Despite the small population, though, it has become one of the most multicultural and modern cities in Australia. The city is close to Asia and serves as a gateway to countries such as Timor-Leste and Indonesia.
Leisure and convenience
Darwin is an interesting and enjoyable town. It was rebuilt to meet the needs of a modern society after being devastated by Cyclone Tracy in 1974. It is a good place to visit and to live in and is a good choice for people with an interest in outdoor activities. Beautiful scenery and natural attractions abound.
Darwin is blessed with unpolluted beaches that are wonderful places for holidaymakers. The two main beaches are:
- Casuarina Beach
- Mindil Beach
One interesting aspect of Casuarina Beach is that an area has been set aside for nude bathing. Normally, it is not safe to swim in the sea from October to May because of the presence of the deadly box jellyfish.
There are many water sports available. One of the most popular is blue-water fishing off the city’s coast. There is also river fishing. The territory’s rivers include:
- Daly River
- Mary River
- East Alligator River
Besides fishing, other water sports such as boating and surf skis are available.
Parks and gardens
As the capital city of Northern Territory, Darwin has many beautiful parks and gardens, including:
- Charles Darwin National Park
- Bicentennial Park
- George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens
- Casuarina Coastal Reserve
- Nightcliff Foreshore
- Leanyer Recreational Park
- Knuckey Lagoons Conservation Reserve
- Jingili Water Gardens
Sports and events
For sports lovers, the Marrara Sports Complex is a must to visit. The complex is close to the airport and houses stadiums for sports such as soccer, cricket, athletics, rugby, basketball and field hockey.
One of the major festivals in the city is Territory Day, celebrated on July 1st. In Darwin, the venue for the celebration is Mindil Beach. There are also many other festivals held yearly in the city. They include:
- Glenti, held by the large Greek community
- Chinese New Year, showing the influence of Asia
- The Darwin Festival, marked with theatre, music, dance, visual arts and the Northern Territory Indigenous Music Awards
- Sea Breeze festival
- The Spear Grass festival
- The Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta
- The World Solar Challenge
There are many entertainment venues in the city, including the Darwin Entertainment Centre and the Darwin Convention Centre, established in 2008.
For the foodies and night clubbers, Mitchell Street in the central business district is the place to go. There are a number of nightclubs, restaurants and cafes on this street. Mitchell Street is the entertainment hub of the city where you will also find many cinemas.
Shopping in Darwin
Darwin has some of the best shopping in the Northern Territory. There are several shopping complexes in the city, among the most popular being:
- Mindil Beach Sunset Markets
- Parap Village Market
- Rapid Creek Market
- Nightcliff Market
- Nightcliff Shopping Centre
- The Mall
- 20 arcades in Darwin city
- Casuarina Square
- Pearl Galleria
Each shopping area is unique and there are also many cafes and restaurants in the shopping centres where you can buy something to eat and drink.
The largest industry in the city is tourism. It creates employment and helps boost the economy. In 2005/2006:
- 1.38 million people visited the city
- 9.2 million nights were spent in the city:
- $1.5 billion was spent by tourists
June 2006 reports shows that 8391 people were directly employed in the tourist industry while 14, 000 people were indirectly employed.
Mining and energy industry
The mining and energy industry contributes immensely to Darwin’s economy. The annual revenue generated by the sector is more than $2.5 billion. There are a number of minerals mined near the city. The most important ones include zinc, gold, manganese and bauxite. Drilling for oil and natural gas is done offshore in the Timor Sea.
Other industries that boost Darwin’s economy and create employment are the military and construction companies.
Darwin has many natural and man-made attractions. The amenities in the city, places of interests and natural and historic sites attract tourists and this helps to create jobs.