A Darwin man has been charged with being armed in public after allegedly threatening three tourists in a busy street with a speargun. Police said the man got into a fight with the three tourists at an inner-city youth hostel.

Staff called police, but the man had gone when they arrived.

Police allege the man was heavily intoxicated and returned a short time later armed with a loaded speargun and threatened the tourists. When he saw police he dropped the weapon.