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Darwin Australia sits on the northern coast of Australia, the country’s northernmost capital city. Named for the famed scientist and intrepid traveler Charles Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory is also a city known for its perseverance. Rebuilt twice, once after the Japanese air raids of World War II and once after a devastating cyclone, Darwin is now one of the most modern capitals in the world. A gateway to Asia to the north and the so much of Australia to the south, Darwin is a port city worth exploring. Located 2,000 miles or so from Sydney, Darwin is closer to the capitals of Indonesia and Paupa New Guinea than the capital of its own country, Canberra.
The natural bay on the Timor Sea has long attracted attention. The Larrakia people, the original inhabitants of Darwin Australia, settled along the bay, opening up trade routes to Asia. Europeans first came in the 1600s, originally the Dutch. The first British visitors arrived in 1839 aboard the HMS Beagle, the same ship that had recently hosted Charles Darwin on his voyage of scientific discovery. The commander of the ship, John Clements Wickham, called this place Port Darwin. Eventually, the name was shortened to Darwin. The city experienced a gold rush before the city grew and experienced decades of growing pains and political turmoil. During World War II, the history of Darwin was cemented when some 10,000 allied troops arrived, ready to defend the northern coast of Australia. The same fleet that attacked Pearl Harbor bombed Darwin several months before heading to Hawaii. Ever resilient, Darwin rebuilt—until Cyclone Tracey struck on Christmas Day 1974 leading to another rebuilding project that made the city even bigger and stronger.
Thanks to its warm, tropical climate, the northern city is a great place to hit the beach. Through the dry season, May through September, Darwin enjoys a long stretch of sunny days with temperatures perfect for hitting the beach. When the weather cooperates, beaches throughout Darwin Australia attract attention and fill with sunbathers, anglers, and snorkelers. Cool breezes sweep in from the Timor Sea, over a long stretch of sandy beaches, including one clothing-optional beach, Casuarina Beach.
Every year, Darwin’s Mindil Beach, hosts a big celebration on July 1, Territory Day. During the dry season, the same beach hosts weekly farmers markets, complete with live music and good food. Any time of the year, attractions throughout Darwin, Australia, prove interesting. The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, features exhibits about this city’s singular history along with Aboriginal art. The Darwin Entertainment Center hosts a year-round schedule of concerts, while the Darwin Convention Centre anchors the city’s waterfront improvement project. Darwin also has plenty of opportunities to connect with nature on crocodile cruises and visits to Litchfield National Park. Darwin also is the gateway for exploring Kakadu National Park—the vast outdoor wonderland the same size as the country of Slovenia.
Whether you’re coming to spend a week exploring Kakadu or spending the weekend strolling through town, you’ll have many choices for overnight lodging. The city and its suburbs are home to a full range of lodging properties, including familiar-name brands and luxury hotels. For budget travelers, a number of backpackers’ lodges and youth hostels can provide a place to stay without a high price tag to match.
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