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Darwin

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Oceania : Australia : Northern Territory : Darwin
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A Map of Outer Darwin
For other places with the same name, see Darwin (disambiguation).

Darwin is a small yet cosmopolitan city. People from more than 50 nations make up its population of 110,000. It is on the Timor Sea (a branch of the Indian Ocean) in north-central Australia. Darwin is the tropical capital city of the Northern Territory.

Understand

Darwin has a relaxed lifestyle and unique multiculturalism, where people from over 50 different cultures live and work side by side. The regular Asian-style markets that form an intrinsic part of the everyday Darwin landscape for local residents see food, music, language, and culture from just about every Asian nation, alongside "crocodile hunters", local Aboriginal artists, musicians of every genre, sports fishing operators, sunset sails, and families with children playing on the beach. Darwin's unique cosmopolitan makeup has been recognised as an "multicultural icon of national significance" by the Australian National Trust.

Darwin's tropical climate has two major seasons, the 'dry', from about May to October, and the 'wet', from November to April. Major cyclones have occurred approximately once every three decades. Much of the city was destroyed by Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

Darwin is also the only Australian capital city to have come under substantial attack during a war. On 19 February, 1942, Japanese planes made two major air raids on Darwin from the aircraft carrier fleet that had attacked Pearl Harbor less than 3 months earlier. These were the first of 64 air attacks experienced by the city during World War II, the last being on 12 November, 1943. (Other areas in northern Queensland and northern Western Australia were also bombed by Japanese aircraft.)

History

Darwin was first named in 1839 by John Lort Stokes during the third voyage of the Beagle. It was named after his former shipmate and famous naturalist Charles Darwin. Darwin's development was accelerated by the discovery of gold at Pine Creek, about 200 km south of the city in 1871. After the gold rush Darwin's growth slowed mainly due to the harsh, tropical climate, distance and poor communications with other Australian cities. The Second World War put Darwin back on the map when the town became an important base for Allied action against the Japanese in the Pacific. The road south to the railhead at Alice Springs was surfaced, putting the city in direct contact with the rest of the country. Modern Darwin is one of Australia's most cosmopolitan cities, more open to Asia than perhaps any other Australian city. It plays an important role as the door to Australia's northern region. Natural wonders such as Kakadu, Katherine Gorge, and Litchfield are all within driving distance from the city and still contain near pre-colonial populations of crocodiles, goannas, snakes and wallabies.

Today Darwin is a fast growing regional centre that has unique history, culture and adventure.

Darwin's Climate


The following chart outlines Darwin's monthly climate averages as an indicator for the whole northern region.

Jan - Feb Min average temperature - 24°C (75°F) Max average temperature - 31C° (88°F)

Mar - Apr Min average temperature - 24°C (75°F) Max average temperature - 32°C (90°F)

May - Sept Min average temperature - 21°C (69°F) Max average temperature - 31°C (88°F)

Oct - Dec Min average temperature - 25°C (77°F) Max average temperature - 32°C (91°F)



Climate

The Top End, which includes Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land, has a tropical climate. Darwin has an average temperature of 32°C (90°F) all year, with varying humidity.

Darwin is climatically perfect to visit from May to October. There is no need to check the weather forecast as it is nearly always 31°C (89°F) and sunny during the day, with cooler nights. November and December the build up, or pre-monsoon season, begins and humidity levels start their rise. The summer rains bring the natural landscape to life and deliver the picturesque storms and sunsets the Northern Territory is renowned for. Some people enjoy this aspect of the wet, with the rivers and waterfalls in full glory, and the landscape greener.

Get in

Aerial Shot of Darwin City

By plane

Jetstar offer direct flights to Darwin to and from Singapore, and flying from Asia or Europe to the eastern Australian capitals via Darwin is practical, and will often cost no more than flying direct. Darwin also has international flights to Bali, Saigon, and East Timor.

Darwin is easily accessible from most major Australian cities by several domestic carriers.

There is a airport shuttle bus, which meets all flights 24 hours, and taxis are available.

There are limited public transport services to the airport. Bus 3 has two deviations (c) and (d) which service Charles Eaton Drive and Henry Wrigley Drive. Bus 3(c) services run at three times between 6:25 and 8:05am, one at 12:30pm Mon-Fri. Bus 3(d) services run at three times between 3:55 and 5:20 pm Mon-Fri. If you are travelling outside these times, it is still possible to catch bus 3, get off just after stop C (Jingili shops) just before the bus turns down Scales St, and walk the 2km down Henry Wrigley Drive to the Airport. Allow 30mins to walk there. Once you check in at the airport and go through security, there are free (hot) showers upstairs (turn right at the top of the escalators) to freshen up after your walk. Bus 3 is a circuit service starting and finishing at Casuarina Interchange (so you could also use this service to get from the airport to town). If you are travelling from the Darwin city centre, bus 10 operates from Darwin Interchange to Casuarina Interchange where you can then catch bus 3 to the airport.

Other option might be Bus 5 between Casuarina to Darwin Interchange - closest bus stop at Rothdale Rd, 2km from Airport; no sidewalk. Bus Station might be hard to find because no map, some streets have no sign. To find Bus Stop Number 271 for Bus line 3 or 5 (without deviations) from Airport :

0. Get money from ATM and make sure you have small bills (The bus cannot split; has only coins).

1. Exit from Arrival.

2. Go straight and follow the path. On the right side you will see the Pick up Area and then a little walkway through trees. You will end up on a street - You see buildings of General Aviation (front), exit of a parking lot (left), large street sign to Rydes Airport Hotel (right). Go along street (right).

3. Follow the street until Pederson Road - Along the walk you will see see Rydes Airport Resort on the right side.

4. If you want to use bus 3d then continue on the Pederson Road - Charles Eaton Street ends in Pederson Road.

5. If you want to use regular bus then continue on Street 1 (Wrigley Drive) until the crossing with traffic light. Along the way you will see Abala Road (road to a Sport Complex).

6. At this crossing exists a Petrol Station and a white sign "Jingli". Cross (go straight) the crossing with traffic light (McMillians Road; No names) . Then you will be in Rothdale Rd.

7. After Petrol Station (30m) exists on the left side a Bus Stop (Darwin to Casuarina). Opposite (right side) exists a bus stop and a bench (Casuarina to Darwin). Wait there up to one hour.

