Darwin is the capital of Australia's Northern Territory and the only capital in the tropics. It's a city of sidewalk cafes, excellent museums and galleries, and stunning natural landscapes. It's also a haven for lovers of adventure sports.
You can't come to Darwin without exploring the great outdoors. Lake Alexander, Charles Darwin National Park, and Casuarina Coastal Reserve are just some of the highlights.
The city is packed with museums and galleries, such as the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, which reflect local Aboriginal culture and has wider international exhibits.
The Deckchair Cinema at the Waterfront Precinct screens films outdoors from April to November. A Darwin institution not to be missed.
Darwin has a youthful population and this is reflected in the number of clubs and cocktail bars.
There are more than 50 nationalities making Darwin their home and this is reflected in the stunning variety of Pan-Asian food in the markets and restaurants.
Darwin has a tropical climate with temperatures around 90 all year. May to October is drier.
Darwin International Airport (DRW) has flights to other Australian cities and international connections from Asia and Europe. The airport shuttle bus will take you into town for AU$18. A taxi costs AU$30.
The Ghan train service runs twice a week from Adelaide to Darwin. Fares vary depending on season but a single fare can be from AU$2,199.
The only highway into Darwin is the Stuart Highway, which runs from Alice Springs and Adelaide. Remember that distances are long. The trip from Sydney is 2,500 miles.
Darwin has regular bus services from most Australian cities. The trip from Sydney takes almost three days and costs AU$469.
Ashton Lodge on Mitchell Street has affordable rooms in the center of town, while Skycity on Gilruth Avenue is a 5-star boutique hotel minutes from Downtown.
Cullen Bay - this is an attractive area centered on the marina. Restaurants and bars are plentiful and there are charter boats in the harbor.
Darwin Wharf - this area has been extensively redeveloped, with a cruise ship terminal, wave pool, and lots of hotels.
Nightcliff - this is one of the oldest districts of the city, surrounded by the sea on three sides. It has good walking trails and a popular jetty.
Darwin has a public bus service serving the city center. Tickets are from AU$3 or AU$7 for a day pass.
Taxis are widely available. Meter drop is AU$4.40 and you will then pay AU$2.50 per mile.
Driving is the easiest way to get around. Traffic is light and parking is plentiful and car rental is available from AU$50.
The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets are great for finding tasty local foods. Smith Street is the center of the mainstream shopping area and also specializes in the famous local pearls and Aboriginal crafts.
A quart of milk in Darwin will cost AU$1.41 and a dozen eggs is AU$4.52.
Hanuman Restaurant on Mitchell Street has good Indian, Malaysian, and Thai food from AU$22. Lewinsky's is also on Mitchell Street and serves excellent seafood from AU$30.