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Darwin - Cities, Towns and Localities
Located in the far north of the Northern Territory, west of Arnhem Land, is the capital city of Darwin. With its location being closer to Jakarta than it is to Sydney, and closer to Singapore than it is to Melbourne, it is no surprise that it is influenced by Asia. This proximity is reflected in the city’s relaxed, cosmopolitan, tropical atmosphere. Darwin’s main shopping centre and eateries are all within two to three blocks around the Smith St mall. The surrounding suburbs are a good 12 to 15 km to the north and east.

Darwin’s airport is 6 km north of the city centre. The transit centre, where buses arrive and depart, is in the centre of the city.

Darwin Parliament House, Northern Territory, Australia
Darwin Parliament House

The wet season (October to March) is considered the best time by locals to visit Darwin, when everything is green, there’s no dust, barramundi fishing is at its best, prices drop, there are spectacular electrical storms and all the tourists have gone home. Of course this is the time of year when the humidity is often unbearable, roads are impassable, swimming in the ocean is impossible, and cyclones are something of a worry. Late wet, early dry is probably the best season, as the rains taper off and the humidity drops.

May Day is celebrated with beach parties and rock concerts. August is the Festival of Darwin, the Rodeo, Mud Crab Tying Competition, the Darwin Cup horse race, and the Beer Can Regatta. The Royal Darwin Show is held in July.

Darwin’s airport services both international and domestic routes. The airport is only 6 km from the city and is serviced by a shuttle bus and taxi. You can fly to Darwin from all other states in Australia, although the route may detour via Alice Springs, Brisbane or Adelaide. By bus there are three main routes - the Western Australian route from Broome, Derby, Port Hedland and Kununurra; the Queensland route through Mt Isa to Threeways and up the Track; or straight up the Track from Alice Springs.

The cyclone season is from November to April. Active monsoon periods are likely times for development of cyclones. With memories of Cyclone Tracy in 1974, the people of Darwin know the importance of taking sensible steps during the cyclone season. While Darwin has experienced only three major cyclones in the past 100 years residents take cyclone warnings very seriously.

The new construction standards and building codes post Tracy and the annual public awareness campaigns to alert residents about practical safety measures are an important part of life in the Top End.

Community cyclone shelters are available if required and brochures and pamphlets with step-by-step advice are readily available and actively promoted. It is sensible to collect updated cyclone information each November and maintain a well stocked cyclone kit in the home.

Check out our listing of Darwin accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre

Tourism Top End LogoTourism Top End
Darwin Region Tourism Association
Beagle House
Cnr Knuckey and Mitchell Streets
Ph: 08 8936 2499
Toll: 1300 138 886

Tourism Top End
Cnr Bennett & Smith Streets
Ph: 08 8980 6000
Toll: 1300 138 886

Northern Territory Visitors Centre
1st Floor, 22 Cavenagh Street
Ph: 08 8941 1824
Fax: 08 8941 2815

Tourism NT
Head Office
Level 4, Tourism House
43 Mitchell Street
Ph: 08 8999 3900
Fax: 08 8999 3888

Click here to view Darwin suburbs list.

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Climate and Seasons
Whether you visit during the peak tourism season (known locally as the dry season) or the wet season (a period with high intensity storms that provide spectacular displays of lightning), there is definitely plenty to experience in the Top End. Late wet, early dry is probably the best times to experience these seasons, as the rains taper off and the humidity drops.

The cyclone season is usually from November to April. It is during the active monsoon periods when you are the likely times for cyclones to develop.
• May to September Dry Season
April/May lasting through to September/October is known as the dry season. The weather in Darwin is usually mild with sunny days, blue skies and balmy nights. Sometimes of course the start and the end of the dry season can be very hot. The dry season is of course the busiest time in Darwin.
• October to March Wet Season
October/November heralds the hot and steamy weather and the start if the wet season. As the phrase implies, it is when the most rain falls, between December through to March and matched with magnificent lightning displays. It is still a wonderful time to visit, especially being less crowded. Of course the wet season is that time of year when the humidity is often unbearable for some, with roads that are impassable, swimming in the ocean is impossible, and cyclones can sometimes be a worry.

Whilst the dry season is usually more predictable, the wet season can be very unpredictable, with rain appearing earlier than predicted or very late.
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Darwin Distance

Distance to Darwin
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Darwin:
Adelaide 3,025
• Adelaide River 120
Alice Springs 1,497
Broome, WA 1,869
Halls Creek, WA 1,186
• Jabiru 255
Katherine 316
Kununurra, WA 829
• Larrakeyah 4
Mataranka 426
• Pine Creek 225
• Palmerston 21
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.
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• Darwin Maps
View our Darwin suburbs list.
Bing Maps - Darwin NT
Google Maps - Darwin NT 0800
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