For detailed timetable information and fares, refer to the Darwin public transport website [1].


  • Darwin International Airport [2] is situated 13 km north-east of the city centre. There are direct flights to most Australian state capitals, Northern Territory destinations, as well as destinations in northern Western Australia. There are direct international flights to Bali, Singapore and elsewhere.
  • Chartair [3] offer specialised travel services to suit your needs. They have bases in Darwin, Katherine, Borroloola, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs. Prices range from $500 to $20,000. Check the website for more details [4] or call +61 8 8952 6666
  • Regional Link[5] is a newly formed division of the NT aviation services company Capiteq Limited, whose other airline subsidiary is Airnorth. Regional Link offers numerous flights into Darwin from regional areas including Broome, Kununurra, Gove, Groote Eylandt, Granites, Maningrida and McArthur River. Regional Link also operates one flight a week from Perth via Kununurra.

By road

The Stuart Highway is the only highway into Darwin; heading directly into the city centre and extending southwards all the way to Alice Springs (about 1,500 km) and Adelaide (3,042 km or 1,886 mi). You can access Darwin from all the Australian capital cities staying on regularly trafficked sealed (bitumen) roads with regular services. The drive from Sydney or Perth is about 4000 km-4500 km (2485 mi-2800 mi)depending on the route you choose, plan your trip and your stops carefully. Don't assume you can get fuel at night.

By train

The Ghan arriving in Darwin

The Ghan [6] is a tourist train that crosses the continent from Adelaide to Darwin twice a week. It is invariably more expensive than flying, but it is a journey for those who enjoy train travel, or who want to bring their car without the hassle of driving. There are transfers in Adelaide from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. You can also transfer your car from any of these origins. The train line to Darwin was built relatively recently, and was designed primarily for freight. The terminus for the train is near the deep water port at East Arm, approximately 7 km (4.5 mi) from the city centre; on the other side of Frances Bay, take a taxi, or get your accommodation to arrange a pickup for you. Buslink [7] provide a complimentary service for guests traveling in Gold class. For guests traveling in Red class, a shuttle bus service is provided. Tickets are purchased from the driver and no booking is necessary. Return services run from the Transit Centre on Mitchel St. There is no public transport to the train station.

By sea

Cruising has increased in popularity in the Northern Territory and the schedules for several international cruises include a day stopover in Darwin. Expedition cruise ships touring the northern coast of Australia are becoming a popular way to visit remote Aboriginal art communities in Arnhem Land and Groote Eylandt.

Cruise ship dock at Fort Hill Wharf, which is quite close the Stokes Hill Wharf by water, but it is a 2 km or so by road. It is around 1 km (0.6 mi) to the Esplanade, and 2 km (1.2 mi) to downtown.

Get around

Map of Inner Darwin

Driving is the best way to comprehensively see Darwin. Many of the sights are spread out, parking is easy and traffic is usually free flowing.

There is a public bus service [8], which is useful for accessing areas close to the city. The services are more frequent closer to the central area where the routes overlap, but you will need to plan according to the timetable to get anywhere else - some services only run a couple of times a day. The buses are air-conditioned. $3 per 3 hour transfer, $5 for for a daily or $15 for a weekly passes.

Walking between attractions or from a bus stop to attractions, even in the inner-city, can be very hot work for those not used to the Darwin climate. Dress to stay cool, and carry water.

Tours are available, and tour coaches are available to some attractions.

  • Buslink, 113 Pruen Rd Berrimah, +61 8 8947 0577, [9]. Buslink are the major private provider of public transport, operating half of the Darwin Bus Network. Buslink also have charters.
  • Darwin Private Hire Cars, 59 May St, Parap, +61 8 8981 2222, [10]. Darwin Private Hire Cars specialise in corporate and leisure transportation, and airport transfers. With a full range of personalised transport options to suit your specific needs, the driver/guides are fully trained so you can enjoy your outback experience. $40-600.

See

War Memorial

Historical

  • Darwin Wharf Precinct, Darwin Wharf, Darwin, +61 8 8981 4268. At 9:58AM on 19 February 1942, the wharf was a target for Japanese bombs, which claimed the lives of many service personnel and waterside workers. Many of the historical landmarks remain and can be explored today.
  • Fannie Bay Gaol, East Point Rd, Fannie Bay. 10:30AM-4PM. Fannie Bay Gaol operated as Darwin’s major prison for almost 100 years from 1883. Two maximum security wings were added during the 1950s and the gallows were used for executions until 1952. The building’s grim and oppressive history can be felt as you walk through. free.
  • Burnett House at Myilly Point, Myilly Point, +61 8 8981 0165, [11]. Architect B.C.G. Burnett designed homes adapted to the climatic conditions of the Top End, which included the use of lightweight materials and natural ventilation. It is worth leaving your visit to Myilly Point until Sunday afternoon, when you can take High Tea in the shady tropical gardens at Burnett House.
  • Browns Mart, +61 8 8981 5522, [12]. Browns Mart is a stone building that was opened in 1885 as the store ‘Solomon’s Emporium’. It played many roles over the years, but today has become a cultural and historic icon of the city that is regularly used for theatre and performances.
  • Adelaide River War Cemetery. During World War II, Adelaide River township was the site of a large military base. The war cemetery created there is now the final resting place for 434 military personnel and civilians involved in the war effort. The cemetery is set in lush surrounds alongside the Adelaide River with beautifully tended gardens providing a peaceful backdrop for remembering the fallen.
  • Lyons Cottage, +61 8 8999 8201. Lyons Cottage, overlooking Darwin Harbour on The Esplanade, was built in 1925 to house staff working on the submarine cable that connected Australia with Britain. Also known as British Australia Telegraph (BAT) House, Lyons Cottage survived the Japanese bombing raids of 1942 and 1943 and escaped structural damage from Cyclone Tracy in 1974. The Cottage today houses the local indigenous tourism booking service.
  • The Old Court House and Police. Built in 1884 for the South Australian Government, these colonial style buildings made from local stone have housed criminals, the Navy and today the NT Administrator’s Offices. Restored after damage by Cyclone Tracy, these buildings are a stark reminder of the Darwin of yesteryear.
  • Aviation Heritage Centre, +61 8 8947 2145, [13]. The Aviation Heritage Centre has an impressive collection of aircraft and displays depicting the Territory’s involvement in aviation from the early pioneers to the jet age. The prize exhibit is a B-52 bomber on permanent loan from the United States Air Force, one of only two on public display outside the US. The centre is 8 km from Darwin city and is on the site of fierce air combat that took place overhead during World War II.

