The Northern Territory’s tropical capital city is far from a concrete jungle. It boasts a beautiful harbour, interesting WWII history and delicious Asian-influenced food.
With a population of close to 150,000, Darwin was discovered in 1839 by Scottish explorer John Lort Stokes. It was also named after his former shipmate − none other than famous naturalist Charles Darwin.
During WWII, the city became a pivotal army base for the Allies in their Pacific fight against the Japanese.
Today, it is known as the Top End’s regional centre and Australia’s rainiest and northernmost capital city.
One of Darwin’s most fascinating sites is its World War II Oil Storage Tunnels. Located beneath the city, two are open to visitors and include an interesting photo collection of life during World War II.
If giant crocs are your thing, head to Crocosaurus Cove and encounter Australia’s iconic saltwater crocodile. Daredevils can swim with these big boys in the ‘Cage of Death’.
Darwin also has two national parks: Mary River National Park and Litchfield National Park. Both are hikers’ paradises and teeming with wildlife.
Shopaholics will love the Mindil Beach Sunset Market and its many stalls selling clothing, jewellery, homewares and indigenous crafts.
Darwin’s CBD is perfect for the budget-conscious, with hostels like Youth Shack Backpackers and Chilli’s Backpackers providing clean and comfortable rooms.
Mid-range hotels include Mantra on the Esplanade and DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Esplanade Darwin. Both feature scenic waterfront views and are walking distance from attractions like Bicentennial Park and Smith Street Mall.
Those with deeper pockets can consider Darwin Waterfront Luxury Suites along Kitchener Bay. If a private beach is more your style, go for the 5-star Mindil Beach Casino and Resort, which includes 2 swimming pools and 4 restaurants.
Foodies rejoice! Darwin’s the perfect gourmet destination thanks to its fresh produce and cosmopolitan nature.
With its proximity to Asia, you’ll find plenty of quality Asian cuisine. Our favourite is Austin Lane’s Little Miss Korea, a Korean BBQ Restaurant by celebrity chef Chung Jae Lee.
There’s also Chow! at the Darwin Waterfront Apartments, a Southeast Asian concept with items like pho, laska, bubble tea and sake bombs.
For fine dining along the water’s edge, Pee Wee’s at the Point brings you eclectic dishes like kangaroo carpaccio and nut-crusted wild-caught barramundi.
Want a quick meal? Stop by Go Sushi X or Roast & Noodles 328 at the CBD.