The city of Darwin is located in the Top End of Australia’s Northern Territory. Home to just over 110,000 residents, the ethnic and cultural background of the city is incredibly diverse, with over 50 countries from around the world represented in this one location.
Many residents have flown tens of thousands of kilometres to live in the top end where you have to get used to long distance travel. Nowadays it’s much easier through the major airport.
In fact, it is such a melting pot of cultures that Australian National Trust designated it as a “multicultural icon of cultural significance.” In addition to being such a diverse location, Darwin also has historical importance due to both the man for whom the city is names, Charles Darwin, and for the events that took place in Darwin during World War II.
Although the city is connected in a way to Charles Darwin, the fact is the Darwin never stepped foot in the town. Instead, his former shipmate, John Lort Stokes, named it after the famed scientist in 1839. For two decades it was almost entirely empty, serving only as a minor port along the Timor Sea. However, during the 1870s it grew in size due to the gold rush of Australia. During World War II, the strategic location of Darwin meant it was a major site for the Allies in the fight against Japan.
Today, there are dozens of different ways a tourist can spend time in Darwin. The most popular are the many historical landmarks and museums around the city. Some of the most important structures are the Fannie Bay Gaol, Darwin Wharf Precinct, Burnett House at Myilly Point, Browns Mart and the Lyons Cottage. For a better understanding of these structures, as well as how they fit into the history of Darwin, head to one of the many museums and galleries in Darwin. Some of the most popular include Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and the Aviation Heritage Centre (which also offers scenic flights in the area).
Although much of Darwin’s tourism revolves around history, there are plenty of fun, modern attractions as well. There are many festivals and events throughout the year, including some based on rugby, art, film, horse racing and music. The markets are also something truly spectacular, and different from anything else in Australia. The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets are the most popular, and sell a wide variety of delicious street foods along the beach as the sun sets. Other markets that provide local produce, handcrafted items and live music are the Parap Village Markets and the Nightcliff Markets, both also in the city of Darwin.
Getting to and from Darwin is easiest by plane. There are daily flights from all major cities in Australia (click here for a quick snapshot) and even short-haul flights around the NT are relatively affordable.
The other option is to travel by train or coach. The scenic route takes longer but is well worth it if you have the time. Click here for details on these options.