As the capital of the Northern Territory, Darwin is rich in culture and World War II history. Tropical weather brings with it an outdoor lifestyle with multiple festivals held throughout the dry season. Close to national parks and featuring beautiful beaches and parklands, Darwin’s friendly laid-back lifestyle within a modern city will pique your interest.
Top things to do in Darwin
1. Mindil Beach Markets
Check out the sunset markets here which start back on the 26th April this year and will run each Thursday until the last Thursday in October. With over 300 stalls, you are sure to encounter some local treasures that you won’t find elsewhere. Mindil beach itself is a stunning location, as the beach is unpatrolled and there is a threat of crocodiles and jellyfish, it best to enjoy the view of the water rather than swim.
Darwin is a hive of activity when it comes to festivals and activities. Locals and visitors are spoilt for choice during the dry season (May- October) when you’ll find most festivals taking place. In May the Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival, Freds Pass Rural Show and the Peoples Choice BASSINTHEGRASS music festival all take place. In June and July choose from the Greek Glenti, Summer Session 2018 and Territory Day celebrations.
3. Litchfield National Park
Only 1 hour 20 from Darwin, Litchfield National Park is a must visit. Swim in the beautiful waterholes beneath the spring-fed waterfalls or take a walk through the trees to view the Tolmer Falls. There are plenty of short walks available or if you’re up for a challenge, try the 39km Tabletop track. There are also 4WD tracks, camping areas and historic ruins throughout the scenic park.
4. Tiwi Islands
Nicknamed the ‘Islands of smiles’, these islands are a must-do. Only 80km north of Darwin, there is a 2.5 hour SeaLink Ferry Service which runs regularly. The Tiwi peoples are internationally known for their art including carvings and bright textile designs, There are three art centres, a culture museum, the old Catholic mission precinct and Pukamani (burial) poles in the cemetery, A pre-arranged tour with an Aboriginal guide is the only way to visit and you’ll need a permit to visit.
5. Adelaide River War Cemetery
The cemetery honours those who served and lost their lives in the Territory during World War Two and the civilian cemetery adjacent houses the graves of civilians who lost their lives as a result of war service. 113 km south of Darwin, its well worth taking the time to visit and pay your respects.
6. Bicentennial Park
A large parkland area in Darwin’s city centre, Bicentennial Park runs the length of Darwin’s waterfront overlooking the harbour. The park has several monuments dedicated to those who died in the bombing of the town including the war memorial. The park is home to festivals such as the Darwin Festival which takes place over 18 days in the dry season (May-October). The festival celebrates the multicultural aspects of the Northern Territory.
- Postcode– 0800
- Median house value– $953,576
- Median unit value– $463,247
- Rental returns– The average house in Darwin has a weekly median rent of $670 and average rental returns of 3.40 per cent, while units have a median weekly rent of $520 and average returns of 5.71 per cent
- Average listing duration– 90 days
- Average weekly income– $1121
- Dwelling type – The majority of properties are units (76 per cent)
- Occupation – The majority of residents are professionals
- Ownership– The majority of properties are rented (67 per cent) while 8 per cent are fully owned
- Birthplace – 52 per cent of Darwin residents are Australian
- Age – The majority of residents are in the 20-29 years age group (33 per cent), followed by those in the 30-39 years age group (20 per cent)
Places to eat in Darwin
While there are a range of eateries in Darwin, there are a few iconic restaurants you cannot miss.
Char Restaurant – Set by the sea in the grounds of the heritage listed Admiralty House, Char Restaurant has a steak and seafood focused menu, and they do it well. They also have an extensive wine list.
The Pearl Darwin – A touch of France in the middle of Darwin. This picture perfect restaurant and bar specialises in French-inspired, modern Australian food. They have delicious share plates and elegant cocktails. Be sure to leave some room for dessert. The beautiful and stylish décor is just as good as the food, with black and white striped walls, pops of botanical wallpaper and ornate mirrors.
Pee Wee’s at the Point – Pee Wee’s at the point offers a unique and memorable dining experience. Take a seat on the open air dining porch or right on the water’s edge looking across to the city lights. Nestled amongst picturesque palms and the natural surrounds of East Point Nature Reserve, Pee Wee’s menu reflects the climate, produce and multiculturalism of the top end. Try the locally caught Saltwater Barramundi or the Kangaroo Carpaccio.
Transport in Darwin
Darwin is well serviced by local buses. From Darwin City, is it approximately a 15 minute drive to Darwin International Airport, which has an airport shuttle service in the CBD.
Hospitals and healthcare in Darwin
There are several medical centres in Darwin city including Darwin City Medical Centre, Cavenagh Medical Centre and an indigenous health service. There’s also a free clinic and specialist clinic as well as services for dental, optical, physio, chiro, acupuncture and naturopathy.
Education and childcare in Darwin
Charles Darwin University is found in Darwin, as is the CDU Darwin Waterfront Campus. For those a bit younger, there is St Mary’s Catholic Primary School as well as several childcare and early learning centres.
Shopping in Darwin
While it may not be known as a mecca shopping destination, there are a number of stores and services in Darwin city that will cater to your shopping needs. For groceries, head to the Coles in Mitchell Centre. This is a shopping centre right in the city which has a range of shops including a bakery, bottle shop, travel agent, phones stores, pharmacy, eateries, and fashion and accessories stores.
Sports and recreation in Darwin
To keep residents active, Darwin city has a number of gyms, an F45 studio, yoga, boxing, a rock climbing gym and some pools, including the popular Darwin Wave Pool.
Get some fresh air and keep active at Darwin Waterfront or in one of several park areas such as Bicentennial Park. If your interests lie more indoors, there are a number of galleries to check out in Darwin, including the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. There’s also a library in the city.
Entertainment in Darwin
There are plenty of options for entertainment and nightlife in Darwin.
For a unique cinema experience, check out the Deckchair Cinema, set in a relaxed outdoor space with sea views.
If the weather’s not looking so good, you could head to the indoors BCC Cinemas instead.
Catch a live performance at the Darwin Entertainment Centre or meet up with friends at one of the bars around town.
Whether you’re after something casual, live music, dancing or some high end cocktails there are plenty of options to suit. Some local favourites include Monsoons, The Cavanaugh Hotel, Hotel Darwin, The Deck Bar, Stone House Darwin, Shennanigans Irish Pub, Hotel Darwin Sports Bar or The Precinct.
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