Its true, Darwin has the best lifestyle in Australia

As the gateway to the Top End, Darwin boasts the best lifestyle in Australia. This vibrant tropical city is influenced by spectacular landscapes, Aboriginal culture and extraordinary wildlife.

Territorians are a friendly mob.  We’re welcoming, our lifestyle is laid-back, we’re very social and have been known to enjoy a cold beer on a hot summers day!  We really do love our Darwin lifestyle!

Did you know:
More bombs were dropped on Darwin during World War II, then on Hawaii’s Pearl Harbour.

Darwin’s history has not always been calm and peaceful.  During World War II, Darwin city endured 64 bombing raids by Japanese forces.  Sadly, many Territorian’s lives were lost.

After the war Darwin rebuilt its city, only to face further devastation from Cyclone Tracy in 1974.  Striking during the early hours of Christmas morning, Cyclone Tracy left over 70% of Darwin residents homeless.

Not defeated, Territorians rallied together to rebuild their city.

The traditional owners of this land are the Larrakia people, an Aboriginal clan known as the Saltwater people.

Today, Darwin is a thriving hub jam-packed with amazing lifestyle experiences.   

Beautiful balmy weather, stunning landscapes, crystal clear waterfalls and amazing wildlife.  What more could you want!

Visit us soon, we’ve got so much to show you!

Experience Darwin’s Lifestyle

Enjoy spectacular sunsets across the Top End

Darwin boasts the best lifestyleThere is nothing quite so magical than the bright golden sun setting over the Arafura Sea.  Enjoy your favourite beverage at one of Darwin’s oceanfront clubs and cafes as you watch the sun go down.

A visit to the Darwin Sailing Club, the Darwin Trailer Boat Club, the Ski Club or the Nightcliff Foreshore will reward you with some of the best sunset vantage points in Darwin.  Don’t forget to bring your camera and take this experience home with you!

We love our Markets

Mindil Markets

Markets are the thing to do whilst visiting the Top End.

Street stalls with amazing choices of exotic food to choose from.  Malay, Indian, Indonesian, Greek and many more .. fresh seafood, mellowing music and the buzz of the crowd.  The markets are a popular meeting place for visitors and locals alike.

Take an opportunity to shop for a new sarong or treat yourself to an original Aboriginal art direct from the artist.  There is something for everyone!

Where to find our favourite markets?

  • Parap Village Markets – Every Saturday morning, year round
  • Nightcliff Markets – Every Sunday morning, year round
  • Rapid Creek Markets – Organically grown produce, year round
  • Mindil Markets – They’re on Thursday & Sunday nights, late April – October.  Mindil is famous for its stunning sunsets and should be on everyone’s bucket list!   On market nights, thousands of people crowd onto Mindil beach to watch the sun as it dips into the Arafura Sea. Don’t be surprised to hear the crowd cheer when the sun disappears!

Museums capture the history of Darwin

Darwin has a number of excellent museums and historical sites well worth visiting.  Each showcases Darwin’s history and the impact history has had on our lifestyle in the Top End.

  • Darwin Museum & Art Gallery: Home to a large range of important historical exhibits, Darwin’s Art Gallery and Maritime Museum are co-located at the Museum.  The museum contains an interesting collection of cultural, historical and wildlife exhibits.
  • Darwin Military Museum: A powerful and interactive experience reflecting the impact of World War II on Darwin.  This museum contains war memorabilia for all over the Territory and other parts of Australia.  A very moving experience.
  • Australian Aviation Heritage Centre: An award winning display of Darwin’s aviation history with 19 types of aircraft on display including a B52 bomber, a B25 Mitchell bomber and other aircraft.
  • The World War II Oil Storage Tunnels:  These unique wartime installations are located at the Darwin Waterfront Precinct and should be included on your tour of Darwin.
  • Royal Flying Doctors Centre: This exhibit features the story behind the Royal Flying Doctors service to outback Australia.  Located on Stokes Hill Wharf.
  • Bombing of Darwin Experience: A digital 3D reality experience transporting visitors to realistic war battles in the Darwin Harbour.  Not to be missed, this highly recommended experience is located on Stokes Hill Wharf.
  • Chinese Temple and Museums:  Stone lions were crafted in China to guard the entrance of the Chinese Temple.  The Temple was originally used for social gatherings and was the forerunner of Chung Wah Society.
  • Fannie Bay Gaol:  Built in 1883 on the foreshore of Fannie Bay, the gaol reflects the hardships of penal life in early settlement days with small cells complete with a set of gallows.

