Darwin is home to about half of the entire population of the Northern Territory and it has more of a large country town atmosphere that that of a state capital.
The region is bordered by Kakadu National Park to the east while the south western part of the region is populated by smaller Aboriginal communities.
The city of Darwin acts as a launching pad for visitors to Litchfield National Park and those wishing to explore Arnhem Land. Darwin is Australia's most northerly city and the easiest gateway to and from Asia, reflected in the diverse range of nationalities that reside there. Darwin itself has particularly 'Asian' feel about it.
That felling is aided by the almost flatline tropical climate that has never officially risen above 39°C or below 10°C but maintains a balmy 34°C average all year. The distinct difference in the seasons occur between the 'wet' and 'dry'. The wet season delivers monsoonal downpours of rain between December and March with spectacular lightening storms and numerous cyclones forming off the coast.
Once considered a frontier outpost town and home to all manner of undesirables and misfits, today Darwin enjoys a reputation as one of the world's most relaxing tourist getaways.
While services aren't as plentiful as the country's other capital cities Darwin makes a great springboard into the top-end of the Northern Territory while hosting an interesting assortment of local tourist attractions itself. Most of these focus around the devastating consequences of World War 2 and Cyclone Tracy in 1974 while the southern settlements of Batchelor and Adelaide River offer insights in their own unique histories.
Facts about the Darwin Region
Population: 130,000 approx.
Climate: Tropical Savannah with distinct 'Wet' and 'Dry' seasons.
Geography: Flanked by the Timor Sea to the west with coastal mangroves and pockets of tropical rainforest that merge into savannah woodlands toward the interior. Areas of sandsheet heath and tidal flats.
Flora: Coastal Mangroves, grevillea, banskia, melaleuca, bladderwort herb with numerous grasses, sedge and native wildflowers.
Fauna: East Point Agile Wallaby, Anula Frill Neck Lizard, saltwater and freshwater crocodiles, 300 bird species including large numbers of migratory birds. Turtles, numerous frogs and reptiles, various bats and smaller marsupials.
Darwin Region Attractions
- Litchfield National Park
- Historic Daly Waters
- Adelaide River Crocodiles and War Cemetery
- Wave Lagoon
- Deckchair Cinema
- Berry Springs
- Casuarina Coastal Reserve
- Charles Darwin National Park
- Stokes Hill Wharf and Darwin Waterfront Precinct
- East Point Military Museum
- World War 2 Oil Storage Tunnels
- Mindil Beach, Nightcliff and Parap Markets
- Fannie Bay Gaol Museum
- Crocodylus Park
- Australian Aviation Heritage Centre
- Holmes Jungle Nature Park
Darwin, Howard Springs, Humpty Doo, Adelaide River, Daly River, Pine Creek, Wadeye/Port Keats.
Getting Around Darwin
While the Darwin CBD is an easy stroll to the majority of inner city restaurants, bars and places of interest the town itself is sprawled along the coastline.
Many attractions lie 10 to 20 km away from the CBD and while the reasonably flat terrain mean hiring a bicycle is quite plausible - the hot humid climate may persuade you otherwise.
There's plenty of buses and taxi's although with a population of around 130,000 we're not talking about a major transportation hub here.
A small, cheap rental car may prove to be the easiest means of transport around the Darwin region and it will take you to most of the southern attractions in the region as well.
If you want to get the most from a visit to Litchfield National Park then exploring the 4WD tracks is a must and you may want to consider upgrading to a more substantial vehicle.
Best Time to Visit
May to September will virtually guarantee blue skies with 30 degree days and warm balmy nights. Perfect. It's also peak tourist season because the top-end can seem a little deserted during the wet season.
By the end of October the humidity is rising and things are starting too get a little steamy with November being the most uncomfortable month as the build-up to the wet is in full swing.
If you are a storm chaser and enjoy spectacular thunderstorms then November/December is for you although as the wet season sets in the Tracks at Litchfield begin to close and Kakadu becomes impassable.
February and March are still hot, wet and steamy and most natural attractions outside of Darwin will still be unaccessible but the place is alive with tropical greenery and wildlife.
The monsoon is unpredictable and fluctuates from year to year making the perfect date to visit any tropical region a slightly hit and miss affair.
Click on the map to see more Australian Regions.
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