"Capital City Of Australia's Northern Territory" Darwin by Mikebb

Darwin Travel Guide: 695 reviews and 2,097 photos

We arrived in Darwin on the 1st August for a 10 day holiday taking in several of the major attractions of the Northern Territory. After a few days in the city we visited Litchfield National Park, then onto Katherine for several days including an afternoon cruise through the gorge and finally 2 days in the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park before returning to Darwin.

In February 1999 I visited Kakadu National Park during the Wet Season and was amazed to see in certain areas the extent of water covering the land as far as I could see. I was determined to return one day with my wife and see this land in the Dry Season.

This was a holiday of contrasts as the "Territory" still retains the character of a remote frontier, isolation, a rugged country at times subject to harsh weather conditions and experiencing 2 seasons: The Dry, and the Wet.

Darwin has all the facilities and most of the infrustructure you expect in a much larger city. This is partly due to its isolation within Australia and also due to the city being destroyed by Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Eve 1974. Nothing was left and the city was completely rebuilt. There is a video of the aftermath on my Things To Do Tips.

A Brief History of Darwin

John Lort Stokes, Captain of the ship Beagle discovered Darwin Harbour in1839 and named it after a former shipmate, British evolutionist Charles Darwin.

The new settlement of Palmerston was established during February1869 by George Goyder, Surveyor-General of the Colony of South Australia. The City Of Darwin now stands on this land.

The development of the Overland Telegraph to the Southern States of Australia combined with the establishment of the 1100 mile submarine cable between Darwin and Banjoewaingi, Java in 1871 to complete the communication link to Europe and London was most important in the development of the city.

In February1942 the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese forces resulted in a massive build up of forces which contributed to the development of the city. The first raid by 188 aircraft caused massive damage to the city, including the sinking of 8 ships in the harbour. 251 people were killed and a further 350 wounded in that raid. The Japanese airforce continued attacks on Darwin with over 60 raids in the period to November 1943.

  • Last visit to Darwin: Aug 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (30)

Comments (14)

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2013 at 6:42 AM

    Lovely travel pages on Darwin. Stokes Hill Wharf as well as Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory certainly look particularly interesting to us. The sunsets as depicted on your photographs really look amazing and so are the Litchfield National Park and those termite mounds. Hope to visit Darwin one day when we have the chance and thanks for your virtual tour. ~ho & pang

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2010 at 7:35 AM

    Excellent page on this interesting Australian city with its wharf, museum and other attractions. The waterfalls look just great and remind me of Norway.

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2009 at 5:18 PM

    Mike, great page about Darwin. Good thing you met up with Sweetheart in the museum -- and not out in the wild. The photos of the Wharf Precinct and the different waterfalls are excellent. Too bad about the slow service at breakfast. Cheers, Bill

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 10, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    Fine tips on a place I have never heard much about. Interesting that the termites also built a cathedral, not only people. Thanks for including the link to that video on the aftermath of the 1974 cyclone.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2009 at 7:14 AM

    Mike, it looks like you had an excellent few days at the Top End! 'Sweetheart' croc does look like quite a beast but your delicious Barramundi tip reminded me of my New Guinea days! I think you are right about the Florence Falls steps!

  • Greggor58's Profile Photo
    Sep 22, 2009 at 3:46 PM

    Darwin and the N.T. will certainly be on my list of stopovers if I ever make it "down" that way...Great page Mike..Ive just been reading your restaurant tips...and its dinner time here...I really shouldn't do that...mix the two!

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
    Sep 22, 2009 at 12:20 PM

    litchfield looks far more interesting than darwin. termite mounds - made by termites? what am i missing. beautiful park, beautiful pictures.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Sep 21, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    Wonderful page Mike! Like Lew said, love the tree in the water. Darwin is a fabulous place. Putting on my list of places to see. Thanks for the lovely tour!

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2009 at 6:26 AM

    Excellent tips, Mike! I hope to make it to Darwin on the Ghan some day.

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2009 at 5:59 AM

    An enjoyable page on an interesting place, Mike. I was interested to see how far the wharf area redevelopment has come along since our visit.


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