Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory. In that side of Australia where it is mostly laid back, living in Darwin gives you that metropolitan vibe and environment. It offers different options for travel, sports, and relaxation. It also takes pride of its world-renowned education system.
Known as the Top End’s capital, Darwin is the closest major capital to the Asian countries, among all of Australia’s major capital cities. It is the home to more than one hundred forty-five thousand (145,000) residents.
If you are thinking of relocating in NT's capital, here are the things you should know about the city:
Climate in Darwin
Darwin has a laid-back tropical climate that allows locals and students living in Darwin to experience and do various kinds of outdoor sports and activities. Some of the most common ones are hiking, trekking, camping, mountain climbing, and biking.
On humid days, people usually go out to relax by the beach. Some families take this opportunity to camp out and have picnics in any of the known parks in the area.
Top Attractions in Darwin
There’s a lot to love about Darwin. Here are the top places to go to when you are visiting or thinking of moving to Darwin.
Parks and Beaches
Families love to go to parks to get fresh air and do recreational activities. Some of the common ones are the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Charles Darwin National Park, East Point Reserve, Knuckey Lagoons Conservation Reserve, and the Jingli Water Gardens.
George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens is located at Gardens Road. It has multiple entrances. The park showcases numerous Northern Australian monsoon flora like mangroves and vine thicket. It has a large collection of plants only found on the tropics, such as gingers, palms, and cycads.
If you have kids, Jingli Water Gardens would be a good option for you. The garden has a large shaded playground and a skate park where kids can play. They also have an area for BBQ picnics. The garden offers communities, schools and organizations an opportunity to come and learn together about the plants and fruits in the garden.
Mindil Beach is a popular venue for the major celebrations and events in Darwin. Major fireworks display are only done in Mindil Beach because of its open space and accessibility for locals and other folks living in Darwin.
Here's a slideshow of these destinations:
Wetlands, Lagoons, and Harbours
Darwin Harbour and Mary River wetlands, Tiwi Islands, and Dundee Coast are popular for fishing destinations. These are just the most popular ones; there are many others you can choose from.
Fishing is a favorite outdoor activity for folks either visiting or living in Darwin because of the city’s location. Darwin is surrounded by seas, which makes it a fishing haven for anglers. There are lots of boat-hire shops so you don’t need to worry about finding and renting your own boat.
Anglers usually catch large barramundi and mud crabs in the area. If you are looking for snappers, you can find them here all year round.
During the dry season, people go out for spanish mackerel and longtail tuna. Around October through December, fishermen look forward to getting marlins and sailfishes.
Locals who try fishing once oftentimes go back to do it again, and eventually making it a hobby.
If you are the more adventurous type, crocodile parks are also common in Darwin. At Crocosaurus Cove, you can get to see these amphibians up close. They allow you to feed using a fishing line. And if you are up for it, you can even swim and interact with them!
Their Cage of Death activity allows you to go inside a box, which would protect you from the crocs. They would bring the box underwater, where you would become literally close to these big animals. The biggest they have is the size of a minibus, so yes, that would be quite an experience.
To beat the humid weather without needing to interact with crocs, you can try Wave Lagoon or Recreation Lagoon. These places are safe for kids as well. You can dip in the water without worrying about crocodiles, jellyfishes, and other marine animals.
The lagoons are complete with lifeguards and safety measures. They require babies and kids to be always accompanied by a guardian. They have swimming boards and tubes that you can use, but they would require you to bring your own swimming wear. They are open from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Historical and Cultural Heritage Spots
Get to experience the aboriginal history of locals in Darwin by visiting the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. The facility offers history lessons and guided tours for its visitors.
You can get a feel of the pre-war times by visiting some of the stone buildings in Darwin. Browns Mart, Government House, Fannie Bay Gaol, and Burnett House, are the most-visited ones. Just going there and seeing the structures will give you a different appreciation of the Troppo architecture.
Events and Celebrations in Darwin
Here are the most popular festivals Darwin and its neighbouring cities love to celebrate.
Territory Day, which falls on July 1, is one of the major celebrations when fireworks is allowed. Other big holidays for fireworks displays are during Chinese New Year and New Year’s Eve.
Chinese New Year
During Chinese New Year, the Chinese community in Darwin leads the festivities with food and entertainment.