Natural

  • Bicentennial Park. This scenic stretch of parkland along The Esplanade overlooks Darwin Harbour. It’s a great place to kick a footy, soak up some rays or have a picnic while watching the sun set.
  • George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, (Geranium St off the Stuart Hwy), [14]. 7AM-7PM. A stone’s throw from the city centre are 42 hectares of gardens that showcase local flora and that of other tropical habitats around the world. Explore monsoon forests, coastal foredunes and open woodlands on a stroll through the botanic gardens. Free.
  • Lake Alexander. An ideal spot for swimming all year round, Lake Alexander is popular for picnics and barbecues. Spend the day by the water, have a game of volleyball and tire the kids out on the playground.
  • Casuarina Coastal Reserve. The Reserve encompasses 1500 hectares, including 8 km (5 mi) of sandy beaches bordered by dramatic cliffs. Stretch your legs on one of the walking paths or grab a table and settle in for a barbecue under a shady Casuarina tree.
  • Charles Darwin National Park. Shell middens in the area indicate that it has been used by Aboriginal people for thousands of years. The Larrakia people are the traditional owners of the land. During World War II, this area was part of a network of military sites that formed Australia’s front line of defence, and as a result there are many bunkers and storage facilities remaining.

Cultural

  • Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), (Bullocky Point (Darwin Harbour), +61 8 8999 6573 (fax: +61 8 8981 7625), [15]. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa Su + public holidays 10AM-4PM, closed 1 Jan, 25-26 Dec, and Good Friday. - set on a tropical garden on Darwin Harbour is this, the Northern Territory's premier cultural institution. The MAGNT collections place the region's art, history and culture, and natural history in an Australian and international context through research, interpretation and collection development. These collections encompass Aboriginal art and material culture, visual arts, craft, Southeast Asian and Oceanic art and material culture, maritime archaeology, Northern Territory history and natural sciences. The MAGNT complex consists of five major permanent galleries, a touring gallery, educational facilities for school groups, a theatre, the Museum Shop and the Cornucopia Museum Cafe. All contribute to providing an entertaining, diverse and educational experience for the local community and visitors to Darwin. Marvel at the giant Salwater Crocodile known as "Sweetheart" who was responsible for attacking multiple boats in the 1970s, the 18 foot Crocodile is now on display in the museum. free admission.
  • Northern Territory Parliament House, State Sq, +61 8 8947 2145, [16]. Northern Territory Parliament House is Australia’s newest. Opened in 1994, it was built on the site of the old Darwin Post and Telegraphic Office, which included the Post Office, the telegraph office, the telephone exchange, cable company offices, stores, staff residences and staff messes. Public tours are conducted regularly at no charge, although booking is essential. free entry.
  • Darwin Beer Can Regatta - exactly what it says on the tin (oh wait, can)! Wacky races which happened in the water at Mindil Beach annualy in July, if you drink enough VB you could always enter yourself! [17]

Do

Historical

Replica Spitfire at the Aviation Historical Society of the Northern Territory
  • World War II Oil Storage Tunnels, +61 8 8985 6333, [18]. Hidden deep beneath the city is one of the most interesting historical sites in Darwin. The World War II Oil Storage Tunnels were built during World War II due to the vulnerability of standard storage tanks to aerial attacks. Delays and the failure to properly seal the tunnels from water meant that they were never used for their initial purpose. Two of the tunnels are open to the public and feature an awesome collection of photographs of life in Darwin during World War II.
  • East Point reserve, [19]. East Point Reserve, just north of the city, is filled with walking trails and cycling paths. The area is also home to Darwin’s East Point Military Museum. Here you can check out WWII relics and watch footage of the Darwin bombing. Go near dawn or dusk to see Agile Wallabies.

Natural

  • Berry Springs Nature Park is a popular and picturesque area for picnics and is a great swimming spot. Use goggles to spot native fish and other aquatic life that live in the clear pools. The picnic area is a good base from which to take a walk through the monsoon forest and woodlands. Bring your binoculars if you're keen on bird watching. Around 50 km south of Darwin, reachable in 45 min by car. It has a kiosk. It can be closed for swimming during the wet season.
  • Casuarina Coastal Reserve Just a 20 min drive from the city, the Casuarina Coastal Reserve comprises sandy beaches fringed by Casuarina trees and sandstone cliffs. The Reserve protects areas of cultural significance, including Old Man Rock, a registered Aboriginal sacred site. The Reserve also features a large grassy area with barbeques and tables.
  • Aquascene, 28 Doctors Gully Rd, +61 8 8981 7837, [20]. You feed the fish by hand and they're not little fishies, so luckily they don't bite hard! Feeding is dependent on the tide, so check the website or call for the schedule. entry fee applies.
  • Crocodylus Park [21] - Only 5 min drive from the airport, the park is home to more than a thousand crocodiles. It also houses exotic birds, primates, big cats and lizards. Children under 4 years have free entry.
  • Adelaide River Jumping Crocodile Cruise to get up close and personal to the crocs. Stop at the Humpty Doo hotel on the way to the Adelaide River and sample the cold beer on offer.
  • Batchelor Butterfly and Petting Farm, 8 Meneling Rd, Batchelor, +61 8 8976 0199, [22]. The Northern Territory's only butterfly farm, is situated in the heart of Batchelor, gateway to the Litchfield National Park. Proivides a cafe and licensed restaurant in a tropical setting. Offers viewing of rare and beautiful butterflies, a diverse display of birdlife, a petting farm with lots of rabbits, guinea pings, turtles, fish, peacocks and native galah birds. A secure play area for children is provided. $10, $5 child, $8 senior.
  • Territory Wildlife Park, +61 8 8988 7200, [23]. The Territory Wildlife Park is a popular attraction, home to monsoon and paperbark forests and a wetlands walk. You can stand nose-to-nose with a 3.7 metre saltwater crocodile on a walk through the aquarium tunnel. Twice-daily birds of prey show or animal encounters presentation.

