The capital of Australia’s Northern Territory and the gateway to Kakadu National Park, Darwin is sure to not disappoint when it comes to climate and culture. Closer to Bali than Bondi, Darwin is a backpacker’s dream with rainforests to explore, indigenous people to meet and a truly tropical climate. Not to mention a thriving nightlife scene, that attracts backpackers from far and wide.
Darwin hostels really encompass the laid back and relaxed Aussie vibe: you’ll have ‘no worries mate’ whether you decide to sip a cold alcoholic beverage by the pool or take part in the hostel’s activities. Due to Darwin being Australia’s only tropical capital city you’ll find hostels in Darwin have a lot of emphasis on their outdoor and terrace areas. There are hostels with pools and plenty of air-con dorms and private rooms, so keeping cool is possible!
Hostels in Darwin are scattered around the city centre, which is easy to navigate. You can stay in a Darwin hostel next door to the Darwin Entertainment Centre, where there is regular live music and events. Or find your backpacking base nearer the beach on the Esplanade and book into a street-art walking tour with your hostel crew. Wherever you stay you won’t be far from a decent selection of cafes, bars and restaurants.
One of the most popular things to do in Darwin is getting up close and personal to saltwater crocodiles. You can see them in the wild, with a trained guide of course, so no need to visit those in captivity. Or hop on a tinnie (Aussie slang for a boat) and go fishing, explore the Darwin Military Museum, Mindil beach sunset markets or take a stroll along Darwin’s waterfront with cafes, swimming lagoons and a wave pool. For a little more adventure try exploring Darwin’s National Parks, take a cruise and experience the wetlands. Head on down to the harbour to catch a movie outdoors at the Deckchair Cinema. An absolute must if you find yourself in Darwin is to get educated on the indigenous community’s culture and there are many opportunities to do so.
Even though Darwin is Australia’s smallest major city, its transport options make getting around a breeze for any traveller. To use the public bus network, you can either purchase a Tap and Ride card or buy single fare tickets each time you use the bus. The card costs $20 AUD, so if you’re going to be in town for a while this would be your best option as once you have the card you can either take 10 bus trips or use it for 7 consecutive days of unlimited travel. Hiring a bike or exploring the city via foot are great ways to get up close and personal and explore the city’s inner treasures.