TOP 10 CITY TO VISIT IN 2012, HAND PICKED BY LONELY PLANET.
Darwin is a must-visit holiday destination for travelers around the globe and now we have proof! Darwin is the only Australian city featured in recently-released Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2012. According to Lonely Planet, Darwin offers a 'pumping nocturnal scene, magical markets and restaurants, and world-class wilderness areas just down the road, today Darwin is the triumph of Australia's Top End'.
Darwin has a relaxed outdoor lifestyle and enjoys warm weather all year round. Perched on a peninsula with sea on three sides, Darwin is an excellent base to explore the natural attractions of world heritage listed Kakadu National Park, Litchfield and Nitmiluk National Parks, the Tiwi Islands and Arnhem Land.
Darwin was founded as Australia's most northerly harbor port in 1869, and its population rapidly expanded after the discovery of gold at nearby Pine Creek in 1871. World War II put Darwin on the map as a major allied military base for troops fighting the Japanese in the Pacific.
Today travelers can see evidence of Darwin's World War II history at a variety of preserved sites including ammunition bunkers, airstrips and oil tunnels in and around the city culminating in the new interactive 'Defence of Darwin Experience' situated at East Point, which provides graphic insights into the bombing of Darwin. Darwin again made world news when the city was rebuilt in the wake of Cyclone Tracy in 1974 - an event well documented at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Its colorful history has contributed to Darwin's cultural diversity - more than 50 nationalities make up its 100,000 population, including the area's traditional landowners, the Larrakia, Aboriginal people. The cultural and culinary benefits of such a melting pot are best experienced at Darwin's weekly markets, variety of restaurants and through the annual calendar of festivals and other Darwin events.
With Australia's most youthful population and tropical climate, Darwin is acclaimed for its energetic and fun-loving vibe.
The best way to get acquainted with the city's Aboriginal heritage, WWII history and colorful past is on a guided tour either on foot, riding a bike or small coach.
At night the city bursts into life along Mitchell Street, the heart of Darwin's restaurants, pubs and clubs. Harbour-side entertainment can be found on the stylish boardwalks of Cullen Bay Marina, Skycity Casino, the legendary Mindil Beach, and quirky Ski Club or Sailing Club which boast spectacular sunsets.
Local restaurants and markets offer a variety of cuisines and atmospheres, but make sure that you tuck into some authentic Territory fare like mud crabs, barramundi, buffalo, kangaroo and crocodile.
Take time to indulge in the open air Asian-style markets at Parap, Nightcliff and Mindil Beach. Relish the flavour of five continents, have your palm read, browse locally made arts and crafts, and watch local entertainers perform.
Darwin Harbour plays host to an array of world-class fishing experiences with anglers hooking Barramundi and other tropical fish, or the more relaxed option of a sunset cruise.
Darwin's tropical climate and coastal location lends itself to an outdoor lifestyle.
Much of the city's social activities take place at open air markets, outdoor festivals, in parks and reserves, by the beach or on boats down on Darwin Harbour. Even movie buffs prefer to enjoy their films under the stars at the famous Deckchair Cinema.
Darwin's calendar of cultural events, festivals and concerts make the most of a spectacular climate between May and September, when the Dry Season brings days of endless sunshine as the rest of Australia shivers through winter. Open-air markets are held across the city every weekend in Parap, Rapid Creek and Nightcliff.
At the centre of it all is 'The Avenue', by staying in one of the Territories newest and most modern and well thought establishments not only are you setting yourself up for comfort and luxury, but ease of access to the local facilities and attractions that make Darwin known. You are within walking distance to the Mindil Beach Markets, Skycity Casino, and Darwin Botanical Gardens. And five minutes drive from the city center, Darwin waterfront and east point reserve.
The avenue also has a range of facilities to utilize without even leaving the resort.