Cultural

Mindil Beach Markets, Darwin
  • Deckchair Cinema, Jervois Rd off Kitchener Dr, Wharf Precinct, +61 8 89810700, [24]. Gates open 6:30PM, films nightly from 7:30PM Apr-Nov. Relax outdoors in the deckchairs on Darwin Harbour and enjoy a movie under the stars. Deckchair Cinema screens quality Australian, family, foreign and popular films every night of the dry season. There is also a licenced kiosk. $13.
  • Darwin Festival, [25]. The Darwin Festival program provides a feast of local, national and international performances to excite, inspire and entertain. The festival includes everything from free outdoor events to theatre, dance, music, cabaret, films, workshops and comedy, not to mention the sensational cuisine. Running for 18 nights, the Darwin Festival reflects the indigenous, Asian and Pacific cultures of the region. August.
  • Aboriginal Art Awards. The Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award is the premier national indigenous event on the arts calendar. The Award attracts a broad range of artistic talent and showcases up-to-date developments in contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Aug–Oct.
  • Heineken Hottest 7’s in the world. This Rugby 7’s competition is held over two days with local teams competing against the best from overseas, interstate and intrastate. It ranks as the leading prize money 7’s event in Australia with $60,000 up for grabs.
  • BASSINTHEGRASS. Every year, thousands of Darwin locals and visitors flock to the Darwin Amphitheatre to rock to their favourite Australian and International bands. Previous line-ups include Powderfinger, Hilltop Hoods, Wolfmother, Gyroscope, Jet and Eskimo Joe, just to name a few. This is a sell out event every year, so make sure you get your tickets early. The event is normally held in May.
  • Darwin Cup Carnival. Share in the excitement of Darwin’s premier horse racing calendar. The Darwin Cup Carnival features Ladies Day, where the ladies can show off their finery and enjoy a sumptuous luncheon and a glass of bubbly and culminates in the Darwin Cup race. The picturesque Fannie Bay Racecourse track is one of only a few dirt tracks in operation on the circuit, and the Darwin Cup Day witnesses 19,000 people bursting the rails. 4 Jul–3 Aug (2009).
  • Arafura Games. The Arafura Games, held in Darwin, is a sporting event for developing athletes across the Asia Pacific region and beyond. It provides the experience necessary to succeed in competition of the highest level. This biennial event is a major highlight on the sporting calendar and is recognised throughout the Asia Pacific region as a week-long celebration of sporting competition, cultural diversity and friendship.
  • Darwin Entertainment Centre, +61 8 8980 3366, [26]. Boasting a recent facelift, the Darwin Entertainment Centre has an unmistakable presence on Mitchell Street. Complete with playhouse, studio theatre and exhibition gallery, the Centre hosts concerts, dances and performances from Australia and overseas.
  • Nightlife. Darwin’s youthful population adds energy and zest to the city’s vibrant night life. After dark there’s plenty of culture, music and entertainment to keep you busy.

Learn

The Northern Territory is a great place to study, with options available in VET courses and apprenticeships, as well as undergraduate and post graduate tertiary study. Institutions are located in and around the Northern Territory’s major centres, so you will always be close to the action to unwind in your down-time. See the Territory Government's website [27] for information about studying and working in the Northern Territory.

Work

Working Holiday

A working holiday in the Northern Territory gives you the opportunity to experience a lifestyle and culture that's completely different from the rest of Australia and, in fact, the world. From outback stations and horticultural farms to hospitality and nursing, there are many ways to fund your holiday in the Northern Territory.

Buy

Automatic Teller Machines are available extensively. Foreign exchange is available at most banks.

Markets

Visiting the local markets is a must-do Darwin experience [28]

  • The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets are immensely popular, are by far the largest in the NT and runs from May to October on Thursday and Sunday. They cause the largest traffic snarls and most parking hassle you are likely to encounter in Darwin. Bring a bottle of wine and blanket, find a spot on the sand and watch a famous Darwin sunset. For a sweet fix, try chocolate-filled churros, or a flame-grilled Malaysian satay stick for something savoury. Vegetarians should try the Lucky Cow’s felafel wrap. There are many stalls, heaps of food choices, and even avid market haters will like these markets.
  • Enjoy exotic cuisine, local art, craft and live music. No visit to the Saturday morning Parap Village Markets is complete without a bowl of Mary’s famous laksa, a curry-filled roti wrap or freshly blended fruit juice.
  • On Sunday visit the Nightcliff Markets, start with a visit to the crepe stand for a strawberry and nutella breakfast, while listening to the beat of live music. There are some interesting stalls offering eco-friendly soaps, hemp products and locally designed clothing.
  • Rapid Creek Sunday Market is great for locally grown fruit and vegetables, particularly Asian herbs. Here you can get a Thai massage, or pick up homemade mango chutney and jams. It operates all year round on Sunday morning.
  • Big Flea Market Rapid Creek, Rapid Creek Shopping Centre, Trower Road, Rapid Creek, Darwin (. Buses from Darwin city and Casuarina stop by the market on a regular basis), +61 8 8948 4866. 7AM to 1PM every Sunday. Relax and enjoy a stress-relieving massage or cool tropical juice. Darwin's oldest market is situated only 20 min from Darwin city, in the Rapid Creek Business Village.Good location for a relaxing Sunday brunch or browsing the stalls for fresh organic produce. Asian fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, exotic plants, flowers and seafood are available. You’ll also find a range of local handmade crafts. Free entry.
  • Palmerston Markets are held each Friday in the dry season. They're largely family orientated but have a great selection of Asian and local food stalls along with some selling nick-nacks and goods. What makes these markets really unique, though, is the hundreds of noisy, multi-coloured parakeets which fly between the trees jostling for a good nesting position above the markets as the sun sets. Palmerston is an easy bus ride from Darwin's CBD and Mitchell street. [29]

Shopping

Start at Smith Street Mall in the city centre then branch out into the surrounding streets. Travellers will find a range of shopping experiences including local galleries specialising in Aboriginal art or speciality shops selling world-class pearls and crocodile-skin products.

