Darwin is a small yet cosmopolitan city. People from more than 50 nations make up its population of 110,000. It is on the Timor Sea (a branch of the Indian Ocean) in north-central Australia. Darwin city is the tropical capital city of the Northern Territory.
Darwin city has a relaxed lifestyle and unique multiculturalism, where people from over 50 different cultures live and work side by side. Darwin’s unique cosmopolitan makeup has been recognized as a “multicultural icon of national significance” by the Australian National Trust.
Darwin’s tropical climate has two major seasons, the ‘dry’, from about May to October, and the ‘wet’, from November to April. Major cyclones have occurred approximately once every three decades. Much of the city was destroyed by Cyclone Tracy in 1974.
Darwin is also the only Australian capital city to have come under substantial attack during a war. On 19 February 1942, Japanese planes made two major air raids on Darwin from the aircraft carrier fleet that had attacked Pearl Harbor less than 3 months earlier. These were the first of 64 air attacks experienced by the city during World War II, the last being on 12 November, 1943.
History of Darwin City
Darwin was first named in 1839 by John Lort Stokes during the third voyage of the Beagle. It was named after his former shipmate and famous naturalist Charles Darwin. Darwin’s development was accelerated by the discovery of gold at Pine Creek, about 200 km south of the city in 1871.
After the gold rush, Darwin’s growth slowed mainly due to the harsh, tropical climate, distance and poor communications with other Australian cities. The Second World War put Darwin back on the map when the town became an important base for Allied action against the Japanese in the Pacific.
The road south to the railhead at Alice Springs was surfaced, putting the city in direct contact with the rest of the country. Modern Darwin is one of Australia’s most cosmopolitan cities, more open to Asia than perhaps any other Australian city. It plays an important role as the door to Australia’s northern region.
Today Darwin is a fast growing regional center that has a unique history, culture, and adventure.
Top Destinations in Darwin City
Royal Flying Doctor Service
Mindil Beach Sunset Market
East Point Reserve
Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
George Brown Botanic Gardens