Destination Name: Darwin & Surrounds
Most travellers begin their Top End experience in Darwin, the Northern Territory’s cosmopolitan capital. Its proximity to World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands makes it one of the most exciting capital cities in Australia.
Darwin is a popular holiday destination, thanks to a laid back charm cultivated in equal parts by its tropical climate and geographical position.
The city is closer to Jakarta than it is to Canberra and strongly influenced by its Asian neighbours. Nowhere is this more evident than at the city’s vibrant markets where a variety of cuisines are all well represented. The east-meets-west them also extends to many up-market and mid-range restaurants. Barramundi, the locals’ favourite catch is also a regular feature on Darwin menus.
In fact, fishing for ‘barra’ is a fantastic way to get acquainted with Darwin’s huge harbour (twice the size of Sydney’s) or alternatively, sunset cruises let you take in one of its spectacular dusks.
With Darwin as your base, the major attractions of the Top End are readily accessible.
To the north of Darwin are the Tiwi Islands- Bathurst and Melville, abundant in arts and crafts and the colourful culture of the Tiwi people.
South-east of the city are the unspoilt wetlands of the Mary River region and one of Australia’s greatest treasures – World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park where some of Australia’s most famous Aboriginal rock art sites, awesome waterfalls and a multitude of unusual birds and wildlife are the star attractions.
Travelling further east you can explore the untamed beauty of Arnhem Land. Activities like sailing and game-fishing let you experience the magic of Gove or Cobourg Peninsula’s water wonderlands or you can seek out rare insight into the traditional life of indigenous Australians.
With so many incredible experiences within easy reach of Australia’s most picturesque tropical capital city, it’s easy to see why the Top End has something for everybody.