10 Things We're Pretty Sure You Didn't Know About Darwin

A rainbow in the sky over the water

2.73min read

Published 9 March 2017


1. You can watch a beer tin boat regatta in Darwin

Held every July in Darwin Harbour, it is the event that really floats the concept of recycling. Darwin Lions Beer Tin Regatta entrants are required to build a tinny from beer tin cans and then take their craft on its maiden voyage along Darwin’s Mindil Beach. This is event is not widely publicised, so if visiting around this time, keep your ear out and eye open for any information for this special event.

An orange and pink sunset over the beach
Sunset over Mind Beach - the perfect way to end a beer tin can regatta. (Image courtesy of Getty)

2. More Bombs Fell on Darwin than in the Pearl Harbour Attack.

Surprising but the Japanese bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942 was and currently still is, the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia, and more bombs were dropped on Darwin than Pearl Harbour. Darwin was only lightly defended and the Japanese managed to incur heavy losses upon the Allied forces at little cost to themselves. 

3.  You can swim with a Crocodile!

Usual advice is to avoid swimming with crocs but for some, just spotting a rare reptile isn’t enough. So for these brave souls when they visit Crocosaurus Cove – in the centre of Darwin, they can get up close and personal to these prehistoric giants of the sea.

A man and woman in a tank watching a crocodile jump for a fish
Avoid what your instincts tell you - go ahead for a dip with these reptilian giants. (Image courtesy of Adventure Travel Bugs)

The ‘Cage of Death’ is just about the closest way to see a crocodile - so close, you can just about reach and touch them! Designed for one or two people per cage, those who dare, are suspended above a couple of crocs and dangled like a piece of food, then lowered into the crocodile enclosure for a 15-minute encounter.

4. Darwin’s human population is exceeded by the crocodile population.

Darwin’s local human count reaches 142, 300 and is significantly beaten by the number of other locals of the reptilian variety by 120, 000!

Large crocodile jumping in brown water
Crocs always have the right of way in the Top End. (Image courtesy of Getty)

5. Flights to Bali take just one and a half hours.

From Fourex to Bintang in an hour and a half –  flights from Darwin direct to Bali take just 90 minutes.

6. Darwin is the location for the best Asian fusion restaurant in the top half of Australia – Hanuman.

Highlighting Darwin’s multicultural influences and its tropical scene, Hanuman in the heart of the central business district pays homage to them with its lunch and dinner menus. With chefs brought from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, India, and Indonesia, renown Melbourne chef and restaurateur, Jimmy Shu has set up in the Top End in order to serve his own very special take on authentic Asian fusion flavours.

7. There is plenty of nightlife and entertainment in Darwin’s Mitchell Street.

Darwin’s remote location does not rule out great entertainment offerings. Mitchell Street in the heart of Darwin is THE place for culture, performing arts, entertainment, cafes, pubs, fine dining, restaurants and cinemas.

8. You can go and party on a sandbar in the middle of a harbour!

For the past several years, more than 100 locals and backpackers coordinate to celebrate the middle of winter on an exposed sandbar in the middle of Cullen Bay, and this has now become a thing.The party usually takes a few weeks of planning, with organisers watching the tides before they settle on a day when the sandbar is going to be perfectly exposed. Then details are sent out over Facebook, where organisers have set up an event page. Held usually in late June, visitors to Darwin are advised to chat to locals to get the local intel, and maybe an invite!

9. Monsoon period in Darwin equals a lot of dampness equals nearly a metre of rain!

If you are adventurous and flexible and don't mind humidity, higher temperatures and lots and lots of rain - go ahead give it a go, you will be rewarded with raging waterfalls and lots of greenery and wildlife.

Darwin’s climate is either wet or dry – with the highest monthly rainfall (up to 950mm) usually occurring in January. During this time, locals can only dream of having a dry newspaper and non-soggy loo paper.

Waterfall flowing off a brown cliff
If you do brave the Big Wet in Darwin, places like Wangi Falls are one of the bonuses. (Image courtesy of Getty)

10. Remoteness of Darwin - it is a long way from anywhere.

Even though it is a big city, not many people actually appreciate how remote Darwin really is, even compared to many places in Western Australia – the closest community to Darwin is Katherine – 400 kilometres away!

For more Darwin inspiration:

See The Top-End James Bond Way

On A Croc Sized Adventure

To find out more about getting to and enjoying all that Darwin has to offer, visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600.


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