Bars and restaurants are almost all open air and buzz with an international crowd every night of the year. Art galleries and film festivals abound, and there are even plenty of cutting-edge fashion boutiques owned by local designers.
Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory, a state that includes Alice Springs and Australia's most esteemed tourist attraction, Uluru (formerly Ayres Rock). The mighty Kakadu National Park with its incredible rainforests, gorges and billabongs (remote shallow water lakes) are also nearby.
Darwin's climate is super-steamy and even solicitors wear dress shorts when appearing in court. The inviting waters of the Timor Sea are not to be trifled with, however, since crocodiles swim in the ocean here and will take a bite out of the first thing they see. The flipside to this is that delicious crocodile steaks are served at a number of Darwin's top-notch restaurants.
Mindil Beach is the delightful stretch of palm-tree fringed sand that runs right next to Darwin downtown. It's a focus of activity all through the year but particularly each evening during the dry season when the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets really bring the space to life.
Several billion Australian dollars have been spent redeveloping the waterfront part of the city into a world class precinct with a convention center, concert hall and various other large civic buildings. The project is almost completed and most of the large buildings such as the Darwin Convention Centre are already open.
The Darwin Entertainment Centre is located directly in the center of the city and hosts the Darwin Festival, the Darwin Symphony Orchestra and all number of drama and performance events. The area around the center is a performing arts, retail and dining precinct.
Mitchell Street is the main retail and entertainment street of Darwin. Many cafés and restaurants are located here and most offer al fresco dining. Cinemas and nightclubs also make up the Mitchell Street scene.
When in season, box jellyfish at Darwin beaches can be a serious danger and can cause death. Saltwater crocodiles are sometimes present too. However, there are designated safe areas on Casuarina Beach and plenty of supervision from lifeguards too. Parts of Casuarina Beach are reserved for nudists.
Few cities in the world boast such proximity to great natural wonders and spectacular sights. Though visitors should bear in mind that distances in Australia are relatively vast, Darwin is ‘close' to Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park and Katherine Gorge.
Find more information about Darwin and hotels in the area:
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