Darwin

Last Updated: 20th Aug 2014

The capital of the Northern Territory is warm and tropical year-round and Darwin is as busy and cosmopolitan as the region gets. Home to a little over 100,000 Northern Australians, the city is one of the country’s fastest growing and is the regional center as well as being an important military base.

The major sites of the city are seen as part of Contiki’s included sightseeing tour of the city. however if you have some spare time in the city you may want to check out Doctor’s Gully where you can watch and participate in the feeding of the fish at during high tides.

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is home to the remains of an 18 foot crocodile that attacked many boats in the 1970’s. For live crocodiles you may also want to visit the Darwin Crocodile Farm while the Indo Pacific Marine exhibition allows you to view living coral, tropic fish and marine animals without getting your feet wet.

Nightlife

by – Kirsten :)

Mitchell Street in Darwin’s CBD (central business district)is one of the places to go. Nightclubs and Restaurants line the street, which runs parallel to the esplanade. Places like ‘Discovery’ nightclub are great to hang out at if you like the clubbing scene.

Cullen Bay has some awesome Seafood restaurants right up near the beach as well as some nice cafes to relax at.

Shopping

Casuarina Shopping Centre is the biggest in the Northern Territory and is located in Casuarina. Darwin City will be the other option if you are after shopping centres.

During the ‘Dry Season’ (from about May until November) there are night markets held at Mindil Beach, near the botanical gardens. There you will find plenty of multicultural foods and authentic Aussie souvenirs that you can purchase. Also near Mindil beach markets is the MGM Grand Casino.

Beaches and Outdoor Activities

Mindil beach itself has great sandy beaches to either go swimming, chill out or get together with a group of people and play volleyball or cricket on the sand.

Fanny Bay is a more upmarket area, but is home to the Waterski club and has some watersports available for hire. (Do look into before going.) It is a great place to sit around and relax. Fanny Bay is not far from the Botanical Gardens in the city, or the Gardens golf course for those who’d like to try their hands at some golf. (also close to Mindil beach)

There is also the Charles Darwin National park, situated near the suburb of Winnellie.

If you head out towards Kakadu National Park, there are some great places to do bush walking, etc. while Berri Springs is also a great place to walk around, do some swimming near small waterfalls and take in nature and wildlife.

Weather

Darwin and the Northern Territory experience two seasons – the ‘Wet Season’ and the ‘Dry Season’. Both run for 6 months each. The build-up between the wet season and dry is in about April/May. Then the build-up from the dry to wet seasons occurs in about October/November. As the name suggests, the Dry Season generally is slightly cooler and less humid. It rarely rains and can be a lot cooler at night. During the Wet Season it rains constantly, and is much more humid. The temperature in the Wet season generally is around 30-33 Degrees, but with about 98% humidity.

Drink

by – mattyvcontiki

Darwin is also famous/notorious for the ‘Darwin Stubbie’ – a 2 liter (half gallon) bottle of beer, reputed to be the largest bottles of beer in the world and filled with the local Northern Territory Draught beer.