  • Tiwi Art Network, (3 / 3 Vickers St, Parap), [30].
  • Nomad Art, (1/3 Vickers St, Parap), [31]. Specialists in Aboriginal art from the Northern Territory, with an emphasis on works on paper. Nomad Art also run a gallery in Manuka, Canberra.
  • Aboriginal Fine Arts Gallery, (1F, Cnr Mitchell and Knuckey Sts), [32].
  • Top End Gold Honey - local honey from around the Northern Territory. The flavours vary according to the seasons with a unique taste at every time of year.
  • Casuarina Square, 247 Trower Rd, Casuarina, +61 8 8920 2345, [33]. Casuarina Square is the largest shopping complex in Darwin, offering a wide range of specialty stores, a food court and a seven screen cinema complex. Browse the stores, treat yourself to a movie or sit down and relax with a coffee. There is a public bus station at the centre, which also runs its own free shuttle from leading hotels between April and September. Casuarina Square is a popular spot for locals and travellers looking to enjoy retail and entertainment. Free entry.
  • Kunwinjku Aboriginal Art (Artist Leslie Nawirridj), [34]. Leslie is a traditional owner of Mand-dedj-ka-djang outstation on the Liverpool River. He paints in the way of his ancestors whose original work is the rock art of Western Arnhem Land. Leslie has perfected the technique called rarrk, or fine-line cross-hatching, to present the traditional "x-ray" style of painting. You can find him at the markets at Mindil Beach, on Thursdays, and Parap with his original paintings and prints.

Eat

Darwin’s downtown dining hub encompasses Mitchell and Knuckey Streets and is brimming with restaurants, cafes and pubs. Dinner in Darwin can be classy or casual, but always relaxed. For breakfast, Café Uno serves a tasty toasted avocado, tomato and cheese croissant, and coffee lovers should head to Café 21 in the mall. For something a little different, try the coconut loaf with lemon curd at Roma Bar or French toast with maple syrup and bacon at Ducks Nuts Bar and Grill.


  • Eat at Martins (Vegetarian Vegan Gluten free), 6 Caryota crt.Coconut Grove (No 4 Bus exit clock tower), 0411515963, [35]. 8 to 3.30. 10 min from CBD . Amazing food at great prices.Not only for vegetarians.Open for Breakfast and Lunch. $ 10-20.

Darwin CBD

Asian Restaurant on Smith St Mall

Lunch options in the Central Business District are endless. Jump on the sushi train at Go Sushi, people-watch over a Caesar salad at Wisdom Bar & Café or try the crispy roast duck at Roast and Noodle. Enjoy the variety of Tapas at Moorish Café or create your own stir-fry at Magic Wok. There is an array of pubs that serve up fish and chips, burgers and parmas, Shennanigans or the Fox Ale House. For a juicy steak and fine wine visit Char Restaurant @ Admiralty, head to Hanuman for consistently great curry, get your Italian from Giuseppe’s or try mod oz fare matched with a colourful cocktail at Monsoons.

Budget

  • Shennanigan's [36] at Mitchell St and Peel St, for pub-style food and live music
  • Hanuman Restaurant, 93 Mitchell St, +61 8 8941 3500. Th-Su 9AM-4PM (for breakfast & lunch), Fr Sa 6PM-late (for dinner). Thai, Indian and Malaysian dishes with local ingredients. $22-89.
  • The Tap,[37] in the middle of Mitchell St. Sit down and relax and watch the world walk by.
  • Ducks Nuts, Mitchell St.
  • Wisdom, Mitchell St. Try the 50 beers on their "Enlightenment through beer" wall, and join a list of esteemed tourists and locals alike.
  • Kozy Cafe, Mitchell St.
  • Energy2Go, for healthy fast food
  • Tim's Surf & Turf located on Litchfield St has good value meals which will no dint your wallet.

Mid-range

  • Lewinsky's, 28 Mitchell St, +61 8 8941 8666, [38]. Specialise in seafood. Wine collection designed to suit a range of tastes and budgets. Award winning, fully licensed restaurant also offers private dining rooms. Recently opened the Showcase wine bar.
  • East West Restaurant, 43 Knuckey St, +61 8 8941 6911. The menu is influenced both by the exotic, aromatic spices of Asia infused with salty, bitter and sweet flavours, whilst western influences are seen in variations of grills, pastas, salad mixes and gourmet sauces. Extensive wine and cocktail list and your choice of al fresco or airconditioned dining.
  • Char Restaurant at Admiralty, 70 The Esplanade, +61 8 8981 4544, [39]. Local produce, international and local wines with innovative cuisine and good service.

Splurge

  • Essence Restaurant, 1 Henry Wrigley Dr, Marrara (within the Darwin Airport Resort), +61 8 8920 3333, [40]. Influences of both the Asia and Pacific regions. Incorporating Australian 'bush foods' with modern Western ingredients. Fully licensed and offers an extensive wine list.
  • Evoo Restaurant, Skycity Darwin, Gilruth Ave, +61 8 8943 8940, [41]. Australian and Mediterranean cuisine in an intimate setting with ocean views. Licensed with an extensive Australian and French wine list, as well as a cellar list of Australian vintage wines.
  • Dragon Court Restaurant, Skycity Darwin, Gilruth Ave (Skycity Darwin), +61 8 8943 8888, [42]. Chinese dining prepared by Chinese chefs. Good service, elegant decor, a fully licensed bar and an extensive wine list.
  • Redsalt Bar and Grill, Crowne Plaza Darwin, 32 Mitchell St (Lobby level), +61 8 8982 4992, [43]. Fully licensed contemporary restaurant, in light and airy surroundings. Informal, relaxed dining . The Australian cuisine menu features premium steak dishes and seafood including barramundi, as well as a range of vegetarian dishes. Groups are welcomed and reservations are recommend.

Stokes Hill Wharf

Stokes Hill Wharf Watch the barges, sail boats and tinnies out on the harbour or peer over the edge to see moon fish getting their feed from chips dropped by diners. Most of the food served here is picnic style take away. Stir-fried noodles, beer battered barramundi, crumbed calamariand other choices are presented on plastic plates. Make sure you visit the ice cream shop and refresh your palate with a scoop of butterscotch or mint choc chip. There is also a more upmarket seafood restaurant on site.