Tropical Botanical Gardens

Darwin Botanical Gardens - the Cannonball Tree

The George Brown Botanic Gardens is renowned for a stunning collection of northern Australian and tropical plants.  It’s one of the few botanic gardens in the world with marine and estuarine plants growing naturally.

Beautiful shady raintrees, tropical bromeliads, gingers and heliconias, orchids and other exotic flora .. our gardens are a great place to explore.

Eva’s cafe in the Gardens is a popular cafe for brunch, lunch or a cool drink.

Choose your Fear Factor

Kakadu National Park for crocodiles

It’s well known that saltwater crocodiles lurk around most Top End waterways so swimming on any beach or waterways in the Territory is not an option.

Most visitors are curious and want to see the predatory saltwater crocodiles whilst visiting the Top End!   Choose an experience that suits your fear factor.

  • Crocosaurus Cove in the heart of Darwin city has one of the largest reptile collections in Australia.  Are you ready to brave Australia’s only crocodile dive in the Cage of Death?
  • Take a Jumping crocodile cruise on the Adelaide River.  Crocodiles literally jump out of the water to take food offered by the tour guides.  You will learn all about the predatory behaviours of these crocodiles.
  • Enjoy a Corroboree Billabong Wetland Cruise and see some of the Territory’s extraordinary bird-life, stunning waterlilies and monster crocodiles from the safety of a boat.  The guides are extremely knowledgeable and share a wealth of information about the birds, crocodiles and their habitats.

Read next:  Crocodile Facts – things to know before you visit Australia

The Darwin Waterfront

Darwin Waterfront

The Darwin Waterfront is the ideal place to relax, ride a few waves in the Wave Pool or swim in the safety of the crocodile free sandy lagoon. There is a great selection of pubs, cafes and quality restaurants at the Waterfront so take time out when you can.

We know Touristing is hard work so take a lifestyle break – relax on the grassy lawns under a shady palm tree!  Perfect!

Keep up to date withWhats On at the Waterfront.

Sunset Cruises

Catch a spectacular Top End sunset from an ocean vantage point by taking one of the cruises that leave Stokes Hill Wharf every evening.

With city lights in the background the beautiful backdrop of Darwin harbour is hard to beat.  Choices abound:  Select a sunset cruise with wine and canape’s or opt for a full dining experience!

The Deckchair Cinema

Darwin's Deckchair cinemaThe Deckchair Cinema is one of Darwin’s great experiences!

A unique outdoor cinema, the Deckchair Cinema overlooks the beautiful Darwin Harbour.  It’s a great place to step down memory lane and enjoy a night at the flicks!

Settle into the old fashioned canvas deckchairs and cushions and get comfortable.  Screenings range from family favourites, Australian movies and foreign films. Hot meals, snacks and a licensed bar is available.  What more could you want!

It’s where the possums come out to play and scamper up the big screen silhouetted against the sun setting over the ocean!

Fun day trips to take from Darwin

Litchfield Park - Darwin

Take a day trip into Kakadu National Park or Litchfield Park or head south to Katherine to see the amazing Nitmiluk Gorge.  Enrich your holiday experience by seeing as much of this pristine Top End landscape as possible.

Fogg Dam is one of the local bird and wildlife habitats and only 40 minutes drive from Darwin city.  Its a favourite place for photographers and bird lovers alike.  You will see many rare bird species including the Azure Kingfisher and Jabiru (the Black-necked Stork), monitors and freshwater crocodiles.  Its an amazing place to visit at sunrise or sunset.  Read more about this Wildlife Habitat at Fogg Dam.

Do you want to do something different?  Take a day trip to the Tiwi Islands.  Learn about the local Aboriginal people and the culture known to be over 60,000 years old.

Want to take some Aboriginal Artworks home?  Tiwi artworks are truly spectacular and their fabric designs are uniquely Top End influenced.

Check out our fun Festivals & Events

Darwin's Beercan Regatta

The lifestyle in Darwin is influenced by our melting pot of cultures.  Popular events such as the Darwin Festival, the Seabreeze Festival, the Glenti (the Greek festival), the Italian Festival, the Indian Festival, and the Barunga Festival to name just a few, reflect who we are.

One of the most popular events is the Beer Can Regatta with crazy floating crafts built from empty beer cans is a must see event!  This event is a charity fundraiser.

Our festivals and crazy fun events run from May to September.  This is the time of year when weather is perfect for festivals, sporting events, live events and cultural experiences.  It’s when the fun begins!   Visit when the action is happening.

An NT Barramundi
Thanks to Neville Brooks for the photo

Fishing:  In the Top End, fishing is a religion. Fishing competitions run throughout the ‘dry season’ and offer significant prizes for anglers and fun seekers.

