Flights to Darwin
on the tropical Timor Sea, Darwin (2006 population 120,900) is the capital city
of the Northern Territory. This quaint
city has grown from a pioneer outpost and port into a modern and industrious
city. Conveniently close to Asia, Darwin
is an important gateway to countries like East Timor and Indonesia. Built on a low bluff overlooking the harbour,
Darwin was first inhabited by the Larrakia tribe-- otherwise known as
the "saltwater people". This
indigenous tribe had established trading routes with Southeast Asia. The Dutch were the first to sail Australia's
northern coastline in the 1600's, and created the first European maps of the
area. In 1839, British explorer John
Clements Wickham sailed into the port on the HMS Beagle. He decided on
the name "Port Darwin" after his former shipmate, and famous
scientist, Charles Darwin. In 1869 Port
Darwin was established as a town, and in the 1870's got it's taste of the gold
rush. Employees of the Overland
Telegraph Line found gold while digging holes for telegraph poles. This helped the young settlement grow
immensely. Later, the name
"Darwin" was adopted when the city became a part of the British
Commonwealth in 1911.
Visit Darwin on the 1st of July for Territory Day, the only day of the year when
fireworks are permitted (aside from the Chinese New Year). A large celebration occurs at the quirky
Mindil Beach, which also holds a weekly market.
Partake in the annual festivities of the Darwin Festival, which offers
dance, film, comedy, theatre, visual art and the NT Indigenous Music
Awards. There are so many annual
festivals in Darwin, it's hard to list them all, but you're sure to catch at
least some of the excitement. A modern
city, the opportunities for entertainment are endless: The Darwin Convention Center for theatre and
orchestra, busy casinos, The Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery, and the
list goes on. Visit the Indo-Pacific
Marine & Australian Pearling Exhibition to see the aquarium filled with
living coral and sea life. Mitchell
Street is the city's popular nightlife sector, but also an entertainment hub
fit with restaurants, cinemas and discos.
Get involved in Darwin's thriving art scene, and visit the Deckchair
Cinema-- a popular open-air theatre that shows independent and art house
films. With everything a traveler is
searching for, Darwin is the place to be for your next exciting vacation!
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