For Visitors

Late June is the height of the Dry Season, where the sun shines without a cloud to hide behind. Days are warm, teetering on hot, but without the regular humidity of the tropics, it brings a lot of easy-going sun soaking to all Darwin activities. The Dry is the best time to be out on the town, and of course to explore the rugged and expansive natural landscapes. A trip to swimming holes and world-famous National Parks is a must during the Dry season days. Delight your senses with the famous night markets along Mindil beach, and visit local community markets in Nightcliff, Rapid Creek, and Parap in the mornings for all kinds of multicultural cuisines and arts and crafts.

If you are visiting from interstate for the NT Writers Festival, here are a few tips on what you can do to get the most out of your Top End trip.

Garrmalang | Darwin

Garrmalang | Darwin is situated in Gulmerrdjin, the traditional lands of the Larrakia or Saltwater People in the tropical Top End of Australia. The NT Writers Festival will take place in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, just 5kms from the CBD.

 

      


What’s on 

With the last of the dry season in full swing, June is the best time to enjoy the beautiful Darwin outdoors. As well as the NT Writers Festival, there are a number of exciting things to do in and around Darwin that might entice you to extend your stay.

AULLA Triennial Conference 

The triennial AULLA literary conference opens on Sun 12 June and runs from Mon 13-16 June 2022. The 2022 Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association conference invites academics, authors, and readers to engage in questions and ideas surrounding communication technologies, literature, and the broader implications of this media across the contemporary Australian landscape. This year’s theme centres on ‘Secrets, Subterfuge, and Silence’, which aligns well with NTWF’s theme of balarr | catching the light. Confirmed keynote speakers include creative non-fiction author Eleanor Hogan, Torres Strait Islander activist and author Thomas Mayor and Georgina Heydon.

The iconic Deckchair Cinema

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT)

With carefully curated exhibitions from its regular collection, as well as some of the best travelling exhibitions, MAGNT is one of the NT’s premiere cultural institutions. This year, as well as hosting NTWF, MAGNT is presenting the stunning Walking Through a Songline exhibition, that allows audiences to immerse themselves in the Seven Sisters dreaming tracks or songline.

Deckchair Cinema

The iconic Deckchair Cinema re-opens for regular screenings at the end of May and runs until November. Showing outstanding arthouse and mainstream films, Deckchair Cinema is Australia’s most unique outdoor cinema.

Pride Week

The NT Writers Festival coincides with Darwin Pride Week. This year’s theme is ‘Fierce’ and there are plenty of fun events happening that celebrate the Top End’s LBGTQIA+ folk and their allies.

The George Brown Botanic Gardens

Enjoy a stroll through the famous botanic gardens with a beautiful range of zoned spaces for flora to flourish from far and wide. Enjoy guided walks, events throughout the year, and cold drink at Eva’s Cafe to cool off.


Markets and Places to Eat

No Darwin holiday is complete without a trip to one of its famous markets. Pop into Parap Village Markets for a breakfast laksa, stock up on fresh herbs and groceries at Rapid Creek, or grab a freshly squeezed tropical juice at Nightcliff Markets. Whatever you do make sure you don’t miss the renowned Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, where you can browse a large array of stalls and watch the glorious tropical sunset over the Arafura Sea. Mindil beach is tucked behind the Museum, a short walk away.

There are plenty of great places to eat in and around the city as well. NT Tourism has a decent list here, but we would also add Alfonsino’s for great traditional Italian and Moorish Cafe for tapas.

If you want to grab a drink, try Stone House, Babylon Bar, Hotel Darwin or Lola’s Pergola near the Cullen Bay Marina. The Darwin Railway Club is a bit further out, but worth a visit to see a band or to play some pool with a cold beer. The Ski Club and the Sailing Club are perennial favourites for watching stunning sunsets, with the Ski Club just across from the Museum grounds.


Further afield

Some of Australia’s most beautiful national parks are only a car ride away. Learn about Aboriginal culture and history at ancient rock art galleries, swim in crystal clear swimming holes, see thundering waterfalls, and admire the dramatic vistas.

Admire the beauty and joy of nature with a tour to Njulbitjlk (Bare Sand Island) to see baby turtles hatching and making their way into the ocean for the first time, as the sun sets behind the island over turquoise waters. Book your tickets here and browse for similar tours through SeaDarwin.

Visit the NT Tourism website to plan a trip to Litchfield, Kakadu, or Nitmiluk National Parks.


Accommodation

Sunset on Darwin Esplanade

NT Writers Festival accomodation partner, Hudson Apartments, is conveniently located in Parap, close to amenities, cafes, Parap markets, galleries such as Outstation Gallery and Northern Centre for Contemporary Art and more. From there, it’s only a twenty minute walk to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

Getting Around

If you are arriving by plane, catch the shuttle bus directly outside the baggage carousels to accommodation within the CBD or a taxi.

Most events and amenities are walkable from the CBD, including MAGNT, the main festival venue, walking through the George Brown Botanic Gardens en route. The Number 6 bus from the city also takes you there. There is one main carpark at the Museum, and has overflow parking on the green field behind the Darwin Ski Club.

More info and tips