Welcome to Darwin - here in the Outback you’re closer to Jakarta than to Sydney and closer to Singapore than to Melbourne. Darwin’s closeness to Asia is indicative in the way it celebrates Chinese New Year. Turquoise water, spectacular storms, beaches, and the Outback, Darwin has plenty to choose from.
Darwin: Australia's Tropical City
The Northern Territory's tropical influence is prominent in its state capital, Darwin. From jungle gardens to crocodile warnings, there is something for the budding botanist as well as the adventure seeker. But, of course, there are safe swimming beaches and quiet lagoons far from scary reptiles, too.
Darwin is a hub for regional talent and especially Aboriginal artists. The city is proud of its history, which you will be able to gather from numerous testimonies to its role in world events, notably, World War II.
Holiday rentals in Darwin abound, from spacious apartments with water views to family houses close to parks and greenery.
Darwin's Waterfront Action
Darwin's two main beaches are only a short distance from the CBD. Mindil Beach is surrounded by golden sand dunes. Crocodiles and jellyfish inhabit these coastal waters, so swimming is not recommended, but the scenic stretch is ideal for long strolls.
In the evenings, Mindil Beach comes to life with its Sunset Markets, where you can browse arts and crafts stalls and grab dinner from stands serving a variety of international dishes.
If you would like to swim or soak in the warm tropical waters, head to patrolled Casuarina Beach, which is backed by a leafy reserve. A quiet spot for swimming in Darwin, Wave Lagoon is favoured by families with young children.
Many of Darwin's beaches and lagoons offer prime fishing spots. Try your luck at reeling in Barramundi, among other species.
Darwin's Parks and Reserves
Not far from the CBD, Charles Darwin National Park offers some of the best views over the city and is parsed by trails for cyclists and walkers. Within the park, you will find historic sites related to Darwin's Second World War involvement. In addition, there are traditional middens, attesting to the Larrakia People's presence in the region over the last few millennia.
Holmes Jungle Nature Park offers a glimpse into the area's native vegetation. A number of paths have been forged within the park. Wander along the trails for the chance to spot local birds. Closest to the CBD, Bicentennial Park plays host to year-round events and festivals and boasts water views.
The George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens provide another opportunity to learn about the region's plants. The gardens' paths are paved and well-kept, winding through tropical forest settings, fields in bloom and naturally growing marine flora. The Botanic Gardens are a piece of living history, as they have been around for over 130 years.
Darwin for Adrenaline Junkies
Adventure seekers can visit Crocosaurus Cove to do everything from feed crocodiles to swim with them. The bravest can even step inside the Cage of Death, which lowers you into the water so that you are only inches from the park's biggest reptiles. This is the only crocodile dive opportunity in the country. Crocosaurus Cove is also home to a number of other reptiles and tropical fish, which you can observe as they move around an expansive freshwater tank.
For more action, witness the races at Hidden Valley Motor Sports Complex. You will be able to cheer on mud racers, watch V8 supercars speed by on the track or simply snap some shots of the drag strip. Races are held throughout the year. The complex offers several food and drink outlets, so you won't go hungry.
Arts and Culture in Darwin
Travelers to Darwin can get to know the city and region better by stopping at one of the many galleries or museums. To learn about local Aboriginal and Southeast Asian art, spend some time at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. The museum also hosts exhibits related to natural history.
If you would like to focus exclusively on Indigenous art, visit the Bula'bula Arts Centre for works produced by the area's aboriginal community. For contemporary pieces, catch an exhibit or show at the Art Warehouse.
Pieces of public art are displayed throughout Darwin. Stroll through Bicentennial Park, the grounds of the Convention Centre and the streets of the city centre to see a variety of sculptures and other outdoor works.
Getting to Darwin
Travelers from around Australia and overseas can get to Darwin by flying into the city's international airport. Once you have landed, rent a car or take advantage of Darwin's extensive public transport network.