Things to do in Darwin, NT

By Levi Dance

June 21, 2023

At night the city bursts into life along Mitchell Street, the heart of Darwin’s restaurants, pubs and clubs. Harbour-side entertainment can be found on the stylish boardwalks of Cullen Bay Marina, Skycity Casino, the legendary Mindil Beach, and quirky Ski Club or Sailing Club which boast spectacular sunsets.

Local restaurants and markets offer a variety of cuisines and atmospheres, but make sure that you tuck into some authentic Territory fare like mud crabs, Barramundi, buffalo, kangaroo and crocodile.

Take time to indulge in the open air Asian-style markets at Parap, Nightcliff and Mindil Beach. Relish the flavour of five continents, browse locally made arts and crafts, and watch local entertainers perform.

Darwin Harbour plays host to an array of world-class fishing experiences with anglers hooking Barramundi and other tropical fish, or the more relaxed option of a sunset cruise.

Litchfield National Park is an easy 90 minute drive from Darwin, making it the ideal choice for an adventurous day trip or extended visit.

Ask any local and they’ll say Litchfield is their favourite. Visitors and locals alike enjoy thundering waterfalls, breathtaking waterholes, dramatic landscapes, wildlife and treks.

With more than 50 nationalities making up its population and the proximity of South East Asia, it is no surprise that Darwin serves up a rich diversity of culinary experiences.

Fresh produce abounds, with Top End fare offering visitors a truly unique fusion of contemporary Australian, Mediterranean, Indian and South East Asian cuisine.

From Thai paw-paw salad, Malaysian laksa and Indonesian satays, to the traditional Greek baklava or char-grilled octopus, Indian mango lassi and quintessential Australian steak; Darwin’s taste for the exotic delivers an array of gastronomic choice.

Darwin’s tropical climate and coastal location lends itself to an outdoor lifestyle.

Much of the city’s social activities take place at open air markets, outdoor festivals, in parks and reserves, by the beach or on boats down on Darwin Harbour. Even movie buffs prefer to enjoy their films under the stars at the famous Deckchair Cinema.

Darwin’s calendar of cultural events, festivals and concerts make the most of a spectacular climate between May and September, when the Dry Season brings days of endless sunshine as the rest of Australia shivers through winter. Open-air markets are held across the city every weekend in Parap, Rapid Creek and Nightcliff.

No holiday to Darwin in the Dry Season is complete without a visit to the charismatic Mindil Beach Sunset Markets every Thursday and Sunday night.

Steeped in ancient Aboriginal values and beliefs and moulded by the tough European pioneering character, Darwin enjoys a unique heritage that surprises many who visit.

Its role as Australia’s frontline against the very same Japanese force that struck Pearl Harbour is only just now being celebrated and respected. Today, visitors can experience WWII heritage unlike anywhere else in Australia.

Sacred Aboriginal sites exist in and around Darwin, with guided tours introducing visitors to the world’s oldest living culture.

Visitors can also experience what it was like to be living in Darwin when the ferocious winds of Cyclone Tracey struck on Christmas Eve in 1974, devastating the city for the second time.


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