Darwin and Palmerston are both modern, cosmopolitan and tropical with vibrant multicultural populations and long-standing cultural and trading links in the Asia Pacific region.
With a population of over 110 234 people* Darwin is built on a low-lying peninsula located on a working harbour that’s twice the size of Sydney Harbour. The suburbs are lined with tropical palms with a mixture of low set southern Australian style houses and traditional elevated Darwin housing which are built to benefit from the tropical breezes, with lush gardens of palms, bougainvillea, frangipani, orchids and other species.
Wide streets, shady parks, a pedestrian mall, superb ethnic restaurants and contemporary and outback style pubs and clubs have all contributed to an upsurge in the popularity of Darwin city living. Mitchell Street is the main entertainment street, with the Darwin Waterfront Precinct offering a more family style entertaining area with cafes, retail stores and wave pool.
Darwin’s city streets and suburban shopping precincts boast excellent cafes and restaurants. There’s boardwalk dining overlooking the harbour or the yachts in the Cullen Bay Marina and the sailing clubs at Fannie Bay all provide unique dining options. On offer are multicultural cuisine menus that include Australian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Italian, French, Greek, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Mexican and Indian influenced dishes. SkyCity Casino provides popular gaming and restaurant facilities and hosts regular open air live music concerts.
With warm weather all year round, the climate is perfect for the open air markets at Parap, Palmerston, Nightcliff, Rapid Creek and Mindil Beach, where you'll find a range of foods on offer as well as locally made arts and crafts.
Combined Darwin and Palmerston have three cinema multiplexes screening the latest releases, and the popular open-air Deckchair Cinema on the Waterfront, where you can enjoy a glass of wine while watching a movie and meet the local native animals that come to visit.
Recreational parks and gardens are dotted through and in the surrounds of Darwin. East Point Reserve is just a few minutes’ drive from the Darwin central business district and a favourite sunset picnic or barbecue spot for families. Darwin has excellent walking and bicycle paths along the beachfront, through parks and throughout the suburbs.
No matter where you live in the Darwin region, you'll feel close to nature as the suburban backyards are home to a surprising array of wildlife. Lizards and geckos, green tree frogs, Rainbow Lorikeets, Torres Strait Island Pigeons, Peaceful Doves, Sulphur-Crested and Black Cockatoos, Orange Footed Scrub Fowls are just some of the animals and birds endemic to the Top End region.
Darwin has a more stress free environment than in other cities. There’s less traffic, less population and rarely any queues: a city with a holiday feel all year round.
Palmerston and surrounds
The city’s population of more than 29 300* makes Palmerston the Northern Territory’s second largest population, predominantly young working families and Defence personnel attached to Top End military facilities.
Palmerston, 20 minutes by road from the Darwin central business district, is the Northern Territory’s fastest growing city - and it’s still expanding. At one time, it was the fastest growing metropolis in Australia, with landscaped suburbs, good sporting facilities such as a swimming pool, local soccer, Australian Football and general sports grounds, pubs, clubs, restaurants, a major shopping centre and a cinema complex. The newest of the Palmerston suburbs are adjacent to the tranquil bushland and feature modern, breezy tropical houses and units, interspersed with attractive retail, business, medical and general community facilities.
Beyond Palmerston, over 20 400** people live on acreage in the sprawling Litchfield Council region, also known as Outer Darwin. Residents living in this region have swapped inner city living for rural tranquillity and small acreage allotments of native bushland.
* Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2007-2011 National Regional Profile (LGA71000) Darwin, Population / People.
** Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Regional Population Growth, 2011-12, cat no 3218.0.
General information on Darwin and Palmerston
Health services in Darwin and Palmerston
For the kids
Things to do