Foreshore Alcohol Consultation

Thankyou for participating in our consultation on reducing the hours when alcohol can be consumed at four locations along Darwin's foreshore.

The consultation has now closed. This page will be updated once the Consultation Report has gone to Council.


Why are we consulting the community?

The existing periods were established some time ago so we are checking in with the community to see if your views have changed.

What is the aim of these changes?

The aim of the changes is to create safer community spaces and improve community amenity. Council aims for a balance that maintains places where locals and visitors can enjoy activities including the responsible consumption of alcohol.

Where are these areas?

There are areas along Nightcliff Foreshore, Mindil Beach, Vesteys Beach and East Point Reserve that have  periods when people are permitted to consume alcohol.

Click on the maps to enlarge.

East Point Reserve: Current Regulations

Vesteys Beach: Current Regulations

Mindil Beach: Current Regulations

Nightcliff Foreshore: Current Regulations

What is the proposed change?

Currently the consumption of alcohol is permitted during these periods:

Monday to Friday: 4.00pm to 10.30pm

Weekends and public holidays: 12 noon - 10.30pm

The proposed hours are:

Monday to Friday: 5.00pm to 9.30pm    (2 hours less than currently allowed.)

Weekends and public holidays: 12 noon - 10.30pm   (no change)


Want to find out more about the current regulations?

The regulations around drinking alcohol in public spaces in Darwin and across the NT have some complexities and are not always well understood.

The FAQs listed here provide some information.  For more information go to the Northern Territory Government website .


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ‘2k law’ ? And, what are Regulated Places?

The ‘2k law’ states that if you are within two kilometres of any licenced premise you cannot consume alcohol

  • in a public place, or
  • in a private home or place when the lawful occupier is absent at the time of the consumption.

All public places that are within this 2km zone are called Regulated Places.

As there are not many places in Darwin that are more than 2 kms from a licensed premise this law means that in practice there are very few public spaces where the consumption of alcohol is allowed without a permit unless it is a Council exempt period drinking area such as along some foreshore areas.

When and where can you drink alcohol within these regulated areas? And, what is an exemption period?

You can only drink alcohol in public places if you have permission from the owner of that place. This permission may be in the form of an individual event permit or through an expressed permission such as the exemption periods.

The City of Darwin has express permission for defined areas along Darwin’s foreshore. This express permission provides exemption periods where the consumption of alcohol is allowed.

These areas are: Vesteys Beach, Mindil Beach, East Point Reserve, Nightcliff Foreshore. The public is permitted to consume alcohol 4.00pm - 10.30pm Monday to Friday and 12 noon to 10.30pm weekends and public holidays.  There are signs posted with this information in these areas

These times that drinking is permitted are called exemption periods.

What do Regulated Places with exemption periods achieve?

Regulated Places reduce the areas where drinking can occur.  The exemptions provide opportunity for all visitors and members of the community to enjoy the amenity of Darwin.

How are these regulations enforced?

Enforcement of Regulated Places under the Liquor Act can only be carried out by NT Police.

What happens if you drink in a Regulated Place or Restricted Area without permission or a permit?

Penalties for non-compliance with the Regulated Place Law are varied, depending on the situation. In all cases opened and unopened liquor may be seized by Police, with the contents of open containers being tipped out and the unopened containers removed and later destroyed.

The penalties for consuming alcohol in a dry area without a special event permit are:

  • confiscation or 'tip-out' of opened and unopened liquor by Police
  • on-the-spot fine of $153.00, or
  • a fine of up to $3,060.00 if the matter goes to court, and
  • a possible ban from drinking

How do I get a permit to drink in a City of Darwin public space?

If you are planning an event like a wedding or celebration in one of City of Darwin's public spaces you can apply for a permit to allow for the consumption of alcohol.

A permit application can be found on the City of Darwin website or from Customer Services at the City of Darwin Council office in Harry Chan Avenue, Darwin. 

Any permit must be approved by the Northern Territory Police, and the City of Darwin.  You will need to complete the application form and lodge it at the Darwin Police Station to be signed by the Superintendent of the Police Station.  After that is completed, you must collect it from the Darwin Police Station and deliver or send it to the City of Darwin office for final consideration and approval.

Please ensure you allow plenty of time to get your application approved.  Police require at least 10 working days notice before any event.