of world-class resort accommodation is a key component of ADG’s Darwin International Airport 2023 Master Plan, which focuses on the significant infrastructure required to support growth in passenger numbers to between 3.7 and 5.5 million annually by 2043. The Master Plan will guide the development of existing and proposed airport facilities and land use for the next 20 years, as an ‘aertropolis’ evolves in the 80 acres of airport land. 

The resort is located on the lands of the Larrakia Nation, the traditional custodians of the greater Darwin area.

Indigenous engagement is an integral component of the hotels’ redesign. ADG also established an Indigenous Training Academy to develop and mentor Aboriginal employees for the hotel, airport and the wider Northern Territory tourism and hospitality sector. The ADG Training Academy offers traineeship and apprenticeship qualifications, vocational education and training in-school programmes, and a mentor programme to support students.  

Indigenous art has been incorporated in the design, including two massive murals on the Novotel exterior, while the 41m water tower in front of the hotels has been decorated with a striking Indigenous mural designed to give visitors their first connection to Larrakia people.  


Images: Darwin Airport