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Where to stay in Darwin

Exploring Darwin

Despite Australia’s many tourism treasures, Darwin has fought its way out of global obscurity to become one of the most enticing cities Down Under. Millions flock to this unique corner of the world as it swells with eye-catching, mind-blowing, and breathtaking attractions. Darwin is more than just the capital of the Northern Territory; it is the gateway to the marvellous Top End, where a modern atmosphere meets an ancient indigenous culture, and where a stunning, contemporary environment meets Mother Nature at her brutal yet brilliant best.

Darwin is arguably Australia’s largest laid-back city. However, that doesn’t mean there is little to see or do here. More than 50 different cultures comprise Darwin’s demographic make-up, with this multiculturalism adding to its allure. There are dozens of hotels and lodges, ranging from three-star comfort inns to expensive high-end accommodation, especially in the heart of the city centre. Driving or using public transport is recommended to get around the city as Darwin, being part of the tropics, gets extremely hot during the day.

Sights nearby

Tourists are never far away from Darwin’s most alluring attractions, regardless of where they decide to stay. A limited but reliable public transport network provides easy access to landmarks in Darwin.

- Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

This magnificent museum, known locally as MAGNT, is found at Darwin Harbour and boasts some of Australia’s most culturally important exhibits. In addition to a host of indigenous art and cultural collections, MAGNT displays items from Oceanic, Southeast Asian, and local maritime cultures. The museum does not charge an entrance fee so tourists can explore the five permanent galleries without spending a cent. Skycity Darwin is just one of the many hotels residing within a mile of MAGNT.

- Bicentennial Park

Scenically nestled along Darwin’s harbour front and running parallel to the Esplanade, Bicentennial Park is the city’s most magnificent public green space. The park stretches from Parliament House all the way to the Doctor’s Gully district, and provides the ideal spot to lap up the tropical sunshine, have a picnic or barbecue, enjoy a cultural festival, or watch the sun set over the Timor Sea. Hotel options along the Esplanade are just a few steps from this site.

- Smith Street Mall

Located in the heart of Darwin’s CBD, Smith Street Mall is regarded as the centre of the city’s shopping culture. This pedestrian-friendly site is home to the busiest retailers in the city, including the second-largest shopping mall in Darwin, Casuarina Square. The pedestrianised section of the mall runs between Bennett Street and Knuckey Street. The Northern Territory State Parliament House and the Galleria Arcade are two popular landmarks at Smith Street Mall. For elegance and convenience to this mall, visitors should stay at Hilton Darwin.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

Shopping is primarily based around Smith Street where over 200 retailers can be found selling a range of products, from traditional indigenous art to trendy clothing. Eating out is sure to be another memorable highlight for tourists to Darwin. The most expensive meals are found in the eateries of top hotels like the Mantra on the Esplanade and the Novotel Darwin Atrium. Further great dining options are found along Knuckey and Mitchell streets, Darwin’s premier dining zones. Here, a wide range of cuisines are available. Cullen Bay and Fannie Bay are the best spots for seafood restaurants. The historic Victoria Hotel, along Smith Street Mall, is the heart and soul of nightlife in Darwin. However, the major hotels boast the busiest clubs.

Public transport

Darwin isn’t served by inner-city trains; however, there is a rail line connecting it to other central Australian cities, such as Alice Springs. Buses are Darwin’s main public transport option, with over half of the routes operated by Buslink. They’re not only affordable, but relatively easy to use, even by tourists. Taxis and private hire cars are also popular ways to get around.

Darwin travel guides

Darwin travel guides