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Darwin - Remote & Beautiful
The city of Darwin is the capital of Australia’s north end, and the state of Northern Territory. Although it is not as large as the other capitals of Australia, it is nonetheless a beautiful bastion of cosmopolitan life – one that shouldn’t be missed. Renowned as ‘the capital of Australia’s top end’, or ‘gateway to the Never Never’, Darwin is a remarkably underrated destination for tourism.
Resting on the coast of the Timor Sea, Darwin is the most multicultural city in Australia. There are more than 50 different cultures living together within Darwin, so visitors shouldn’t be surprised when they are able to find cultural influences from almost every Asian nation in the world, not to mention a plethora of European cultures, contemporary Australia, and indigenous Australia to boot.
Plenty to See
Darwin was the primary Australian city to be hit by the Japanese bombing raids during the Second World War. Today, tourists are able to see plenty of attractions and landmarks highlighting Darwin’s role during the war…one which is usually unknown by non-locals. However, there are more than just war memorials for travellers in Darwin. The capital of the top end is home to one of the best museums in Australia - Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery. In addition, there are several parks and gardens worth visiting, such as the botanical gardens and Bicentennial Park. Besides, many come to Darwin especially to get into the Outback, specifically Kakadu National Park and Litchfield.
Darwin is the most remote capital in the country behind Perth, but getting to the city is relatively easy. Flying to Darwin is the most common way, but there is also a train service from Australia’s southern region. Getting from point A to point B in Darwin can best be achieved using car hire or public buses, as the sites within the town are generally spread around. Driving overland to Darwin will take you days, it’s an adventure through the Outback but not without its challenges.
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When in Darwin...
Darwin’s most visited attraction is the town’s wharf, which contains some of the most interesting war memorial sites in the city. Unfortunately, this was one of Darwin’s most frequently bombed areas during the war. Today, it is thriving with life and tourists.
While visiting the Darwin Wharf Precinct, take some time to relax in the beautiful surroundings of Bicentennial Park. It is located along the wharf’s esplanade, and provides the perfect place to rest or enjoy a picnic while the sun sets over the Timor Sea.
Museum and Art Gallery of NT
Located upon Bullocky Point, at the popular wharf precinct, is also the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. It is certainly the premier cultural centre in the town of Darwin and state of Northern Territory, and boasts many exciting displays, from ‘Sweetheart’ the man eating, 18 foot crocodile, to the plethora of indigenous artifacts.
The George Brown Darwin Botanical Gardens are only a short distance from Darwin’s central business district, and provides countless species of flora for visitors to embrace.
Fannie Bay Gaol
For a darker look at Darwin’s exciting history, no other attraction fares better than the Fannie Bay Gaol, which was Darwin’s main penitentiary for about a century. Just touring through the old cells and blocks can make the goose bumps crawl and the hair stand on end…and this is before the stories are told!
Charles Darwin National Park
Another fantastic natural attraction to visit close to Darwin is the Charles Darwin National Park. This landmark is more than just a natural zone with plenty of native wildlife to discover. It provides evidence of indigenous Australian culture that is thousands of years old.
Sampling the many different restaurants in the central part of the city is a must for all travellers. There are so many cuisines available, that visitors can have a three course meal with a different national influence to each. The town’s many war memorials are also found throughout the town, and should be witnessed by all visitors to Darwin.
Being situated in the northern region of Australia gives Darwin many benefits, but one of these is not a climate for summer tourism. Darwin is located within Australia’s tropical region, meaning daytime temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year, and so too does the number of daylight hours between seasons. However, the amount of precipitation throughout the year changes significantly.
Throughout most of Australia, there are four seasons visitors can experience. In Darwin and the top end, there are only two seasons – the wet season and the dry season. It is recommended that visitors organise holidays during the dry season, as the wet is aptly named for being…well…extremely wet!
It's Best in Winter
The best time to visit the city of Darwin is between the months of May and October. The temperature of the city generally hovers around 31°C during the daytime throughout the year, regardless of the season. However, it’s the precipitation statistics that visitors need to worry about. Several hundred millimetres of rainfall per month are experienced in Darwin between November and April, whereas May to October see very little rain.
For those who do travel to the city during the summer months, be wary of tropical cyclones and tropical storms, especially the later, which generally occur several times a week. Darwin is also the one of the planet’s most lightning prone cities, so tourists should be aware of this before travelling.
It is important to remember that the humidity during the summer time is extremely high, and the temperature throughout the year constantly hits the high 20’s and low 30’s, so drinking plenty of water when sightseeing, and wearing sun-protective clothing are definitely recommended.
Why to go
Darwin, as towns in Australia go, seems favoured by natural selection. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, open to the Sea and only a few hours flght from significant trading partners. It's an increasingly vibrant centre, yet it retains its small town charms.
For our money the very best on offer near fair Darwin is Kakadu National Park - a national treasure with six seasons, stunnig flora and fauna, and enough natural beauty to make you want to drop everything, grab a tent and go for a month (or until our supplies run out).
Crikey! What a Beauty!
So you're in Darwin and it's hot. What better way to cool off than to take a deep in cool, refreshing waters - inside perspex tank - across from a giant saltwater crocodile. Yes, that's right, you can come face to face with one of nature's apex predators and come out of it just fine, even slightly refreshed. Well that show takes place everyday at the aptly named Crocosaurus Cove in the heart of Darwin. Bring the kids!
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Today's currency rate
SGD 1.00 = AUD 0.927
Temperature average in October
24.9 - 33.7°C
Rainfall average in October
Cheapest time to fly to Darwin (DRW)
All prices refer to return flights to Darwin and include taxes and charges.