The resilience of Darwinites must be applauded; this is the only Australian city to be attacked during WW2 and then the capital was flattened three decades later by a tropical cyclone. But Darwin rebounded with a vengeance and today is one of the country’s most modern destinations. However use your Darwin holiday as the perfect launch pad to explore the unique Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks.
Named in 1839 after the naturalist, Charles Darwin, Australia’s most northern capital enjoyed a brief growth spurt during the gold rush but it wasn’t until World War II that the city gained significance. From the early 1940s Darwin was used as an important base for missions against the Japanese in the Pacific and to defend our Northern coastline against invasion. As a consequence the city became the target of many Japanese raids. Today, visitors come to Darwin for its warm hospitality and the surrounding jaw-dropping natural beauty. From wilderness retreats to fishing getaways, there are many unique holiday experiences to had in and around Darwin.
Darwin enjoys a distinct wet and dry season with the air temperatures rarely fluctuating year round. In July the mercury rises to 30.5 degrees, while in February the temperature peaks on average at 31 degrees. The big difference is the rainfall. December through to March see the bulk of the rain for the entire year, with the traditional winter months being virtually dry. The wet season is associated with tropical cyclones, the most famous being Cyclone Tracy, which devastated the city in December 1974.
The city hosts many festivals including the Darwin Festival, which regularly attracts national and international acts. A fixture on the calendar is the Darwin Cup Carnival, a month long celebration of horse racing, fashion and socialising.
Darwin International Airport is located 13km from the CBD. There are direct flights from most major Australian capitals. The following airlines fly to Darwin:
Flying from Sydney or Melbourne to Darwin takes about four and a half hours.
Being an Australian territory capital, Darwin features luxury five star accommodation options with all the associated amenities. For travellers exploring the Kakadu National Park, the Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn in Jabiru, shaped like its namesake, will ensure your stay is comfortable.
Darwin has many fascinating historic sites that demand exploration. Have a wander through the Darwin Wharf Precinct, which contains many heritage structures, before continuing the war theme and offering your respects at the Adelaide River War Cemetery. The Old Court House and the Fannie Bay Gaol were built during the late nineteenth century and provide an interesting insight into our colonial past.
Darwin’s national beauty is to be admired. Take a stroll through The Bicentennial Park, which stretches along The Esplanade overlooking Darwin Harbour, the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens that showcases the regions flora and the Casuarina Coastal Reserve, which boasts sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs.
Importantly, the city provides the ideal launch pad for the surrounding national parks. The UNESCO World Heritage Listed, Kakadu National Park, 171km southeast of Darwin boasts an incredible array of endemic flora and fauna. There have been more than 1700 plant species recorded in the Park with 60 mammals, 280 bird species and 117 reptiles. There are plenty of must-see attractions including the Jim Jim Falls, Koolpin Gorge and Gunlom. To explore the region, you can either hire a car or join an organised tour.
Insect repellent is a good idea to keep the mosquitoes and sandflies at bay. It’s important to keep hydrated so drink plenty of water.
Apply plenty of sunscreen when enjoying the plethora of outdoor activities.
Be beach smart and swim between the flags. Never swim against a rip but rather signal a lifeguard for assistance.
Crocodiles inhabit the surrounding waterways. Never camp near water and only swim if given the all clear by NT Parks and Wildlife Service.