The local's Darwin

The Northern Territory may be known for its war history and watering holes, but beyond the tourist hotspots there's still plenty of things to see and do in Darwin.

Unwind at the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens

Whether you venture out on a coastal walk to Mindil Beach or kick back on the lawn with your mates, there's no wrong way to spend an hour or a day at the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens. And, with free entry all year round, you can always pop in for another visit and discover something new in Darwin's very own tropical wonderland.

Mingle with the locals at Mindil Beach Markets

From cocktails to collectables and everything in between, you'll find it all at Mindil Beach Markets. Browse pop-up art galleries and local specialty stores before finding a spot on the sand for unbeatable views of the sunset. After dark, hang around for the free live entertainment or wander along the beach to Sandbar at Mindil Beach Casino & Resort for a night cap by the bay.

Discover indigenous artwork at Outstation Gallery

Tucked away in Darwin's local art district of Parap, Outstation Gallery is dedicated to the presentation and promotion of contemporary Indigenous artwork. From Alice Springs to Arnhem Land, the team works with artists from across Australia, while actively seeking out emerging talent in their annual Rising Stars exhibition – a must for art lovers looking to add to their collection.

Go for a nature walk at Berry Springs

Located just south of the city, Berry Springs is a top spot to cool off on a hot day. Before rushing to the rockpools, take a scenic hike through the rainforest on the Monsoon Forest and Woodlands Walk, which loops around the spacious picnic area and ends right by the water.

Make a splash at the Buley Rockhole

After trekking through the rainforest at Berry Springs, head to Litchfield National Park for a dip at the Buley Rockhole. Naturally sheltered by lush greenery, these gorgeous rockpools keep a cool temperature throughout the day, making them a popular destination for locals during the dry season. On weekends, the main pool can fill up fast, but if you wander upstream, you'll find a series of secluded swimming spots where you can enjoy a refreshing dip without the crowds.

Discover the city's hidden bars

The Gold Coast may be known for its buzzing nightclubs and rowdy beach pubs, but in recent years, a growing number of hole-in-the-wall bars have popped up around the city. From Soho Place to The Cambus Wallace, these local hipster hangouts are where locals go for a drink in town. For the ultimate speakeasy experience, head to Lockwood Bar in Burleigh Heads – but beware, even when you find the front door, you'll still need to send them a text for the secret code.

Join in the fun at Lola's Pergola

Sitting on the edge of the marina at Cullen Bay, Lola's Pergola is a waterfront watering hole with a twist. Named after the owners' daughter, Lola's is decked out with retro arcade games and classic carnival rides, creating a fun and festive atmosphere with indoor and outdoor dining. And with daily drink specials, there's no wonder why local punters can't get enough of this quirky cocktail bar.

Cool off by the coast at the Beachfront Hotel

If you're looking for a pub where you can enjoy a cold beer with the locals, head to the Beachfront Hotel in Rapid Creek. Known for its cracker bistro, this breezy beach pub is a top spot to grab an early dinner and watch the sunset. After dark, the main bar comes to life with live performances from the Top End's best entertainers.

Treat yourself at Stone House Wine Bar & Kitchen

Discover Darwin's sophisticated side with a night out at Stone House Wine Bar & Kitchen. Featuring European-inspired cuisine and an impressive international wine list, this trendy eatery is quickly gaining the attention of local foodies and travellers alike. While walk-ins are welcome, you'll want to make a booking if you're bringing a group to avoid missing out on some of the best eats in the NT.

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