The only tropical capital city in Australia, Darwin is an overture to the boundless Australian outbacks. Laid-back people, cosmopolitan milieu, ancient culture, untouched natural treasures, ethnic festivals, and weekly food and craft markets help you discover what the Far North is really about. Darwin waterfront is a significant gateway to the Southeast Asia.
Facts about Darwin City
- Darwin – the capital of the Northern Territory – was officially founded as a city in 1869.
- The Larrakia people, one of the earliest inhabitants of Darwin, are known for their taste in performing arts.
- The city is named after British naturalist Charles Darwin.
- Since 1974, every year Darwin hosts the Darwin Beer Can Regata at Mindil Beach.
- A transcontinental outback train, The Ghan, runs between Darwin and Adelaide with numerous scenic stops in between.
- World Solar Challenge, a solar-powered car race, starts from Darwin.
- Darwin is about a four-hour flight from most Australian cities, Singapore, and Manilla.
Places to Visit in Darwin
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) – This museum has over 30,000 items of indigenous artworks ranging from native Aboriginal traditions to modern paintings of Honoré Daumier. An entire gallery with graphical illustration, devoted to the archives of Cyclone Tracy, is a highlight of this museum.
Darwin Military Museum – Only a 10-minute-drive from the city center, this museum has military exhibits that include artifacts and photographs that remind the visitors of wartime attacks in the city. The Defense of Darwin Experience showcases the Australian history to tourists.
Charles Darwin National Park – Situated next to the suburban and industrial area of the city, this national park is notable for its World War II concrete bunkers, memorabilia, mountain bike trails, and mangrove wetlands.
Aquascene – Aquascene Fish Feeding and Darwin Catalina Flying Boat are the key features of Doctors Gully. Hundreds of fish swim into the shallow coastline during high tide and tourists gather around to hand-feed. This magical phenomenon fascinates many as they get to enjoy up-close feeding frenzies.
Deckchair Cinema – Come here to get an outdoor movie watching experience beneath the star-lit sky on the edge of Darwin Harbour. This is where Australian and international movies are screened seven nights a week from April to November. It also hosts the Darwin International Film Festival (DIFF), which is an annual event of film screenings and workshops.
Wave Lagoon – With two public swimming pools, this is a great place to escape the heat. Located near Darwin’s waterfront, it is an ideal venue for picnicking, swimming, and surfing.
Fannie Bay Gaol, Mindil Beach, Darwin Entertainment Centre, Bicentennial Park, Lake Alexander, and Northern Territory Library are other tourist attractions in the city.
Things to Do in Darwin
Be it a leisurely stroll on the Mindil Beach Sunset Market, enjoying a barbeque lunch overlooking the stunning harbor or booking a tour to see jumping crocodiles, there are plenty of recreational activities to choose from, no matter how long you wish to stay in Darwin.
Go on Wildlife Tours – Being surrounded by nature parks such as Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park, and Mary River National Park, Darwin is a popular destination for wildlife lovers. Taste the adventure that awaits in Casuarina Coastal Reserve, East Point Reserve, and Holmes Jungle Nature Park.
Walk in the Woods – Doctors Gully and Botanic Garden are suited for short nature walks in the urban area. True Bushwalks, cultural walks in Tiwi Islands, and trails in Berry Springs Nature Park, all within a few hour’s drive, walkers have a wide selection to choose from.
Take Your Load Off on Beaches – Casuarina Beach and Mindil Beach are two glorious beaches located only a few minutes away from the city center. A small part of the 4-mile long Casuarina Beach is officially designated for nudists. You can never take a wrong turn or hit a dull patch on the Mindil Beach as it is where the entire city comes to attend events, festivals, and celebrate to the hilt.
Have a Face-off with Crocodiles – Crocosaurus Cove is the prime location to witness crocodiles – the prehistoric creature. “Cage of Death” is the Australia’s only crocodile dive experience where you can share the water with swimming crocodiles. Step into a cage and undertake a 15-minute-dive for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come closest to massive reptiles. Darwin Crocodile Farm, about 25 mile south from the city, has around 7000 freshwater and saltwater crocodiles. You can feed the mighty 5-m long crocodiles and take a selfie with 30-cm long baby crocodiles.
Shop Till You Drop – Casuarina Square, located in Casuarina suburbs, is the largest shopping mall in Northern Territory. Mindil Beach Sunset Market is the place where you can get a massage, have your palm read, be entertained by street performers, or simply browse through the stalls selling natural remedies, artistic creations, and handmade jewelry. Parap Market, Rapid Creek Market, and Nightcliff Markets are other bustling places to shop in the city.
Outback Floatplane Adventures, fishing in Barramundi, and Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours are among other things that you ought to try.
Best time to Visit Darwin
Being a tropical city, it has only two seasons – dry and wet (monsoon season). The dry season (May till October) is the best time to enjoy spectacular sunsets and outdoor activities as the days are warm and nights are balmy.
Accommodations near Darwin
Pamper yourself with the overwhelming views of Darwin skyline at luxury hotels such as SKYCITY Darwin, Hilton Darwin, Mantra Pandanas, City Gardens Apartments, and Novotel Darwin CBD. For mid-range accommodations, Palms City Resort, Poinciana Inn, and Darwin City Edge Motel & Suites are recommended. For budget travelers, Capricornia Motel, Melaleuca On Mitchell, and Chilli’s Backpackers are some of the value-for-money accommodations.
Restaurants In Darwin City
When you are in Darwin, treat yourself to culinary delights such as Kerala Lamb Curry, Moussaka, and Chicken Kiev. Hanuman Restaurant and Saffron Restaurant are the best in town for the Indian cuisine. Crustaceans on the Wharf, Yots Greek Taverna, Char Restaurant, and The Cyclone Cafe are other famous restaurants in the city.
How to Reach?
By Air – Darwin International Airport is only 8 mile from the city center. Taxis are easily available 24 hours a day.
By Train – The city has no commuter train system. However, Darwin Railway Station – 12 mile away from city center – is the terminus for the long-distance passenger train services to Adelaide.
By Road – The Stuart Highway is the only major route that connects Darwin with the rest of Australia. The Darwinbus is a public network that provides services to Greater Darwin and rural areas from the city.