See Also: Adelaide | Byron Bay | Canberra | Darwin | Hobart | New Zealand | Perth | Fiji | Pacific Islands | Vanuatu


The city of Darwin is the capital of Australia's Northern Territory and named after the famous explorer who was once a crewmember aboard the HMS Beagle, which sailed into Darwin harbor in 1836. Although Dutch explorers were the first Europeans to explore and map the area during the 1600s they did not establish a settlement, and when the HMS Beagle arrived it was populated by Aborigines.

History of Darwin

A settlement named Palmerston was established during the 1860s and later renamed Darwin. The discovery of gold at Pine Creek in the 1870s boosted the town population. Although the city was decimated by Japanese bombing raids during World War Two and had to be rebuilt, the 10,000 allied troops that arrived to defend the northern coast helped build roads and dams. After the war came a large influx of Greek and Italian immigrants, who joined the Vietnamese and Filipino communities. Today Darwin still has the highest population of original Aborigines of any Australian capital, and is known as a laid-back city.

Darwin Climate

The area has a tropical climate with wet and dry seasons. From about early May to October runs the dry season. November is usually the hottest month, just before the rainy season brings monsoon rains, tropical cyclones and frequent lightning. Darwin harbor faces the Timor Sea, where saltwater crocodiles are common all along the coast.

Darwin National Parks

The Charles Darwin National Park on Frances Bay is a mangrove wetland habitat that was inhabited by the Aborigines, and the middens of shells they fed on are still there along with the ammunition bunkers built during the war which are still standing along the walking trails established by soldiers. The Litchfield National Park is an interesting day trip from Darwin, and covers most of a sandstone plateau with termite mounds called the Tabletop Range, which is mostly surrounded by cliffs. The town of Batchelor is the gateway to the park offering budget accomodations to overnight visitors. East of Darwin is Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage site with stunning waterfalls, dry plains, aboriginal rock paintings, and a cruise along wildlife-rich South Alligator river.

Darwin Tourism

Tourism along with mining are the main industries here, plus the oil and gas deposits along the Timor Sea. Today Darwin is the northernmost and least populated of Australian capital cities, with miles of clean wide beaches of which Casuarina and Mindil are the most popular. Fishing is big here with locals and visitors alike seeking the local barramundi fish, plus Queenfish, Spanish mackerel, and others on day trips from Darwin. Fresh-water fishing is popular along the Alligator river, Mary river, and Daly river. Leisurely lunch and sunset dinner cruises leave the harbor daily, or visit a crocodile farm at Howard Springs.

We would like to extend a big thankyou to Darwin Accommodation who provided us with our outstanding Darwin Hotels during our research study in Darwin, NT.

Darwin Festivals and Entertainment

Mitchell Street is the main nightlife and entertainment hub, and the concert scene is at Darwin Entertainment Centre. Territory Day and the Chinese New Year are the only events where fireworks are allowed, and other annual festivals are the Greek Glenti festival, The Darwin Festival, Seabreeze festival, Speargrass festival, and the beer-can regatta.