Parap

Well-known for its markets, but also has a diversity of lesser-known restaurants. Try sizzling Mongolian beef at The Happy Garden Chinese Restaurant or steaming hot tamales from Prickles then move on to coffee and cake at The Cyclone Café or Paraparazzi. If you want to stock up on gourmet goodies, head to Parap Fine Foods, they’ve got a great deli and stock French home-style bread.

Budget

  • Parap Markets, Parap Shopping Village, Parap Place, Parap, +61 8 8942 0805, [44]. Sa 8AM-2PM. A mixture of Asian cuisine and the aroma of fresh coffee. Great place to shop and a favourite among locals and visitors. Browse the markets, winding through stalls of local produce, local arts and crafts, entertainment and delicious cuisine from around the world. This Saturday morning market has become an institution and ritual among locals who just couldn’t survive a weekend without their Saturday morning laksa, satay prawns or fresh tropical smoothie.

Mid-range

  • Saffrron Restaurant, Shop 14, 34 Parap Rd, Parap (Cnr of Gregory St and Vimy Ln), +61 8 8981 2383, [45]. A self-serve, fully licensed restaurant with relaxed, casual dining in a tropical atmosphere. Indian cuisine including traditional Tandoori, North and South Indian dishes.

Splurge

Fannie Bay

Best known for its views and pricey real estate, the assortment of dining in Fannie Bay is considerably less expensive than the housing. You can drink a glass of sparkling with breakfast at Cornucopia Museum Café, but be sure to book, as it is always busy. Across the road is the Darwin Ski Club, where the food is pub-style with harbour views. Try The Cool Spot Cafe, a trendy hangout that offers great light meals and snacks. The seafood dishes are a highlight at Pee Wee’s at The Point, especially the soft shell mud crab.

Budget

Mid-range

  • Cornucopia Museum Cafe, Conacher St, Fannie Bay, +61 8 8981 1002, [46]. Fully licensed cafe is located adjacent to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Fannie Bay, harbour side overlooking the tropical museum gardens and the Timor Sea.

Splurge

  • Pee Wee's at the Point, Alec Fong Lim Dr, East Point Reserve, Fannie Bay, +61 8 8981 6868, [47]. Amongst tropical palms with a quiet natural ambiance. Fresh local produce and ingredients including local saltwater barramundi, tiger prawns, tropical fruit and locally grown Asian vegetables. Dine al fresco on the patio and take in the sunset views across Fannie Bay or inside in the fully licensed restaurant.

Cullen Bay

Offers an abundance of seafood choices and expansive harbour views, but you’ll also find Italian, Thai, Greek and French cuisine. Freshly shucked oysters are a specialty at Yots Greek Taverna, try the barramundi at La Beach, succulent battered bug tails from the takeaway fish and chip shop or settle with a glass of sparkling at Buzz Café. There is a large variety of restaurants along the boardwalk overlooking the marina, so you won’t be starved for choice.

Budget

Mid-range

  • Buzz Cafe, 48 Marina Blvd, Cullen Bay, +61 8 8941 1141. Fully licensed and located at Cullen Bay, offers al fresco dining with modern Australian cuisine. Individually hand painted tables are shaped to ensure waterfront views for everyone. Restaurant has some eclectic design features.

Splurge

Drink

Consumption of alcohol in public places
Please note, within certain areas of the Northern Territory, there are restrictions on the consumption of alcohol in public places. More information on specific restrictions can be found at the Tourism Northern Territory website [48]


Brownsmart Theatre, Darwin

Darwin has numerous clubs and bars. Also you can check out some local music at Brown’s Mart.

  • Endless Summer Party Cruise, 3/29 Stuart Hwy, Stuart Park, +61 8 8941 2434, [49]. Games, prize giveaways and heaps of fun. There are bar facilities available, drink specials, a disc jockey and MC to entertain you through out the night. You’ll then board the party bus and head off into Darwin city for an after-party club tour. $65.
  • Humpty Doo Tavern, Humpty Doo Shopping Centre (Cnr of Freds Pass Rd and Challenor Circuit, Humpty Doo), +61 8 8988 2550. On the edge of the agricultural area surrounding Darwin, 47 km and approximately a 30-min drive from the city. The township of Humpty Doo has attracted people who want to live beyond the city limits, but within easy commuting distance. A favourite stop for both locals and travellers on their way to Kakadu or visiting Fogg Dam, popular for bird watching. Mangrove Jack’s Bar provides airconditioned comfort, or you can enjoy a light ale in the tropical outdoor beer garden. There’s live entertainment, and lunch and dinner is served daily.
  • Sirocco Restaurant and Bar, 116 The Esplanade (Holiday Inn Esplanade), +61 8 8980 0800, [50]. Relax and enjoy a pre-dinner drink or refreshing cocktail at the fully licensed restaurant and bar, a tranquil spot overlooking an azure blue pool.
  • Top End Hotel, Mitchell St.
  • Turtles Bar and Bistro, 342 Casuarina Dr, Rapid Creek (Within the Beachfront Hotel), +61 8 8985 3000. From Th-Su. Live entertainment including local bands and entertainers. Savour one of the cold tap beers as the sun sets, relaxing at the bar inside or kick back on the deck.
  • Victoria Hotel, In the Smith Street Mall

