Darwin has a good range of accommodation, most of it handy to the CBD, but finding a bed in the peak May-to-September period can be difficult at short notice − book ahead, at least for the first night. Accommodation prices vary greatly with the season and demand; expect big discounts between November and March, especially for midrange and top-end places.
Backpacker hostel prices fluctuate less than other accommodation options, and prices differ little between places, concentrated as they are in a small stretch of bar-heavy Mitchell St. If you want a quieter stay, choose somewhere a bit further out − they're usually still within walking distance of the action. Hostel facilities generally include communal kitchen, pool and laundry facilities, and they all have tour-booking desks. Some offer airport, bus or train station pick-ups with advance bookings, and most give YHA/VIP discounts.