The Darwin Festival is a another big celebration in Darwin. Locals celebrate it with dance, music, film, and comedy shows.
A unique celebration in Darwin is the Speargrass Festival. Also held annually, the celebration happens before July’s first full moon. This is a big event for local movie makers, who get to showcase locally-produced films.
The festivities are made more colorful by music and other activities inspired by local hobbies like basket weaving, spear throwing, frisbee golf, organic cooking, yoga, meditation, human pyramid, and bingo games. It is a celebration of the Darwin way of living. The event is usually held at Speargrass property, northeast of Pine Creek.
Darwin Beer-can Regatta
In August, Darwin celebrates with race boats made of beer cans in an event called Darwin beer-can regatta. It’s literally a day for beer!
Another festival which occurs every second week of May is called the Seabreeze festival. Locals usually hold it in the suburb of Nightcliff. To celebrate, families to showcase their talent and hobbies.
Royal Darwin Show
The Royal Darwin Show is a three-day event, happening annually in July. During this event, locals organize exhibits featuring livestock and agriculture. Other activities include horse events and other shows and entertainment.
Universities and Colleges in Darwin
There is a huge opportunity for students and job seekers living in Darwin because of the low employment rate. Fortunately, it is also known for the good quality of education that universities there provide.
Charles Darwin University and Yirara College are two of the known private tertiary schools. Charles Darwin University is the largest university in Darwin, and the central provider of academic and vocational education in the region.
Charles Darwin University offers courses in education, arts, business, and applied science.
International College of Advanced Education (ICAE) is another known education and training facility in Darwin. It provides opportunities for industry placement or IP. IP is workplace-based learning. It allows students to practice and gain practical skills and experience, while they are still studying.
This program assists students in finding jobs where they can work for up to 45 hours per week as part of the curriculum. Allowing students to gain this much experience gives them higher chance to land a job after college.
For students who would like to take up short or diploma courses, there are also Technical and Further Education (TAFE) colleges.
Education costs are varied in Darwin, depending on the university and the course that you are taking. It is important to check as many options as possible and see where your child or you best fits.
The Food Scene in Darwin
Multicultural as it is, Darwin has become a home to different cuisines. It is known for its abundant source of fresh produce and seafood.
Throughout the city, you can choose from Asian, Chinese, French, and local favorites.
If you are looking for seafood, Crustaceans Restaurant is known for their wide variety of seafood platters. For Asian food, you can go to Asian Pot or Asian Gateway Thai Restaurant. For other mouthwatering options, you can try the Nightcliff Markets, Parap Markets, and the Rapid Creek Markets.
There are also lots of coffee shops for those who just want to have a relaxing day. Banyan Tree Cafe, Cafe Capri, Ben’s Bakehouse and Cafe, and Dolce Espresso Bar are just some of them.
There is not much nightlife in Darwin, but if you are just looking for a place where you can hang out with friends, there are nice places for you. Cocktails, wines, and beers are the young’s favorites.
For beer lovers, the locals have common names for the different types. Red Can for a can of Melbourne Bitter, Green Can for a can of Victoria Bitter, and Blue Can for a can of Fosters.
The Chinese Community
According to Charles Darwin University, Chinese migrants have started coming to the Northern Territory as early as the late 1870s. As of today, 3% of the population of NT is said to be of Chinese descent.
There are several Chinese communities in the Northern Territory, the most prominent of them being the Chung Wah Society located in Darwin. This society is a social, cultural and sports club, whose goal is to encourage harmony among Chinese individuals living in Darwin and in the Northern Territory as a whole. Their office is located at 25 Woods St, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia.
Another notable Chinese association in Darwin is the Australia-China Friendship Society Northern Territory Branch. The NT branch has been founded in the 1970s, but the national association has been around since 1950.
Darwin has been a good destination for Chinese travelers and migrants alike because of its diverse and multicultural population. One can not only imagine living in Darwin for a long time, but actually doing it.
If you are thinking of moving to Australia to study, start your career or establish a business, Darwin is definitely a good choice.
Its lifestyle and climate are amicable to any foreigner. The state of real estate in Darwin is not bad too, with BIS forecasting the property market prices to stabilize and climb up in the next few years.
Are you looking to live in Darwin an buy your first home but don’t know where to start? Send us a message and we’ll be happy to assist.