Things to do in Darwin
The multicultural hub of the Northern Territory, Darwin is a small city oasis in the Red Centre. Darwin has grown from a small colonial settlement to a sophisticated city with all the hustle and bustle of a thriving metropolis. Its population may have grown, but Darwin holds on to its relaxed local community charm. With residents from over 60 countries and 70 ethnic backgrounds, Darwin has welcomed people from across the world with open arms. Relaxed though it may be, Darwin is sure to delight.
Food Food Food!
Darwin may be small, but it has not escaped the foodie trend sweeping through Australia. Here you can find some of the best dining experiences in the country!
Situated along the Timor Sea, Darwin restaurants bring in some of the freshest and best seafood in Australia. Menus are teeming with fresh-caught barramundi and crab and showcase local specialties such as Kakadu plum, lemon myrtle and green ants.
For a truly local experience, you must try crocodile. The versatile meat has a slightly fishy taste and is perfect served marinated, skewered with dipping sauce, or in curry-based soups. You can find crocodile on a lot of menus in Darwin and even at market food stalls!
It’s hard to visit Darwin and not come across a market. With so many talented locals, it’s easy to see why the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Market has grown to over 100 stalls.
Walk through rows and rows of tents selling local wares, goods, and crafts. If you’re hungry, stop at one of the 60 food stalls set up each night. No matter what you’re feeling like, you’ll find an abundance of flavourful street food. Japanese, Sri Lankan, Greek, and Cambodian are just some of the cuisines on offer- showcasing the true diversity of Darwin’s locals.
Continue to wander as you eat or set yourself up to watch one of the many buskers or street performers scattered around the market for a unique dinner show. Before you leave, pick up a treasure or two for yourself from one of the craft or local clothing stalls to remember your trip.
For the adventurous
Darwin is a hot spot for adventure activities. Join a Jumping Crocodile Cruise to see giant crocs up close and personal. These scaly giants are one of the world’s most fierce carnivores and can move at surprising speeds. Head to the Adelaide River, where over 1,600 crocs live, and watch as these wild animals feed, jumping out of the water to display their incredible 7metre long bodies.
Head into Litchfield National Park and trek through the ever-changing landscape to divine swimming spots. As you go deeper into the park, you’ll find yourself at Wangi Falls. Dubbed the best swimming hole in Australia, the falls boast clear waters, stunning views, and a lovely water temperature.
Many people are not aware of Darwin’s involvement in WWII. Darwin’s proximity to Asia made it the perfect place for a military base. Two years after the base was established, Japanese forces heavily bombed Darwin. The base is no longer operational; however, Darwin is still used as a transit stop for movements throughout Asia.
Today, you can visit the Darwin Military Museum to learn more about the events of that day and the importance of the base. You can also visit the Oil Storage Tunnels. Following the bombing, the tunnels were built to store oil and keep them safe from aerial bombardment. Today, the tunnels are open to the public and contain special exhibitions detailing Darwin’s history and the importance of the bombing.
Related article: Visit Darwin on a Budget