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Darwin, Gateway to Asia

Updated on October 5, 2014

There's more to Darwin than Crocodiles

In the Top End of Australia, one of the last remaining wild regions of the world, is Darwin, a thriving modern city with a relaxed multicultural lifestyle in the laid- back tropics.

Darwin is Australia's gateway to Asia. It's a beautiful city, with a tropical climate, small population and the relaxed atmosphere that goes with it. If you visit Australia you must get up to Darwin, you'll fall in love with it, as I have.

Sitting up on a low bluff overlooking the harbour which leads out to the Timor Sea, Darwin has a population of only 122,000 but it's one of our most modern and multicultural cities. Darwin has been almost entirely rebuilt twice, once due to Japanese air raids during World War II and again after being devastated by Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

But don't forget the Crocodiles!

Never smile at a crocodile on a Darwin beach
Never smile at a crocodile on a Darwin beach | Source

Saltwater Crocodiles

Saltwater crocodiles, the most famous of the Territory's creatures, can be seen in most rivers and billabongs in the Top End or at the wildlife parks around Darwin.

Saltwater crocs, or Salties, as we affectionately call them, have an enormous range, populating the brackish and freshwater regions of eastern India, Southeast Asia, and the Top End of Australia. They are excellent swimmers and have often been spotted far out at sea.

Salties are classic opportunistic predators, they lurk patiently beneath the surface near the water's edge waiting for potential prey to stop for a sip of water.

They'll feed on anything they can get their jaws on!

Darwin looks out to Asia

Darwin from the air
Darwin from the air | Source

Darwin looks outward

A long way from the major cities

Darwin is like no other city in Australia. It looks outwards to Asia.

It's closer to Jakarta than it is to Sydney, and closer to Singapore than it is to Melbourne.

East Timor is a stone's throw across the water and Papua-New Guinea is just a hop, step and a jump away.

Darwin has two Seasons - Wet and Dry

Tropical Storm at night in Darwin : Tourism NT

Forget any idea you had about four seasons, Darwin has only two.

The Wet Season from November to March, and the Dry Season from April to November.

In the Wet, monsoons bring heavy rain and incredibly humidity. The monsoons bring tropical cyclones too.

Go to Darwin in the Dry, when the weather is warm, dry (naturally) and delightful. 20C to 35C - 68F to 99F, and almost every day is bright and sunny

Surrounded by Beaches - Tropical sands

Casuarina Beach, Darwin
Casuarina Beach, Darwin | Source

Beautiful Darwin

An excellent little video showing the stunning surrounds of this multicultural city. Runtime 4.24

Cosmopolitan Darwin

Seventy Five nationalities

Darwin is a relaxed city, and cosmopolitan in a tropical atmosphere.

In a country that prides itself on ethnic diversity, Darwin may be the most multicultural city of all.

Seventy-five nationalities are represented, and nearly a quarter of the population self-identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Many languages other than English are spoken and maintained in Darwin, languages such as Greek, Indonesian, Tagalog, Portuguese, including a number of both Australian Indigenous, and the Chinese languages.

Darwin Night Market

Just out of town is the busy Mindil Beach Night Market with cake stalls, fruit-salad bars, handicraft stalls, and often local entertainment in the form of strolling players and street theatre. It's a friendly carnival of food sellers, craft hawkers, jugglers and magicians, with the stalls along almost a half-mile of walkway.

Almost every kind of cuisine that can be sold from a stall is represented.

People begin arriving at Mindil Beach around dusk on Thursday and Sunday nights during the dry season to eat a lesiurely meal and watch the sun set over the Arafura Sea. They bring tables, chairs, rugs, chilled wine and children and choose their meal from about 250 food-stalls cooking fresh Thai, Sri Lankan, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, Laotian, Malaysian, Greek and Portuguese meals and snacks.

You won't find a Big Mac here.

The Darwin Beer Can Regatta

© 2008 Susanna Duffy

What do YOU think of Darwin?

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    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 3 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      The crocodiles are indeed interesting, MariaCarbonara, the only trouble is that they'll find YOU interesting. And tasty.

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      This looks like such an awesome place. Even the crocs look interesting

    • BryanLSC profile image

      BryanLSC 5 years ago

      Oh my god I'd love to pay a visit to Darwin. Seems like an exciting place to be at!

    • Lou165 profile image

      Lou165 7 years ago from Australia

      We lived there for 18 months and although the build up to the wet season is almost unbearable, we absolutely loved it. I don't know anywhere else where you can plan a bbq a year in advance and know that it's not going to rain!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I had never heard of the city of Darwin, but it makes sense that a tropical place that is one of few "wild" places on the earth is named after the great explorer and scientist. I would love to go to Australia and explore smaller towns like Darwin; one of my favorite parts of traveling are the small towns where I can attend a regatta or eat dinner with the locals. The tropical storm picture is incredible.

    • SidneyMorgan LM profile image

      SidneyMorgan LM 7 years ago

      Gorgeous, and so much to see. For those who haven't been this lens should give you a great idea of what it is like to visit and see some of the great parts of Australia.