Featured Image by Becc T. via Flickr
The Northern Territory is considered to be one of the best Australian holiday destinations, and there’s no better place to begin the discovery than in the state capital of Darwin. The city boasts little over 100,000 people and is a thriving tropical metropolis that has all the best things that the Top End has to offer.
Darwin is certainly worth exploring, and it’s easy to get to with several daily flights from all major Australian cities. There is an abundance of cheap accommodation Darwin has to offer for the budget-minded, or you can splash out to pay for more luxury. As well as places to stay, there is also plenty of places to eat and several things to do in Darwin. Here are our top five selections.
1. Experience Aboriginal Culture
The Northern Territory is renowned for its rich Aboriginal culture, and Darwin is a great place to begin discovering the traditions. You can go on a tour to discover about bush-tucker and herbal medicine, learn to play the didgeridoo, throw a spear, and see demonstrations of how dilly bags are made. You can also learn about the cultural traditions of the Dreamtime, Djukbinj, and the Rainbow Serpent, all whilst immersing music and art of Northern Territory Aboriginals.
2. Discover World War II History
Darwin was the first place in Australia to be bombed when an air raid in 1942 by 242 aircraft killed 235 people. Occasional attacks on other areas of northern Australia continued until the end of 1943. You can learn a lot more about Darwin’s significant role in the war by visiting the Military Museum. At the museum, there is a multi-sensory theatre that depicts the 1942 air raid. Darwin also has another nine military heritage sites from World War II to be discovered.
3. Understand Natural History and Contemporary Art
Darwin is home to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT). The museum houses some of the oldest fossils discovered in the world, which were found in the NT, and you can learn about the history of the origins of life on earth through the visual displays. At the art gallery, you can view some Aboriginal rock art. Entrance to the museum and gallery are free.
4. Take a Cruise Around Darwin Harbour
You can experience the best of nature of cultural history by taking one of four cruises that operate around the harbour. Your guides will take show you local marine habitats, shipwrecks, and World War II sites. Also, if you visit between April and October, you may be able to spot nesting or newborn turtles.
5. Visit the Mindil Beach Market
Every Thursday and Sunday evening there is a market at Mindil Beach that sells handmade crafts and different types of cuisine. It’s a perfect way to spend the evening, first arriving there to watch the sunset into the Arafura Sea. Once the sun goes down, the market springs into life with hundreds of stalls and music from buskers.
Head Over Today
These are only five of the best things you can do in Darwin, although the city boasts plenty more attractions. It’s definitely worth spending some time here as Darwin is considered the thriving hub of the Top End. After you’ve finished exploring the city you can move onto some of the other attractions that the NT has to offer. Litchfield National Park is not far away, with its abundance of natural swimming holes, and just further down the road is Katherine Gorge. So, make Darwin your first stop along the way, and enjoy all that this tropical city has to offer.