Darwin’s city centre is open with wide streets, leafy parks, a cool mall and outdoor dining. Tall, modern structures have begun to replace the old colonial-style buildings, but they still retain a fresh, tropical flavour with overhanging eaves, corrugated iron and lush vegetation.
Working in partnership with the Australian Government, the Northern Territory Government and the private sector, City of Darwin's MY0800 project aims to revitalise the economic growth, social and cultural development of Darwin and create a greener, vibrant city by improving pedestrian access, better lighting, seating and shelter.
Unlike other cities throughout Australia, City of Darwin has no direct planning authority although it does have an advisory role.
Just a few of the many famous landmarks in Darwin’s CBD are Brown’s Mart which was built in 1883 and is now home to the Darwin Theatre Company, the Tree of Knowledge, an ancient banyan tree casting a huge umbrella of shade over the Civic Centre, and Christ Church Cathedral, built in 1902 and damaged by both Japanese bombers and Cyclone Tracy.
On Mitchell Street you’ll find the Darwin Entertainment Centre which hosts many exciting theatrical performances. At Crocosaurus Cove visitors can swim with crocodiles – safely protected inside a perspex cage.
The Chinese Temple on Litchfield Street is built on the site of an older temple that was constructed in 1887.
Cavanagh Street was Darwin’s original Chinatown. In the late 1800s the southern end was full of ramshackle huts and shops and you’ll still see some of the original stone buildings near the Darwin Post Office.
Beautiful Bicentennial Park runs the length of The Esplanade and a walking/cycling track goes from Doctors Gully in the north to the Wharf Precinct in the south. There is a children’s playground halfway along the park, an eagle’s nest lookout at the northern end and a Cenotaph honouring at the southern end.
On balmy evenings in the dry season, a popular venue for locals and visitors alike to catch current and classic films is the open air Deckchair Cinema which is located in Jervois Road in the Wharf Precinct.