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Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory and Australia's smallest state capital, home to just over 100,000 people. It is a good base to explore the surrounding natural attractions including the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Its blend of Caucasian, Asian and Aboriginal cultures make it an interesting place to spend some time.
The city has been virtually wiped out twice in its short history; once due to air raids during WWII and again when Cyclone Tracy hit in the 1970's. As a result, the city has a distinctly modern (albeit small scale) feel to it.
Darwin enjoys a tropical climate with year round warm temperatures. There are two distinct seasons in the Top End, "the Wet" and "the Dry". The heart of the wet season is in January and February when the monsoons bring heavy afternoon and overnight rains that flood the wetlands and turn the countryside green. Average temperatures are between 25 °C and 32 °C. In March and April, the rains subside and strong winds start to dry the land. Average temperatures range from 24 °C to 33 °C.
The dry season lasts from May to September and is the most popular with travellers and locals, with humidity is at its lowest and the possibility of relatively cool evenings. Average temperatures range from 19 °C to 33 °C.
From October to December the weather becomes increasingly humid and starts to build up to the monsoon season. Average temperatures range from 25 °C to 33 °C.
|Avg Max||31.8 °C||31.5 °C||32.1 °C||32.9 °C||32.2 °C||30.8 °C||30.8 °C||31.6 °C||32.7 °C||33.5 °C||33.5 °C||32.7 °C|
|Avg Min||25 °C||24.9 °C||24.7 °C||24.3 °C||22.5 °C||20.1 °C||19.4 °C||20.4 °C||23.2 °C||25 °C||25.6 °C||25.6 °C|
|Rainfall||465.5 mm||373.1 mm||335.4 mm||107.5 mm||24.7 mm||2.3 mm||1.2 mm||5.8 mm||17.4 mm||65.4 mm||136.8 mm||276.4 mm|
Darwin International Airport (DRW) is the only international airport in the Northern Territory and is located about 13 kilometres from Darwin's city centre. International destinations include Dili in East Timor, Bali, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore. Qantas, Virgin Australia and Air North are the main operators flying here, with connections to Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, Broome and Kununurra in Western Australia. Within the Northern Territory, there are connections to Alice Springs and several smaller airfields, including the Tiwi Islands.
To/from the airport
Taxis, shuttle services and rental cars are widely available at the airport.
The Ghan connects Darwin with Alice Springs and Adelaide in South Australia.
Darwin is the northermost point in the Northern Territory and the main highway goes south and is in good condition (tarmac). The Stuart Highway runs all the way to Adelaide, some 3,000 kilometres away.
Greyhound provides bus services to a number of towns and cities in Australia, including Alice Springs and as far as Perth.
There are trips by catamaran to Bathurst Island (one of the Tiwi Islands) from March to November, but no further public services exist.
Rental cars are available at the airport and downtown Darwin. There are plenty of companies you could choose to hire a car from, including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty. Car hire is often not available to drivers under 25, or if it is, it's more expensive for younger drivers.
|Banyan View Lodge||119 Mitchell Street||Hostel||-|
|Chilli's Backpackers||69a Mitchell St||Hostel||70|
|Dingo Moon Lodge||88 Mitchell Street||Hostel||-|
|Elkes Backpackers Darwin||112 Mitchell Street||Hostel||-|
|Frogshollow Lodge & Backpackers||27 Lindsay St GPO Box 410 - Berrimah 0828||HOSTEL||56|
|Gecko Lodge||146 Mitchell street||Hostel||-|
|Melaleuca On Mitchell||52 Mitchell Street||Hostel||72|
|Value Inn||50 Mitchell St||Hotel||67|
|Youth Shack||69 Mitchell St||Hostel||72|
|Darwin YHA||97 Mitchell St||Hostel||70|
|Rydges Darwin Airport Hotel||Cnr Henry Wrigley Drive Sir Norman Brearley Drive||Hotel||-|
|Quest Apartments||55 Cavenagh Street||Apartment||-|
|Luma Luma Holiday Apartments||26 Knuckey Streets||Apartment||-|
Internet cafés are very common in the larger Australian cities and popular tourist destinations. However, once you leave the major population centres, you might have trouble finding somewhere to log on. Free wifi is getting more and more common (either with or without a code) in places like restaurants, some bars and coffee places and hotels. Sometimes a fee is required.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Australia is on a GSM 900/1800 network, so if you have an unlocked phone that works on those frequencies, you will be able to buy a prepaid SIM-card and stick into your phone when you're in Australia. You will receive a new Australian phone number with the SIM-card.
To dial out of Australia use the prefix 0011, followed by the calling code of the country you are trying to reach, followed by the area code of the city/town (without the 0!) and finally the phone number.
Within Australia, it is necessary to add an area code to the phone numbers if you are calling from outside the area. Below are Australia's area codes:
000 is the emergency telephone number in Australia, but the international GSM mobile emergency telephone number 112 also works on mobile phones.
Australia Post is the government's postal service. Most suburbs will have at least one post office. Opening times are mostly from around 8:00 or 9:00am to 5:00pm though larger ones keep longer hours sometimes. A standard letter or postcard sent within Australia will cost $0.60. Internationally, it costs $1.70 to send postcards anywhere in the world. Letters cost $1.85 to send within the Asia Pacific region and $2.60 to anywhere else in the world.. It is also possible to send things as parcels or by express mail. You can also use use private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL as they are competitive and reliable.
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