A brief history of Darwin
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory and has a population of approximately 136,000. It is in close proximity to Asia and therefore has a strong Asian influence. The city was rebuilt twice, once during WWII after a Japanese air raid and then again in 1974 after being pounded by Cyclone Tracy.
Things to see
Being right on the Timor Sea, Darwin has been blessed with a natural beauty. Mindil is the beach of choice and on Thursdays and Sundays hosts a market with quite a variety of foods Asia. Best to go in the evenings, grab a bite of food, and stroll the beach at sunset.
Berry Springs is another local favorite to swim in warm refreshing spring water. A great place for a picnic, there is plenty of space to find a spot away from others to enjoy your own private oasis.
The Darwin Wharf is another spot on the water where you can swim, enjoy great food, and a cool drink. Located near downtown so it is convenient for a break after a long day of shopping.
Things to do during the day
The Australian Aviation Heritage Center is a unique museum documenting Australia’s flight history. The museum allows a rare glimpse of the US B-52, one of the largest airplanes ever built. Also houses helicopters, fighter jets, and gear worn back in the WWI era. For the aviation buff or just “plane” curious, definitely worth the price of admission.
No visit to Darwin would be complete without a visit to Crocosaurus Cove. Get up close and personal to the gigantic saltwater crocodile. See hatchlings and eggs yet to hatch. Great fun for the whole family.
Things to do at night
A definite must see is the Deckchair Cinema along the beach. Nothing beats watching a movie sitting out under the stars with a gentle sea breeze.
No doubt, the Darwin Waterfront is the place to be at night. Restaurants, bars, strolling the beachfront, nice weather during the dry season. This is the place to hang out in Darwin. Don’t just choose a favorite restaurant, try them all.
When to go
Darwin has two distinct seasons aptly named wet and dry. The dry season runs from May to September and boasts very low humidity and very mild temperatures. The wet season runs from December to March. Look out for monsoon-type rains and the occasional cyclone. Darwin has never had a recorded temperature of less than 10.4 °C (50.7 °F). So there is no need for the down jackets on this vacation.
How to get there and beyond
Well, there really is no beyond other than by boat. But there is a main superhighway that runs a straight line to Adelaide. But you can easily, and probably more enjoyably take the Ghan, a passenger train with a rather lengthy history and equally lengthy journey. Within and about Darwin, there are public bus routes to quickly get you to the suburbs from downtown.