DarwinDarwin is a thriving, prosperous and multicultural city with lively bars and wide-ranging international cuisine. It is lush, tropical, and the gateway to top-end outback adventures through the world heritage Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. Darwin boasts an eclectic cultural mix: Asian music, food, and languages live side-by-side with aboriginal artistry, Australian beach culture, love of the outdoors, and a profound appreciation of cosmopolitanism.
The CityDarwin, built upon a low bluff overlooking Darwin Harbour, is the administrative capital of the Northern Territory and is called the capital of tropical Australia because it is lush and green, full of tropical plants and the perfume of Frangipanis. The cyclone season is from November to April, when there are stunning electrical storms and predictable afternoon rains. The city had to be virtually rebuilt after being devastated by cyclone Tracy in 1974. Before that, the city had been destroyed tree more times — yeah, tough luck. Darwin is also the most multicultural city in Australia, boasting over 75 nationalities, a large indigenous population (25 percent) and a diverse range of immigrants from Asia. The Stuart Highway — The Track — is the only road out of town and runs 2,800 km south to Adelaide. Since 2004, Darwin has had a rail link to the great southern cities of Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. The Ghan passenger train service runs twice a week.
Do & See
Darwin is a youthful city with a young and vibrant population, and it is famously packed with young travellers during the dry season. Outdoor living is the norm and outdoor activities and adventures are the main attractions, with breathtaking natural parks in close proximity. Central Darwin is compact and easily explored on foot, although the suburbs are somewhat spread out.
Australian dining is almost always an easy-going and casual experience, even in smart restaurants. Darwin restaurants have a fabulous range of fresh seafood, primarily the superb local Barramundi fish. Local wildlife such as kangaroo, crocodile, buffalo, emu and camel can also be found on many menus. International cuisine is also on offer including Mediterranean, Thai, Malay and Chinese. Pubs have voluminous menus and are a popular alternative.
Australia has long been a country of tea-drinkers, but coffee has taken over in recent times. Darwin has plenty of local roasters and specialist baristas, now boasting lots of cosy cafes, patisseries and seaside eateries to choose from. So whether you fancy a long and relaxing brunch, a quick coffee or an afternoon drink, you'll find exactly what you're looking for in garden cafes of specialist bakeries.
Bars & Nightlife
Darwin has always had a reputation for playing hard, and now young travellers keep up the tradition, especially on the weekends. The city has also become very cosmopolitan and varied, with fabulous multicultural markets, shopping centres, casinos, nightclubs, a smorgasbord of restaurants and, of course, pubs galore.
Darwin is no great shakes as a designer shopping venue, except in terms of outback necessities, aboriginal artefacts and surf gear. The main shopping areas are Mitchell Street and the parallel pedestrian precinct of Smith Street. Mitchell Street offers mainly tour agencies, cafes, bars, Internet cafes, aboriginal art and a few other miscellaneous shops. The Smith Street pedestrian precinct is a more relaxing retail environment with fountains, outdoor cafes, bookshops, shoe shops and tourist stores.