The tropical capital of the Northern Territory is a small yet cosmopolitan city, which sits beside a larger harbour, twice the size of Sydney's and offers plenty for travellers to see and do. Chairs and tables spill out of street-side restaurants, innovative museums celebrate the past and galleries showcase the region's rich indigenous art.
Much of Darwin's action happens along its revitalised waterfront, which is lined with restaurants, shops, sandy lagoons and parklands. Swim in the lagoon, fish from the wharf, dine alfresco on just-caught seafood, stroll past the waterfront mansions or trace the area's rich history in walking trails and public artworks.
History buffs can learn about the day World War II came to Australia at sites scattered across and around the city. At the Defence of Darwin Experience hear personal accounts of those affected, see original B52 bombers at the Aviation Heritage Centre and a variety of old airstrips in and around town along with ammunition bunkers that formed part of Australia northern defence line in Charles Darwin National Park.
The city's premier cultural attraction is the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, which showcases fantastic exhibits including Aboriginal art. Other attractions include George Brown Botanic Gardens with plants from around the world; Bicentennial Park, which runs the length of Darwin's waterfront and Lameroo Beach; Crocodylus Park, for a close-up look at one of the world's most feared predators or Aquascene where every day at high tide hundreds of fish gather at the shallows by Doctors Gully Road in search of a meal.
Popular Mindil Beach Sunset Market, held every Thursday and Sunday between April and October, has around 200 stalls selling arts and crafts whilst musicians and street performers entertain. It's also a great place to sample a wide range of cuisine from the different food stalls. The Deckchair Cinema, is another much-loved Darwin institution, where a variety of films are screened every day from 6pm between April to November in a lovely outdoor location. Nature is well and truly part of Darwin's backyard – the famous national park of Kakadu is only a few hour's drive away. Additionally, just 85 miles from Darwin is Litchfield National Park with its 250 square miles of lush, monsoon forest, waterfalls, termite mounds and unusual rock formations. Alternatively, the unique Tiwi Islands are a boat-ride away and offer the chance to experience life in a modern-day Aboriginal community. Tourism to the islands is restricted and the only way to visit is as part of an organised tour from Darwin.
- Wonderful waterfront
- Historic attractions
- Superb museums
- Mindil Beach Sunset Market
- Deckchair Cinema
- Access to National Parks
- Fascinating Tiwi Islands