Darwin is the Northern Territory’s home of business and commerce. Packed with high-quality venues and convention centres, the NT capital is a popular location for conferences across a wide range of sectors.
However, it’s not all business in Darwin. The city offers visitors an array of fascinating attractions, excellent places to eat and drink, and luxury accommodation.
Originally a pioneer outpost, Darwin is steeped in history, and possesses a laid-back, friendly culture that makes it a hot spot for conference attendees who are looking to take some time out to see the sights.
If you’re hoping to make the most of your next business trip to Darwin, this guide will give you a helping hand at finding a few of the best things to see and do during your visit.
Restaurants and bars
Darwin has phenomenal choice for enthusiastic foodies, whether you want fine dining or more down-to-earth surroundings, as well as everything else in between.
For high-end cuisine, Pavonia Place in Nightcliff is a great place to start. Don’t let the rustic ambiance and laid-back environment fool you; the menu is filled with some of the city’s most luxurious dishes.
Focused on contemporary Australian fare, the establishment uses fresh local produce and native ingredients to plate up its best offerings, including the sumptuous fish of the day.
Another popular eatery is Pee Wee’s at the Point, which is situated inside the East Point Nature Reserve. The restaurant also relies on locally sourced produce, with tropical delights such as wild-caught saltwater barramundi and banana prawns both particular favourites among guests.
The venue is also frequently used for corporate events, as it’s just 10 minutes from Darwin CBD and provides spectacular waterfront dining that will no doubt impress delegates.
However, to experience culinary treats from further afield, Vietnamese restaurant Chow provides a taste of south-east Asia’s most prized dishes. Chow prides itself on offering high-quality food and drink served in a fun and vibrant atmosphere.
Even if you won’t be spending much time in your hotel room, finding the right accommodation is often a priority when attending a conference in a new city. If you know where most of the other attendees will be staying, you may even be able to take advantage of post-event networking opportunities in the hotel bar or restaurant.
For five-star rooms and service, the Hilton Darwin is among the top establishments in the city. Not only is it ideally located in the heart of the CBD, the hotel is just a 15-minute drive from the airport.
There is a 24-hour business centre, six meeting spaces and complimentary Wi-Fi in addition to the luxury rooms, some of which offer fabulous views overlooking Darwin Harbour.
For the ultimate in convenience, Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront is a stone’s throw from Darwin Convention Centre. Great shopping opportunities are nearby and there’s also a variety of amazing cafes and restaurants dotted around the area.
The hotel’s rooms offer many modern amenities, including flat-screen TVs, climate control air-conditioning and mini bars. A work desk in each room means you can catch up on any last-minute conference preparations if needed.
Darwin has attractions that will cater to anyone’s tastes, whether you’re interested in culture and history, the natural world or other interesting activities.
If you’re looking to brush up on your local knowledge, there are plenty of options, including the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre. The Northern Territory has a rich history in aviation and the centre covers its early pioneering adventures right through to the NT’s role in World War II.
The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is also popular, showcasing a range of Aboriginal and regional talents, maritime archaeology exhibits and Sweetheart – an infamous saltwater crocodile that attacked boats in Australia during the mid to late ’70s.
One of Darwin’s other favourite venues is the Deckchair Cinema, which offers a mind-blowing outdoor experience against the backdrop of Darwin Harbour. Running seven days a week, there is a mix of independent and screen films, as well as hot food and drink (including an alcohol kiosk).
Nature lovers may instead want to visit East Point Reserve and Lake Alexander. Covering close to 200 hectares, the attraction has year-round swimming, fantastic beaches, walking trails and the Royal Australian Artillery Association Museum.
Hoping to get up close and personal with local marine life? The Aquascene fish-feeding sanctuary lets you do just that. Each day at high tide, hundreds of fish flock to Darwin’s Doctors Gully, where visitors are allowed to hand-feed them bread.