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Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Darwin is located in the north-central section of Australia and is the capital of the Northern Territory. The city is known for its weather, laid back lifestyle and other attractions. Darwin is the 15th most populated Australian City. This article will give readers a brief background on the city and also other information that you may require when visiting.

Darwin

Climate and Geography

Darwin is located on the northern tip of the Northern Territory, facing Beagle Gulf which opens to the Timor Sea. The population of Darwin is approximately 127,000 and is the largest city in the Northern Territory 1).

The climate of Darwin is classified as Tropical, with wet and dry seasons. There is very little fluctuation of temperatures in Darwin, with an average temperature of 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) and this only fluctuates 1 degree or so through the year, with the changes in humidity the determining factor. Almost all of the rainfall is during the wet season, which is between October and April, with massive amounts of rainfall totalling 1700mm (67 inches), with January and February being the monsoon rain season 2).

History

Darwin has a significant place in Australian history, with the most prominent being the bombings by the Japanese during World War II. The greater Darwin area was originally inhabited by mainly the Larrikia aboriginal tribe, and they are believed to have been in the region for over 40,000 years. The first white settlement of Darwin was in 1869, and the city was originally names Palmerston which was subsequently changed to Darwin in 1911. In the early years Darwin was used mainly as a port city and by pearl divers.

The city continued to grow in the early to mid 1900's but was then subject to bombing raids by the Japanese Air Force in February, 1942. More than 200 civilians and army personnel were killed in the air raids which lasted several months and 60 raids. The second most significant event that occurred in Darwin was the devastation created by Cyclone Tracy, which hit the city on Christmas day, 1974. The cyclone wiped out most of the city, and claimed 66 lives 3). Darwin has since been rebuilt and there are currently many new construction projects under way in the city.

Accommodation

Darwin is renowned for its tropical resorts, however you can find all sorts of accommodation to suit your needs and budget. Accommodation ranges fro caravan parks to 5 star hotels and resorts. Most of the accommodation is within the city centre.

Food

Darwin is a multi cultural city, and there are many food options to be found. There is a strong Chinese and Malaysian influence in the city due to the pearl divers who stayed on in the city, whilst the seafood is also some of the best that can be found in the country. You can find restaurants and cafes just about anywhere in the city, but with the major concentration at the waterfront.

Transport

The transport options in Darwin are mainly the local bus services, which run efficient services linking all of the major suburbs to the city. There are also many car hire option available around the city. For more information regarding driving in Darwin and the Northern Territory please see this site http://darwin-driving-school.com.au/category/driving-tips/.

Mindil Beach Markets

The Mindil Beach markets are a must see when visiting Darwin. These markets are held at Mindil Beach, which is located on the eastern side of the city. At the markets you can try all types of international cuisine, along with arts, crafts and other attractions such as tarot card reading or a nice massage. The markets are held at night to avoid the heat, and there are also many cafes, bars abd pubs in the area if you desire a drink.

mindil_beach.jpg

Mindil Beach Markets 4)

Wave Lagoon

Wave Lagoon is located in the city near the water front and is a swimming centre that is crocodile and jellyfish free. It has several pools if different depths to cater for all different ages, and has water slides and other attractions for children. The main pool has an artificial wave machine which generates waves for the swimmers.

Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens in Darwin is located on the fringe of the city, and is home to many native and international tropical and sub-tropical plants. There are also several native animals who inhabit the park and also many types of colourful butterflies. The park has been subject to several weather events and was also devastated during the bombings in World War II and has been rebuilt several times.

Lake Alexander

Lake Alexander is located on the western side of the city, and is a salt water lagoon which is safe for swimming and all types of water sports. There are several playgrounds for the children, free barbecues and also bike and walking tracks. There are many different types of water sports that you can partake in here, such as kayaking, sailing and water skiing.

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Lake Alexander 5)

Darwin Docks

The Darwin Docks are located on the northern edge of the city, and here you can see all the big ships and fishing boats entering and leaving the harbour. You can also join a fishing charter if you like, or you can fish off the docks themselves where you can catch many varieties of fish. There are also cafes and bars on the water front which have great views, especially in the evenings.

Darwin Wharves 6)

Disclaimer

It is recommended that you visit Darwin in the drier months, mainly between April and October. During the wet season it can get extremely humid and the constant rain may limit your activity opportunities. The wet season also can attract salt water crocodiles to the area, although it is recommended that you remain alert and vigilant all year round. The wet season also means that certain types of jellyfish inhabit the waters which can result in nasty stings. Please observe all signs when visiting, or for more information please visit this site http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Australia_and_Oceania/Australia/Northern_Territory/Darwin-1877297/Warnings_or_Dangers-Darwin-TG-C-2.html.

Australia | Travel

1) Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013, 'Darwin', Available: http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/corporate.nsf/home/ABS+Offices+-+Northern+Territory
3) NT Government, 2013, 'History of Darwin', Available: http://www.darwin.nt.gov.au/council/educational-resources/history-darwin
5) Darwin's Lake Alexander bykenhodge13 licence CC 2.0, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Darwin%27s_Lake_Alexander_June_2004.jpg
6) Darwin Wharves by Stuart Edwards licence CC 2.5, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Darwin_Wharves.jpg

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