Darwin is Australia's only tropical capital and entices visitors from the Southern States for the promise of a taste of the real outback, some larrikin humour and a laidback lifestyle. It's closer to Bali than Bondi, and sits just inside the tropic of Cancer gazing out across the Timor Sea.
When it comes to Darwin's weather, the tropical capital only really has two seasons – the wet and dry and the best time to visit is June-July in the dry when remote dirt roads are infinitely more passable and the temperatures a mild 28 degrees. Darwin itselt is surprisingly cosmopolitan, youthful and multicultural, yet maintains a small-town feel and a laconic, relaxed vibe that fits easily with the tropical climate. Here non-Aboriginal meets Aboriginal, urban meets remote, and the economic boom of the mining industry meets idleness.
Darwin has plenty to offer the traveller and attractions in town include the Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery which boasts an impressive range of Top-End aboriginal art, Hop-on Hop-off open air double-decker bus tours or the Deckchair Cinema which runs throughout the dry season at the southern end of the Esplanade. Movies underneath the stars are $24/$12 adult/child respectively. There’s a licensed bar that serves food or you can bring your own picnic (no BYO alcohol though). Alternatively head out to the somewhat ironically named Darwin Ski Club to watch the sun sink over the horizon whilst you listen to live music and watch the kids play.
For those wanting to get out of town Darwin is an excellent base from which to head to Litchfield or Kakadu National Parks. There are a number of van operators all available here. Kakadu is 171 kilometres from the city, and covers four river systems, six major landforms and an impressive array of wildlife that gather at Yellowstone and other water holes throughout the park. See ancient Aboriginal rock art at the spectacular Ubirr Rock and learn about the rich cultural significance the area holds for the Indigenous land owners.