Darwin Accommodation

Darwin Restaurants and Nightlife

Like other Australian cities, Darwin has developed a distinct culinary culture that takes its influence from a cosmopolitan mix of cuisines, and uses fresh local produce to tempt the tastebuds of the most world-weary traveller. Perhaps not surprisingly, Territorians are big flesh-eaters, and a range of unexpected steaks such as crocodile and emu appear alongside the more prosaic, albeit superb, beef. Then there's the fish - starting with the divine barramundi, which you can catch yourself in the mangrove creeks – and any amount of delicious seafood.

You don't have to catch your own dinner, as there are plenty of people who've done it for you, and offer their catches at very reasonable rates, both to buy fresh or to eat in a number of good restaurants. Darwin's proximity to Asia is very apparent here, with just a few restaurants hanging on to European roots, while most have opted for a wonderful fusion of local and exotic ingredients put together in imaginative ways.

Eating opportunities range from upmarket silver service to cheap street food. Eclectic eateries jostle along the boardwalk at chic Cullen Bay and takeaways huddle around Smith Street mall, while the the markets offer gastronomic delights of unimaginable variety:

    • Mindil Beach – Thursday and Sunday evenings from May-October – 60 open air food stalls
    • Rapid Creek market – Sunday mornings – excellent range of fresh fruit and vegetables
    • Parap market – all year round – small, community market
    • Nightcliff market – Sunday mornings
    • Palmerston market – Friday nights

There's no doubt about it, Darwin is an eaters' market.

Nightlife in the tropics is sultry, balmy and sweet-smelling. The scent of frangipani and other fragrant trees and flowers gives Darwin a south-east Asian atmosphere to be enjoyed well into the night. Night-time temperatures, even in the cooler months, are around 20°C, so evenings under the stars are perfect for dancing, drinking cocktails, taking in the film festivals or listening to music.

Darwin's increasing sophistication over the past few years means there are plenty of clubs, discos, pubs, jazz venues, theatres and even opera.

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