Sleep

Aerial shot of Darwin

Budget

  • Ashton Lodge, 48 Mitchell Street, +61 8 8941 4866. Affordable accommodation in the heart of Darwin. The Lodge features 24 air-conditioned rooms with a choice of ensuite or shared bathroom facilities. Amenities include a swimming pool, communal kitchen and laundry facilities. Guests also receive a special 10% discount at Wisdom Bar & Café, located next door.
  • The Cavenagh Backpackers (Nomads Backpackers Hostel), 12 Cavenagh St, [51]. Located in the heart of Darwin city.
  • Frogshollow Backpackers 27 Lindsay St, ☎ +61 8 8941 2600, toll free-1800 068 686, fax +61 8 8941 0758 [52]) Dorm-1 Person, $24, or $140 weekly. Room only-2 persons $55-68.
  • Globetrotters Lodge YHA, 97 Mitchell St, +61 8 8981 5385, +61 8 8981 3353 (). $73.50-94 per room/per person-$20.50-27.50 for a dorm per person.
  • Melaleuca Backpackers [54] 52 Mitchell St, ☎ 1300 723 437, +61 8 8941 7800.
  • Stella Maris Seafarers Centre, 1 McMinn St, +61 4 0059 0279 (). $20/night or $100/week for a single room.
  • Value Inn [55] 50 Mitchell St, ☎ +61 8 8981 4733
  • YMCA of Darwin, Doctors Gully, +61 8 8981 8377 (). Single room $25/night or from $120/week.
  • Youth Shack, 69 Mitchell St, +61 8 8923 9790, [56]. One of Darwin’s newest backpacker accommodations and is situated in the heart of the city. Chill out and relax in the light and airy dormitory rooms, unwind with a book on the sun-deck. Facilities include a large outdoor kitchen area, BBQ, office and business services, camp kitchen. courtesy transfers, communal kitchen, communal refrigerator, TV lounge, games/recreation room, pay/satellite TV, outdoor swimming pool, public telephone, and a tour desk. 24-hr check-in. $18-85.
  • The Wilderness Lodge 88 Mitchel St. $24.

Mid-range

  • Accommodation on Eden, 36 Eden St, Stuart Park, +61 8 8947 4440 (fax: +61 8 8980 0888). $200-450.
  • Botanic Gardens Apartments, 17 Geranium St, +61 8 8946 0300, [57]. Quality accommodation centrally located in tranquil surroundings on Gardens Hill with views over the Botanic Gardens to the Arafura Sea. 2 or 3 bedroom fully self contained apartments, as well as motel rooms, also have four three bedroom, self contained townhouses, situated opposite the main complex. A stroll through the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens leads to the Skycity Casino, Mindil Beach, restaurants, golf course, tennis courts and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. $129-395.
  • Crab Claw Island Fishermans Village, Lot 180, Crab Claw Island, Bynoe Harbour, +61 8 8978 2313, [58]. Nestled on the waters edge in a Balinese style reflecting a fishing village with elevated A/C cabins connected by walkways through the trees and palm gardens. Swimming pools a restaurant and fully licensed bar with harbour views. A limited number of powered and unpowered caravan and camping sites are situated 75 m from the waters edge and boat ramp. $28-344.
  • Feathers Sanctuary, 49A Freshwater Rd, Jingili, +61 8 8985 2144, [59]. Bed and breakfast style accommodation, set on two acres of landscaped grounds in the heart of Darwin, just minutes from the Darwin airport. The bird collection at Feathers Sanctuary is diverse. Both native and exotic birds live in two large aviaries. Guests are able to enter the Waterfall Aviary and view the birds at close range. Feathers Sanctuary is secluded and secure. $200-275.
  • FreeSpirit Resort Darwin, 901 Stuart Hwy, Berrimah, +61 8 8935 0888, [60]. Set on 28 acres of lush tropical gardens and located just 15 min from Darwin city on the Stuart Highway. An independent member of BIG 4 Holiday Parks. 1 and 2 bedroom villas and cabins Powered and unpowered sites for caravans, recreational vehicles, motorhomes and campers. Facilities include; swimming pools, a poolside bistro and bar, internet cafe and a giant jumping pillow for children. $28-340.
  • Grungle Downs Tropical Bed and Breakfast, 945 McMillans Rd, Knuckey Lagoon, +61 8 8947 4440, [61]. Set in an idyllic location, only minutes from all Darwin's attractions and is perfect for a family . The Lodge has 4 queen beds. Bed and breakfast rooms and the completely self contained Family and Pet Friendly Cottage, pets are welcomed by arrangement. $120-400.
  • Latitude 13.08, Litchfield Tourism Precinct, Litchfield Park Rd, Batchelor (4 km N of Wangi Falls), +61 8 8978 2077, [62]. One of Litchfield’s premier safari camps, close to all major attractions of the Litchfield National Park. Good base from which to explore the region. Has a range of permanent safari tents and tented cabins equipped with comfortable beds. Includes dinner and breakfast at Litchfield Cafe. $215-235.
  • Mandalay Luxury Stay, House 4, 78 Esplanade, +61 8 8942 3012, [63]. Self contained house with 3 bedrooms available. Quality artwork and luxurious furnishings. Offers privacy and comfort for up to six people sharing the fully equipped kitchen, views of Darwin Harbour from the balconies and swimming pool. $165-660.
  • Mantra on the Esplanade, 88 The Esplanade, +61 8 8943 4333, [64]. Overlooks Darwin Harbour to the Arafura Sea and the city skyline. 4 star hotel offers 140 one, two and three bedroom suites, 64 hotel rooms. Restaurant, bar, outdoor swimming pool and spa. Apartments have large private balconies. The hotel is adjacent to the Mitchell Street restaurant hub and within walking distance to the central business district. $215-750.
  • Moonshadow Villas, 6 Gardens Hill Crescent, The Gardens, +61 8 8981 8850, [65]. Tropical garden estate of five luxurious self-contained residential villas in a tranquil. Easy access to the city centre and Mindil Beach Sunset markets. $399-725.
  • Mount Bundy Station, 315 Haynes Rd, Adelaide River (Stuart Hwy), +61 8 8976 7009, [66]. Bed and breakfast rooms in the homestead, budget rooms in the Stockmen Quarters, group facilities in the Billabong House, self contained Cooks Cottage, shady caravan/camping sites and a swimming pool. Situated on the banks of the Adelaide River and set high on a hill overlooking the station. The homestead is comfortable and homely with fantastic views and is a quiet rural experience, enjoy your visit with personal interaction with the owners and their family life. $10-1400.
  • Pell Mell Farm Stay, Stuart Hwy, Adelaide River (Stuart Hwy) (A little to the north from Adelaide River), +61 8 8976 7006, [67]. A typical bush property, coloured by picturesque salmon gums and habited by local wildlife and a herd of 40 doe-eyed Brahman cattle. Provides a spacious, yet cosy, 2 bedroom cottage with a veranda. 'French' doors and wooden louvers open out onto a balcony. Sofa-bed is provided in the lounge area so the cottage can sleep six. $220-550.

