• nicolejessicacoggan

My Favorite Things About Living In Darwin

I lived in Darwin for (4) years in my late 20's and became a total fan. To this day it is still my Number One Favorite place to live in Australia and I can't wait to go back. Here's a list of my favorite things about Darwin.


It's Melting Pot of People That Call Darwin Home

I never knew who I would meet in Darwin. It was very rare for me to come across a born and bred Northern Territorian. The people that live in Darwin come from literally everywhere. You have the Defence Force bases and their staff who hail from all over Australia, the backpackers (from everywhere), and the interstate contingent of Aussies from every other state. Once I caught the bus and everyone on there was speaking French.


As a side note, one of my neighbors really was a born and bred Darwinite. I once came home to my unit and the driveway was lined with dead ducks that he has shot and was in the process of sorting out. Another time I helped him jump start his car so he immediately presented me with a bag of weed as a thank you present. I didn't have the heart to tell him I was drug tested at work and couldn't smoke it. You never knew what he was going to do next and it was a special kind of awesome.


During my time in Darwin I had housemates from Israel, France, Belgium, Finland, the UK, Mexico and Germany. I LOVE the diversity that Darwin has to offer. It also has the best food because of the melting pot of different nationalities.


The Darwin Melting Pot - My Israeli and French housemates on a trip to Litchfield National Park


The Pubs of Mitchell Street

I love how all the pubs on Mitchell Street, Darwin have street facing decks or beer gardens. It means you can walk up the street, see who is drinking in each one and see which band is playing. Makes choosing your next venue easy. It also means you run into people you know simply walking down the street which is always super fun.


The Mindil Markets

I love the Mindil markets. They operate for the whole Darwin dry season on Thursday and Sunday nights and they hands down have the best selection of tasty street food I've ever come across. My favorite is the Road Kill Cafe. It's not just food though although the sheer variety of food from every culture is amazing. I also go for the amazing sunsets. So amazing that people clap when they see it. It's something you have to see to believe and there is nothing quite like getting some street food and sitting on the beach watching the sun go down. At the open and close of the markets each year, they also do flyovers from the defense force jets and they are simply amazing!


Mindil Markets


Stokes Hill Wharf

Stokes Hill Wharf is another of my favourite places in Darwin. I loved going there with my friends on a Friday night after work before we hit up Mitchell Street. We would grab some fish and chips and sit out overlooking the water. I was so relieved that they kept it even after they added the waterfront.


Deckchair Cinema

I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Deckchair Cinema and it is my number one recommendation for anyone who visits Darwin. The best film I ever saw there was 'All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane' which in my humble opinion is one of the most underrated Australian movies of all time. They have a whole range of quirky movies, many in subtitles but you don't go for the movie anyway. It's all about a cinema by the water, under the stars. The atmosphere is everything, Baby!


Litchfield National Park

Oh, I had many a good camping trip to Litchfield National Park. Not far from Darwin but feels a world away. Think stunning waterfalls and the most absolute awesome rock pools to swim in. Side note: Once we were camping out there and I locked my keys in the car and had to literally smash my window to get them out. Super depressing and expensive but despite the expense, it was still a great camping trip!


Litchfield National Park

Darwin Waterfront

When I actually lived in Darwin, this was non existent. Now this is one of my favorite places to hang-out when I visit. Mostly for the cocktails and food with a view. Think a lagoon and wave pool surrounded by restaurants and bars of all creations. My favourite was the Mexicana place but all the food was amazing and the cocktail jugs? OMG. Just WOW. They also have one of those inflatable waterparks. I cut my feet on the barnacles below which stung a bit but I loved bouncing around on them just the same. And the lagoon. I ***may*** have gone skinny-dipping in there on my last trip but won't confirm this on the grounds it may incriminate me;)

Cullen Bay Marina

I actually washed dishes for a short time at a restaurant here back in the old days to earn extra cash so I have a soft spot for the place. The restaurant I worked in is long gone, but it's still a nice scooter ride and has good food options. It's also a nice place to sit and chill by the water as the sun goes down with a feed of fish and chips.


The latest trip to Darwin - Love the Darwin Sunsets.

Nirvana

I love Nirvana. Mostly I loved going there on the open mic night and listening to the singers why my friends and I shared our meals. The best thing about Nirvana is the menu and the fact that most plates come with individual serves so you can just put all your plates in the middle and try one of everything. Hands down the best way to share a meal with friends.

The Suburb Of Parap and the Parap Markets

I lived in Darwin City, Cullen Bay and Parap when I lived in Darwin. I loved all of them but Parap was my favorite. My unit backed onto the pub which was super convenient and the bus pulled up practically outside of my house. Parap is super close to Darwin City and it also hosts the Parap markets on the weekend. While much smaller than the Mindil Beach Markets, they are still worth checking out. And let's face it, after being hungover from being at the pub the night before, there was nothing like fresh juice to wash away the hangover in the morning.

Noom Scooters

Oh, these are new! They weren't around when I lived in Darwin but they are now and every time I'm up there I love zooming around on them. The best way to get around Darwin City. I'm sure they keep the hospital super busy with injuries but I LOVE them so much! ou just download the app to your phone and away you go. The scooters are everywhere in the city and you don't have to walk far at all in order to find one. And you don't have to take it back to where you picked it up, just drop it anywhere in the designated areas.


More Darwin Sunsets


East Point Reserve

Oh, funny story. Last time I was in Darwin, I was up at East Point Reserve having a great time with my date and his music collection. The thing is, the gates get locked at a certain point at night. We left just as security was coming to lock up but when we got back to the city, I realized I'd left my bag with my WHOLE LIFE in it, back on the table. Of course, we went back for it only to find the gates locked. I had to climb the fence in a little yellow sun dress and then hike the whole way up and back to rescue my bag. Hats off to my date who came with me and gave up his plans for drinking on Mitchell Street to rescue me.

Places I loved that are no more: Lizards Bar and Grill and The Vic Hotel

I worked at the Old Lizards Bar and Grill (nothing like the new one). It used to have a rocking beer garden wand was my favorite place for a drink in Darwin. So depressed to see it's gone. And if I wanted to dance, it was always at The Vic Hotel. I don't know how many times I went there for their $1 meals and then danced the night away with my girlfriends on those old wooden tables. Darwin just isn't the same these two venues.

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