  • Million Dollar Barra  
  • Top End Barra Competition
  • Reel Womens Barra Classic
  • Dundee Easter Family Fishing Competition
  • Darwin Trailer Boat Club Blue Water Classic

Sailing: Sailing season kicks off in August with the Darwin to Ambon yacht race – a race from Darwin to Indonesia for local and visiting yachties alike.

Car Racing:  Car racing fans love the V8 Supercars, Top End Mud Racing and many more events. For horse racing enthusiasts, the Cup Carnival is the place to be ‘seen’.

Cyclists:  Cyclists travel to the Top End to participate in the annual Top End Grand Fondo endurance ride.

Football:  Every year the football season (AFL, NRL & Union & Soccer) packs out the stadiums with dedicated footy fans.

Where to eat in Darwin

Dining in Darwin - Oyster Bar

Dining in Darwin is a lifestyle experience. So many choices, so many flavours!   Our multi-cultural city has a variety of authentic restaurants and with so many fantastic restaurants in Darwin, it’s often difficult to choose where to eat.

Search TripAdvisor, read the reviews or choose one of my favourites for a guaranteed good night out.

For something a little more casual try one of the famous Mitchelli’s pizzas in Mitchell Street or pop into the Cavenagh Hotel for one of Darwin’s best steaks.

Want more?  Check out this post Foodie Paradise:  Top 20 restaurants in Darwin.

5 Essential Items to pack for the Top End

  1. Good Camera – There are plenty of photo-moments in Australia so you will need a good camera to take home your memories. I highly recommend the Sony A6000 for all my travels.  It’s light, compact and takes amazing photos!
  2. Great Walking Shoes – The outdoor lifestyle in Australia will take you from cities to national parks! Be comfortable, and treat yourself to a pair of New Balance Walking Shoes.  Perfect to get out amongst the trails.  I love mine.
  3. An Australian Guidebook – There is nothing like Lonely Planet Guidebooks so get yourself a copy of their Australia Travel Guide to take you to all the best spots to visit.
  4. A Stainless Steel Water Bottle – Stay hydrated.  Get yourself a Yeti stainless water bottle and refill as you go, because Australian tap water is drinkable … and free!
  5. Good Sun Hat – You will need a good sun hat for protection from the harsh Australian sun. In my opinion you can’t go past this packable and foldable Furtalk Womens Beach  Hat.  Nothing can ruin a holiday faster than sunburn!

When to visit the Top End

Locals say:
When the Dragonflies are about, ‘the dry’ is on it’s way!

The Top End of the Northern Territory has just 2 seasons a year. Wet and Dry!

October – April:  The ‘wet’ is hot, steamy and humid, with tropical monsoon rains bucketing down (heavily) frequently.

May – September:  The ‘dry’ is the most perfect balmy weather you can ever imagine.  Temperatures most days are in the mid 20’s and nights come with a pleasant sea breeze.  Sunsets overlooking the beaches are gorgeous.

Off-season:  There are benefits to visiting the Top End in the off-season.  The landscape is lush and green and the rivers are brimming with water after the rainy season.  Its the perfect time to go fishing, and a time when photographers, bird-watchers and wildlife-lovers visit in droves.  Visit Fogg Dam for an amazing display of wildlife.

Do the Top End in 6 Days

Do the Top End with our 6 day ‘quick visit’ itinerary.  It’s a surefire way to pack the very best Top End experiences into your short stay and take home a swag of memories.

Do the Top End - 6 day itinerary

How to get to Darwin?

Getting here is easy!

Air:   Daily flights arrive from all capital cities of Australia, as well as Cairns and Alice Springs.

Train: One of the most unique travel options is to ‘take the Ghan‘.  One of the world’s famous rail journeys, the Ghan travels from Adelaide to Darwin stopping in Alice Springs on the way through.

Road:  A road trip to the Northern Territory is a great way to enjoy the rich colours of the Territory.  Plenty of wide open spaces and long straight roads. Take care, our wildlife has a habit of wandering onto the roads.

Read more:  The Best Roadtrip ever – Darwin to Adelaide or vice versa.

Where to stay

Darwin has a range of accommodation choices to suit everyone.  For more information, see the Plan your Travels page.

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Darwin boasts the best lifestyle in Australia

Enjoy the lifestyle in Darwin!

Darwin is a long way from everywhere.  Our experiences are unique, and our lifestyle is without question, the best in Australia.   It really is an extraordinary place to visit!

Come and relax and If there is anything else you would like to know about the Darwin lifestyle, just ask!