People hailing from at least 56 countries make up the mellow, modern metropolis of Darwin. This sociable hub is where non-Aboriginal meets Aboriginal (Larrakia), where urban meets remote, and where industry meets idleness. The city attracts itinerant workers and visitors from around Australia, and its university and port bring students and sailors. The population ebbs and increases with the seasons. Forty percent of the population only settled in the last 40 years, the majority, like you, intending only to stop by but ending up staying. Darwin’s location on a tropical tip of the country’s north coast means six subtle shifts of season, with a not-so-subtle disparity between the Dry and Wet – which can bring colossal storms.
Last century was a biggie for Darwin: barely recomposed after sustained WWII bombings, the city was razed by a cyclone. Its unique past and present (of rebuilding and regular rejuvenation) lends modern-day Darwin a very human spirit. It’s palpable daily in the city’s many outdoor public spaces, where crowds mingle at makeshift markets, at restaurants and pubs, and at its numerous festivals. Darwinites are also conscious of their natural surrounds – hardly surprising when you have Kakadu, Arnhem Land, Litchfield and the Tiwis in your back yard.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- See the best of Darwin on a city sightseeing tour
- Visit the stunning Kakadu National Park on a 3-day adventure
- Discover the unique rock art of West Arnhem Land with its traditional owners
- Take a day trip to Litchfield National Park
Last updated: Feb 8, 2013
Tips & articles
7 June 2012
After globe-trotting research and fierce debate, Lonely Planet has come to a decision on its favourite cities for 2012. As...
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