This small city, with a population of only 197,000, more than holds its own. Being the Northern Territory Darwin naturally has a large Aboriginal population. As you can imagine, this more than adds to the city’s appeal. You can watch native artists at work in the many craft shops most days; Darwin is obviously the place to be for trips to famous National Parks Kakadu and Litchfield. However, this city has so much more to offer. There’s also a good range of bars and clubs across the city.
Attractions in Darwin
Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory: Cultural buffs among you can get all hot under the collar with all the museums and galleries in Darwin to explore. The cream of the crop, however, would have to be the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Here you can go back in time to 1974 (orange flowery shirt optional) and experience Cyclone Tracey. You’ll walk into a darkened room and listen to actual news reels from the fateful night, and then be launched into a mock disaster zone.
East Point Reserve: If you want to stretch your legs, however, go for a stroll in the afternoon to East Point Reserve – a spit of land north of Fannie Bay. At this time of day the wallabies come out to feast and the sun sets across the bay. Or walk to the old Stokes Hill Wharf, below the cliffs at the southern end of the centre. At the end of the jetty is the Arcade, an old warehouse housing a food centre that’s not a bad spot for an alfresco lunch or a cool beer. Back on the mainland the wharf precinct also features old storage tunnels dug into the cliff face during WWII.
Darwin Harbour: Feeling more energetic? Then buy yourself some flippers and go down to Darwin Harbour for some diving. The wrecks from WWII and Cyclone Tracey, which are now encrusted with coral and support plentiful marine life, make excellent underwater explorations. If you’re not keen on getting wet though, you could take a walking tour around some of the remaining historic buildings still preserved in the city such as Old Palmerston Town Hall and Christ Church Cathedral.
Crocodile Wrestling: Feeding time at Darwin’s Crocodylus Park would make even Paul Hogan’s heart flutter. There are more than a thousand monsters of the swamp here – ranging from foot-long hatchlings to big-bastard adults measuring 16 feet and weighing in at more than a half a ton. At lunchtime these hungry crocs practically queue up to crunch down on their food with their massively powerful jaws.
Fannie Bay Gaol Museum: It may not have quite the panache of Alcatraz as lockups go but this one is still certainly an interesting sight. Located a little further out of town at the corner of Ross Smith Avenue and East Point Road, this was the crème de la crème of Darwin jails between 1883 and 1979. You can have a good old mosey around the cells or if you’re feeling particularly dark, the gallows used in the northern Territory’s last hanging (fairly recently in 1952) are also available for perusal.
Travel Tip: Additionally, because of your location, you have a number of Outback Tours to choose from. From Uluru to Cairns Tours, Uluru Tours and Uluru Tours from Darwin, these are great ways to see the Outback!
Mitchell Street is the heart of Darwin’s CBD area with plenty of opportunities to flash your cash for some well earned retail therapy. There is the large Mitchell Centre Shopping Centre and also plenty of other specialty shops to tempt your plastic fantastic. And after lugging around all your newfound possessions there are many cafes where you can take a load of your feet and refresh yourself.