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Explore Town

Darwin

Visitor Centre:
Darwin Visitors Centre
Corner of Smith and Bennett Street
Phone: 08 8980 6000
General:
Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory and is the most modern city in Australia.

With its close proximity to South East Asia, Darwin is influenced by its northern neighbours, and by the more than 50 different cultures that live harmoniously in Darwin.

There is a saying that no-one ever leaves Darwin. Perhaps that mainly refers to the local people, because the visitor should travel both east and south to see the unique features of the Top End.
The ‘Dry’ season is from May to October and is so predictable that outdoor events can be planned years in advance.

From November to April, the monsoonal ‘Wet’ brings rain late afternoons and overnight.
The rains bring spectacular lightning displays and the threat of cyclones.
History:
Darwin was named after Charles Darwin, a scientist and evolutionist who explored the harbour on the ship ‘The Beagle’. The settlement was first established in 1864 but was slow to grow mostly due to poor communcation and transportation and the unpredictable weather.

Then in the 1940s, nearly 10,000 Allied troops moved to the area to defend the coastline during WWII, and in February 1942, the Japanese bombed Darwin. On Christmas Eve, 1974, Darwin was devastated by ‘Cyclone Tracy’, Australia’s worst recorded natural disaster. Virtually evacuated for a time, it had to be rebuilt from scratch.
Attractions:
DARWIN & TOP END:

Government House, Overland Telegraph Memorial, Chinese Temple, The Christchurch Cathedral, Darwin Harbour, Stuart Memorial, Casino, Botanic Gardens, Artillery Museum of Art and Natural Sciences, Fannie Bay, Gaol Museum, Howard Springs Reserve, South Alligator River, Fogg Dam, Bathurst and Melville Islands, World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park, Cooinda, Yellow Waters, Gove Peninsula and Mary River Wetlands.

BOTANIC GARDENS

Over 400 species of tropical and sub-tropical plants are displayed at the Gardens.

CULLEN BAY MARINA

Just a short trip from the City Centre you will discover Cullen Bay Marina, famous for its unique restaurant atmosphere. There is more however to Cullen Bay than just restaurants. From here you can take a ferry trip to nearby Mandorah, enjoy the peace and luxury of a sunset harbour cruise, relax on the beach, stay at an award winning apartment, shop at the speciality shops or even take a relaxing stroll along the boardwalk or beach front.

OLD ADMIRALTY HOUSE

One of the few buildings to escape Cyclone Tracy, this tropical-style structure once housed North Australia’s naval commander.

FANNIE BAY GAOL

Now a registered historic site, this medium security tropical gaol endured a series of cyclones, bombings and escapes from 1883 to 1979.

THE TUNNELS

A network of five steel-lined concrete tunnels built for naval storage after the Japanese bombed Darwin’s eleven above ground oil storage tanks.
Tunnel 5 is open to the public and visitors can hear stories of the war and observe a collection of historical photographs depicting life in Darwin during the war years.

MINDIL BEACH MARKETS

Mindil Beach comes alive from April to October when a world famous ‘show and sell’ is held every Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon.

BEER-CAN REGATTA

The harbour is the scene for the annual event which must be the ‘Top End’s’ equivalent of Henley-on-Todd. On Mindil Beach, rowing boats, all made from beer or soft drink cans, race in the Beer-Can Regatta.

THE DARWIN CUP

The Darwin Cup, at Fannie Bay Racecourse, is held on the first Monday in August. The Darwin Cup is one of Australia’s premier horse races and the build-up involves an exciting festival of thoroughbred racing.

OTHER SPECIAL EVENTS:

The Darwin Rodeo, Country Music Concert and Festival of Darwin are held each year.