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.
Darin Entertainment Centre
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.