01.Spice up breakfast
Start your weekend like a local with a bowl of curry laksa from Parap Village markets (parapvillagemarkets.com.au). For extra cred, argue the merits of Yati’s laksa over Mary’s and vice versa. This arty enclave of galleries, specialty shops and a fine deli (parapfinefoods.com.au) comes alive Saturdays from 8am to 2pm. Prefer your spice with a side of glorious sunset? Head for Mindil Beach Sunset Market (mindil.com.au) on Thursdays and Sundays from April to October.
02.Gorge on harbour views
Oh, stop it, Darwin Harbour, you’re showing off. Pee Wee’s at the Point (peewees.com.au) is front-row for the greatest show in town: the city lights twinkling across the bay as the sky morphs to lilac, pink and finally black. Book a table in the recently expanded interior or by the water next to the poinciana trees, weather permitting, . The signature NT assiette includes smoked crocodile brandade and pearl meat sashimi. Follow that with wild-caught saltwater barramundi and you’ll truly taste the Territory.
03.Catch a movie under the stars
Darwin’s Deckchair (deckchair cinema.com) is its arthouse movie house – minus a roof, floor and walls – from April to November. Instead, there’s a canopy of stars, waves lapping the shoreline and sometimes a cheeky possum or two. Arrive early to watch the sunset and have a meal on the seaside deck. A second movie is screened on Friday and Saturday nights.
04. Roam the painted streets
The formerly drab CBD will be ablaze with giant artworks thanks to the annual Darwin Street Art Festival. During the 10-day event, laneways morph into interactive open-air art studios, with local, interstate and international artists working on vibrant murals. Eight artworks were created in 2017 (the festival’s launch year), 16 last year and 2019 promises to be the festival’s biggest yet. This year’s event will be held in early September (darwinstreetart festival.com.au).
05.Back a tropical winner
Winter in southern Australia is party time in Darwin – in particular the Darwin Cup Carnival (darwinturfclub.org.au). The dry season brings perfect weather for horse racing, donning your glad rags, having a flutter and cutting a rug. The first race kicks off in early July but the main events are the outdoor Darwin Turf Club Gala Ball on 3 August and the Darwin Cup on 5 August.
The Multi Dimensional Man by Peter “CTO” Seaton at the Darwin Street Art Festival in 2018