With a population just over 110,000, the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory is an amazing embodiment of what the country is all about – a cosmopolitan society teeming with exuberance, natural beauty and culture. Darwin is an incredible holiday destination and regarded by many as one of the best cities in the world to holiday in! Here are some reasons why you should be heading to Darwin the next time you’re on a holiday!
Driving in Darwin is definitely a pleasurable experience – the landscapes you cruise by are beautiful, and you’ll have tons of curious questions about them to ask your local friend (or google!) about. Explore gorges carved out over the ages and gaze in awe at the captivating Aboriginal rock art galleries in the region (the most famous are at Nourlangie Rock and Ubirr).
Drive to Nitmiluk National Park, home to spectacular Nitmuluk (Katherine Gorge) – a series of 13 sandstone gorges carved over a billion years by the Katherine River. You can also head to Litchfield National Park and explore its bushwalking tracks, admire the wildlife and the amazing magnetic termite mounds!
We recommend Hertz for a hassle-free driving arrangement – check out our suggested self-drive itinerary here!
Darwin’s WWII History
Thursday, 19 February 1942 was as a day like any other in Darwin with its 2,000 residents (63 of them women) going about their day as usual. At 9.58am, Japanese planes released the first bomb over Darwin Harbour. Darwin’s World War II historical sites are all over the city and you’d definitely want to understand more about the city’s history when you’re here. View the original B52 bomber planes at the Aviation Heritage Centre, or visit ammunition bunkers that formed part of Australia northern defence line in Charles Darwin National Park.
At East Point Military Museum, you can walk through the bunker where Top End defence strategy was planned and see live footage of the bombing that brought World War II to Australia. Make your way through the war oil storage tunnels that run under the city or see artillery observation posts in the Casuarina Coastal Reserve, also a sacred Aboriginal site.
Darwin’s captivating history will amaze you – not much is known by the outside world then, but so many things have happened you’ll want to learn more.
Darwin’s abundant art, culture and history has led to its diverse, multi-nation influences footprinted in various aspects of daily life. The rich traditions of its indigenous people permeates Darwin’s lifestyle.
A good starting point is to understand aboriginal art and history is through the Museum and Gallery of the Northern Territory where an amazing array of art on display regales stories and beliefs that transcends time. Visit locally-owned indigenous art galleries where you can embark on tours of the Tiwi Islands’ art centres and galleries to appreciate the paintings, carvings and ceramics the islands are famous for, meet the artists at work and buy artworks direct from them.
You can also experience the culture through its markets, festivals and fairs!
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Darwin’s culture is by visiting its markets. On Saturdays, enjoy an ol’factory experience with the aroma of fresh coffee, Asian cuisine, vegetables and herbs at the Parap Village Markets!
This is a great place to shop and a favourite among locals and visitors alike. Shop through the local art and crafts, entertainment and local produce, and grab some grub from all over the world! The market opens every Saturday from 8am till 2pm and is always bustling with locals and tourists looking for the best buys.
Darwin’s oldest market – the Rapid Creek Sunday Markets – is situated only 20 minutes from Darwin city, in the Rapid Creek Business Village. Enjoy a massage, followed with a relaxing Sunday brunch, before browsing the stalls for fresh organic produce, Asian fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, exotic plants, flowers and seafood. You’ll also find a range of local handmade crafts for that special gift. The markets are open from 6.30am to 1.30pm every Sunday.
Darwin’s Festivals and Fairs
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Festivals and Fairs in Darwin – it’s what makes the Top End tick!
Appreciate culture through fairs such as the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and Milimika Festival on the Tiwi Islands, and join the crowds celebrating indigenous art and culture through art, music, dance and more!
You can also enjoy an 18-day festival packed with free outdoor events, theatre, dance, music, comedy and tantalizing cuisine at the Darwin Festival. This festival celebrates Darwin’s revival in 1977 in the aftermath of Cyclone Tracy that ravaged through the city in 1974. Today, the festival buzzes with performers, artists, locals and visitors enjoying the vibrant and colourful atmosphere and festivities.
Weather in Darwin
If you’re planning to travel from May till October, you’ll find it a breeze – the humidity levels are low and the dry season means sunny days and cool nights for everyone. The wet season happens between November till April, so pack a little more for the night. The days would be a little more humid with some rain, so come prepared!
Darwin is a beautiful city that encompasses the true spirit of people and nature in harmony. It is the perfect vacation spot – from nature lovers looking for that picturesque moment that defines their trip to the family looking for a great time together.
Check out our tour packages to Darwin and let our specialists guide you to the best holiday you’ll ever have!
—Jetabout Holidays is a leading travel agency under the Holiday Tours Group. With over 30 years in the travel industry, Jetabout Holidays reputation as a top agent has garnered awards within the industry. Voted as the #1 Travel Agency for New Zealand and Australia (under Qantas Holidays) by Weekender Travellers Choice 2014 and 2015, you are assured of a hassle-free, personalized vacation. Jetabout Holidays is 75% owned by Qantas Airways and is the highly-regarded travel specialist for Australia and New Zealand tours. Call us at 6734 1818 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your holiday plans!
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