Splurge

  • Bamurru Plains, Swim Creek Station, Harold Knowles Rd, Point Stuart (Two and half hours from Darwin), +61 2 9571 6399, [68]. An exclusive wildlife experience at Swim Creek Station on the Mary River floodplains, Safari-style camp is surrounded by savannah woodland teeming with wildlife, reptiles and birds. Spacious free-standing rooms expose guests to the sounds of the floodplains. The dining area has good views across the vast wetlands. 10 m wet edge pool and a library. Wide variety of activities are available including trips on the Sampan River, animal viewing, crocodile cruises, airboat trips and four wheel drive safaris. Helicopter flights are available at an additional cost. $898-1345.
  • Dragonfly House, 164 Dick Ward Dr, Coconut Grove (8 km from Darwin city centre or Casuarina), +61 8 8985 6322, [69]. Modern self-contained apartment is ideal for families, groups or individuals. The house is serviced weekly and is perfect for families attending weddings and family gatherings. The indicative rate shown is a weekly basis, however longer stay rates are available. Public buses passing by location on a regular basis $1200-1500.
  • Skycity, Gilruth Ave, The Gardens, +61 8 8943 8888 (toll free: +1800 891 118), [70]. Set amongst tropical beachside gardens, this is a 5 star boutique hotel located moments from the CBD.

Stay safe

In an Emergency dial 000 for ambulance, fire or police.

  1. Dial 000 and request the service that you need
  2. Remember to remain as calm as you can and give a clear description of your location
  3. Speak clearly and give the details as requested

Royal Darwin Hospital is one of five public hospitals located within the Northern Territory. The hospital is on Rocklands Drive, Tiwi, on the northern side of Darwin. As you approach Casuarina, blue signs give directions to the hospital, but it is better to familiarise yourself with the Hospital's location before you may need to find it. Darwin Private hospital is situated across the road. Extensive delays may occur for treatment of anything other than very serious illness or trauma injuries at the Accident and emergency section of Royal Darwin Hospital. Be prepared for a long wait, especially on weekends.

Drink plenty of water; at least 1 litre of water for every hour of walking in very warm weather. Ensure you have an adequate fitness level for the bushwalk you plan to undertake.

Avoid walking in the hottest part of the day or walking alone, register with the overnight bushwalking register if you plan an extended walk. Carry a map of the area you're walking/camping in and know how to read it, tell someone your plan and when you expect to return. Carry a mobile telephone if in a potential coverage area but do not expect coverage anywhere other than very built up areas with good line of sight to a transponder tower. Under no circumstances should you rely on mobile telephony for essential communications unless within the city area. Ensure you are using a mobile telephone service that provides usable coverage in the Northern Territory. Not all of the service providers give even faintly adequate coverage throughout the Darwin area and much less so outside the immediate city and suburban area. Please see the Driving in Australia article for some useful tips that apply to travelling by road in the Northern Territory. Even locations very nearby to the city can present serious challenges and concerns unless properly skilled and prepared for the conditions. The effects of hot weather and exhaustion can set in quickly if you encounter difficulties. Even if you are successful in raising an alarm for assistance it may still be a long wait before it can arrive.

Malaria does not exist in or around Darwin and during the peak of the dry season (the preferred traveling season) Mosquitoes are still present though in areas where there is water. Bring a DEET based repellent, as this will also work on sandflys. Risks arising from Dengue fever should be considered.

The dreaded Box Jellyfish is a potentially deadly beach hazard between the months of October and May, but less so during the peak travel season. When swimming at local beaches, even in the 'safe' season of June to September, bring vinegar and pour it over the wound if stung. Transport to hospital is a must as the venom of the Box Jellyfish can be deadly - remember CPR.

Crocodiles are very common in waterways, but are only occasionally found on public beaches. The local newspaper loves a good crocodile story. If a crocodile is nearby to a public place it will be often in the local media.

Never camp near the water's edge.

There are safe swimming areas in and around Darwin, but caution should always be practiced- if you are even the slightest bit unsure about an area do not swim. A 6 m crocodile can lie completely invisible for more than 2 hrs in less than 1 m (3 ft) of water, so unless an area has been deemed safe by the local wildlife management, you'd be best to leave it alone. A check with the NT Parks and Wildlife Service will reveal which parks are open, and which are open with swimming prohibited.

Snakes inhabit most areas of the Territory, so be cautious when walking through long grass

Contact

Internet

Many hotels, motels and backpacker lodges have Internet access with special deals for guests. Some accommodation providers have free internet for guests.

Local roadhouses increasingly offer internet kiosks. Darwin libraries offer Internet access terminals for AUD$3 per half hour for visitors, and there are variety of Internet cafes around the city.

Free wifi (Internode) is available at Darwin Airport, and at the McDonalds restaurant near the airport.

Get out

Indigenous culture in Tiwi Island

Darwin is the gateway to the rest of the Northern Territory. It provides a base for day trips to explore the 'Top End' of Australia.

  • Kakadu National Park is the largest national park in Australia. It contains one of the highest concentrated areas of aboriginal rock art sites in the world, the most famous being at Nourlangie Rock and Ubirr.
  • Katherine is where the outback meets the tropics. Situated about 300 km south of Darwin. The township is situated on the banks of the Katherine River, which flows down from the world-renowned Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk National Park).There are incredibly diverse landscapes and unique ecosystems set the scene for outback adventure activities like fishing, canoeing, bushwalking, birdwatching, camping and four-wheel driving.
  • Litchfield National Park is a 1,500 sq km park situated an hour-and-a-half drive from Darwin. The Park includes a lot of the Tabletop Range, which is a wide sandstone plateau mostly surrounded by cliffs. Stay for the day or for the more adventurous stay for two or three days. The monsoon season lasts from October to May, the rest of the year is a good time to visit as the waterfalls flow more gently, making the waterholes perfect spots for a cool dip. Main attractions include permanent spring fed waterfalls (Florence, Tolmer and Wangi), cascades at Buley Rockhole, magnetic termite mounds, and a wildlife cruise along the majestic Reynolds River.
  • Tiwi Islands are a small archipelago 100 km north of Darwin, famous for Aboriginal culture and art. Only a 20-min flight away, but only accessible via organized tour.


Routes through Darwin
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