"DARWIN AND DISTRICT" Top 5 Page for this destination Darwin by tiabunna

Darwin Travel Guide: 695 reviews and 2,097 photos

In September 1839, Lieutenant John Stokes, on the HMS Beagle, named Port Darwin after the young scientist who earlier had travelled around the world with him on the ship (yep, the very Charles Darwin who identified evolution). The ship itself was commemorated with the name of the adjacent Beagle Gulf. It should be added that although Stokes liked the harbour, he described the adjacent country as “most thirsty looking” bushland, with a monotonous mangrove-lined shore and clouds of mosquitos. Maybe he didn’t look closely enough to see the crocodiles also there!

Back in the 1800s establishing Australia’s most northerly city, still the only one on over 5500 km of coastline between Cairns and Perth, proved difficult. It since has faced some hard times (see “General” tips - which I suggest you visit before reading the other tips) but now boasts a population of over 100,000. I also should add that the extent of its urban sprawl makes Australia’s other sprawling cities seem relatively compact in comparison!

Driven by a resources boom and tourism, the city is undergoing a rush of development. I’d also rank it as the most multicultural of all Australia’s cities, with a mixture of people of all shades and hordes of backpackers and other tourists from around the world. Not surprisingly, all this has led to an explosion of both the number and diversity of restaurants and food outlets: it would be absurd to compare Darwin with Singapore, but the combination of a food fixation and tropical climate certainly creates some similarities! Should you be heading there, as with other Australian cities, the real gems are to be found in the places 'around' rather than 'in' the city.

Located just over 12 degrees from the equator, the climate is very tropical with only two defined seasons: a monsoonal “Wet” and “Dry”. Most tourists visit during the “Dry” - as did we, for the Australasian 2008 VT Meeting and the special “VT Survivor” trip. I’ve put some travelogues of photos from the Darwin VT meeting with this page – I’ll also add some for the “VT Survivor” trip on a Kakadu page (though that will have to await our return from another trip). For now, would you care to wander with me through my Darwin page to find out more?

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A resilient city
  • Cons:It has needed to be!
  • In a nutshell:A pleasant relaxing place – most of the time!
  • Last visit to Darwin: Jan 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (38)

Comments (26)

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Hi George, great tips about Darwin and excellent writing! The general tips are a very good introduction indeed, and very interesting to read. I have not been to the Top End so far and it is very high on my priority list!

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    Some excellent photos George. Marg

  • albaaust's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2009 at 2:32 AM

    Thanks for the tips George. I am in Darwin in September. Hope my experiences are as good as yours! Alice

  • 1+1's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2009 at 3:24 AM

    "Rosie235's birthday"? Gee, she doesn't look that old! ;O)

  • Tina-Perth's Profile Photo
    May 25, 2009 at 8:02 PM

    I love the way you write, George. Great page, I'll head back when I have more time. T xx

  • omidamini's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2009 at 5:01 AM

    Fine page , it's full and beatiful .Thanks

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo
    Sep 17, 2008 at 3:15 PM

    I was really captivated by your Darwin page, George. Haha, reading about beer bottles just after warning about dehydration. . and Down Under is amazing with a ski club at 12° latitude. . .(Water ski? What is that?) You made my evening, George! Wonderful!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2008 at 9:16 AM

    Fascinating page! I was struck by all the new development since I was there c10 years ago. I remember that great museum & drinks on the balcony at the Vic but didn't find time to see as much as you did, so appreciated finding out about what we missed!

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Jul 27, 2008 at 12:49 PM

    An outstanding page ! The train trip on the New Ghan must be a very special experience ! I have found in Montenegro 2 liters beer bottle. They are not for tourists but for regular use !

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2008 at 12:38 AM

    Excellent page with interesting historical background. Never knew such details out of WWII battles in this part of the world! It was also interesting to learn about Greek population in Darwin. Thanks George for sharing!


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