Your guide to Darwin.
Darwin is a thriving, multifaceted city and capital of Australia's Northern Territory - one of the most remote and sparsely populated regions in the country. Built on the Timor Sea, the city is the gateway to some of Northern Australia’s most striking natural scenery, while its proximity to South East Asia has fuelled Darwin’s status as a bridge between the country and neighboring Indonesia. Colossal mountains, verdant grasslands and sprawling national parks surround Darwin’s bustling urban center, while characterful taverns, unique cultural attractions and a fabulous assortment of fresh fish restaurants reinforce the city’s welcoming, congenial feel.
With fascinating museums, illuminating history and expansive parks, there’s a wealth to entertain visitors on a port call to this beautiful part of Northern Australia. Find inspiration in the indigenous art at the Museum of Northern Territory or venture into the subterranean WWII Oil Storage Tunnels at Darwin waterfront. The Darwin Military Museum recounts historical events using captivating, multimedia exhibits, while George B. Darwin Botanic Gardens is an oasis of native tropical fauna that can’t fail to invigorate the senses. Finally, when the tide gets high, don’t miss the chance to hand-feed hundreds of fish at Aquascene on Darwin’s Doctors Gully.
Eating and drinking.
From cozy cafes and coffee houses to lively modern bars and atmospheric pubs, Darwin offers a variety of places to eat, drink and unwind. While the city is known for its seafood, Darwin’s culinary scene caters for all tastes and dietary preferences. Indulge with a locally sourced steak or sample the city’s fantastic Asian restaurants. Coral trout, sweetlips and red throat emperor are just the tip of Darwin’s fresh fish offer, while barramundi (Asian sea bass) and crocodile steaks are an antipodean delicacy. Wash it all down with a frosty Foster’s, Castlemaine XXXX (pronounced four-x) or a natively produced wine from an award-winning vineyard.
From lively markets and sprawling shopping centers to intimate boutiques and galleries, Darwin boasts an excellent selection of shopping hot spots. Native aboriginal crafts can be tracked down at the city’s weekly markets (in the dry season) and among the stores lining Smith Street Mall in the CBD (Central Business District). Popular buys include bark and sand paintings, woven baskets, digeridoos, dilly-bags woven from the fibers of the Pandanus genus plant and jewelry made from local gemstones such as opal. Casuarina Square, Darwin’s largest shopping center, is accessible by a taxi while multiple fashion and food outlets are located within Darwin Galleria on Smith Street Mall.
Around two hours’ drive from Darwin, Litchfield National Park is a rugged region of spring-fed waterfalls, clear creeks and dense palm forests spanning over 150,000 acres. The park features picturesque swimming areas, rare plants, bat-inhabited caves, and the chance to glimpse Australian wildlife including wallabies, flying foxes and kangaroos. A river cruise to see saltwater jumping crocodiles is another popular excursion from Darwin. Roughly a 40-mile drive from the city, a short boat trip along the Adelaide River delivers you to the area where crocodiles - some up to five meters in length - leap from the water to retrieve food dangling from baited lines.