A city that many Australians and international travellers still consider to be little more than a gateway to to Kakadu National Park and beyond; Darwin is actually one of Australia’s most exciting destinations. Yes, it may be closer to Singapore than Sydney, but Darwin is a cosmopolitan, affluent and tantalizingly diverse.. Instead of rushing through, take some time to get to know this youthful destination. You won’t regret it.
AT A GLANCE
A tropical city with a laid-back vibe, Darwin has transformed itself over the past few years into an urban centre of great significance. The relaxed way of life here is palpable and goes hand in hand with the area’s climate. Bars and restaurants spill out into the streets and the boats in the harbour bob softly with the passing tides. There’s much more to this city than its wonderful atmosphere, however. Home to a multitude of different cultures whose influence can be seen in all aspects of the city’s day to day movements, it’s safe to say there’s never a dull day in Darwin.
WHAT TO SEE
For an insight into Darwin’s famous multiculturalism, head down to one of the weekend Asian markets. Parap Village Market is one of our favourites. Held every Saturday, this market attracts locals and visitors alike with its fresh South East Asian cuisine. When you’re this close to Asia, you know it’s going to be good.Read more
There’s also a huge Aboriginal presence here, so visiting one of the city’s many museums celebrating the history of the region is a must. The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory has an unbeatable Aboriginal art collection, with pieces from Arnhem Land and the deserts beyond.
At the right times of year enjoy the city with the locals. From April to September, enjoy a meal overlooking an amazing tropical sunset at the popular Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. The amazing selection of foods and arts and crafts are a testament to Darwin’s thriving multicultural population. The extremely popular Deckchair Cinema runs April through November and screens an eclectic range of Aussie & foreign films. Then in August the city’s eclectic Darwin Festival is a feast of food, art, culture, music, film, dance & theatre.
Finally, whilst it’s imperative you get to grips with the cultural side of this remote city, it’s also pretty important that you relax into Darwin’s way of life and appreciate the areas natural beauty, too. Take a boat tour from the harbour, hire a bike for the day or just take a leisurely stroll through the centre of this calm oasis. Just be sure to finish off with a drink by the water to watch the blood red sunset.
WHY WE LIKE IT
A fast-developing city with a small town vibe and a beautiful climate, Darwin is the perfect mix of old and new and celebrates its aboriginal heritage with pride. It’s a destination that will no doubt surpass your expectations. Make one trip to this capital city and no longer will you think of Darwin as an outpost. Instead, you’ll see it as a city that’s put Australia’s northern regions firmly on the map.