How to spend a weekend in Darwin with your mates

So you’re in Darwin for a holiday with your mates. now what? We’ve got all the local’s tips for how best to spend your weekend, and maybe even the week!

We’ve got you covered for drinks, brunch, activities, outfits, and of course – fun!

bassinthegrass weekend
A group of friends enjoying the Mindil Beach Casino INFINITY pool

WHERE TO CAFFEINATE

If you’re staying in the City or surrounding suburbs, the below cafe’s will satisfy your coffee craving no matter where you’re from.

Our tip though? If you’re feeling the heat, ask for it on ice!

  • Trader Bar (City)
  • Ruby Gs (City)
  • Postie (City)
  • Fresh Point (Parap)
  • Mad About Coffee (Parap)
  • Johnn Johnns (City)
  • Kopi Stop (City)
Johnn Johnn’s coffee in a cone

If you’re staying in Nightcliff, Northern Suburbs or Palmerston;

  • Ruby G’s (Coconut Grove)
  • Lucky Bat (Nightcliff)
  • Fresh Point (Palmerston)

WHERE TO BRUNCH WITH YOUR MATES

Nightcliff Brunch
Foreshore Cafe Nightcliff

You absolutely can’t go to a new city on a holiday without scheduling in a few brunch dates! If you’re staying in the city & surrounds, we suggesting hitting up;

  • Ruby Gs CBD (Mitchell St)
  • Rabbit Hole (The Mall)
  • Sweet Brew (Stuart Park)
  • Laneway (Parap)
  • Eva’s (Botanic Gardens)
  • Eb & Flow (Cullen Bay) (Also a vegan cafe!)

And in the suburbs…

  • Ruby Gs (Coconut Grove)
  • Besser Brew Bar (Winnellie)
  • De La Plage (Casuarina Beach)
  • Lucky Bat (Nightcliff)
  • Foreshore Cafe (Nightcliff)

And a BONUS… check out the best smoothie bowls in Darwin!

WHERE TO EAT

If your vibe is waterfront dining, try out;

Dining at the Ski Club
Dining at the Ski Club
  • Hot Tamale – great Mexican, bottomless Sangria on Sunday’s!
  • De La Plage – A surf club turned cafe, and they do Fish & Chips Friday, or Food Trucks Sunday
  • Sunset street food from Food Trucks on East Point and Nightcliff Foreshore
  • The Ski Club, The Trailer Boat Club, and The Sailing Club are all beachfront surf club type venues, with a Darwin ambience!

If you want delicious (but not too fancy) in Darwin City;

  • Little Miss Korea – They do $1 dumplings on Monday nights!
  • Alfonsinos – The best pizza on Mitchell St
  • Good Thanks – an absolute vibe for burgers & beers
  • Snapper Rocks – Australian cuisine with Local ingredients and great waterfront location
  • Charlie’s of Darwin – Serves food till 10.30/11pm, an absolute hot tip!
Snapper Rocks
Snapper Rocks

If you’re in Nightcliff our faves are;

  • Spice Garden – authentic and delicious Indian
  • Lucky Bat – amazing pizza & always something fun on weekends

If you’re in the mood to treat yourself to some fine dining or splash out on a special meal, we suggest;

  • The Darwin Club
  • Pee Wee’s
  • Phat Mango
  • Hanuman

WHERE TO DRINK

Get a nice cool drink with your mates… pre Mitchell Street!

Beers;

  • Lola’s Pergola – A funky circus-themed bar overlooking the Cullen Bay marina
  • The Precinct – Great waterfront pub & sports bar
  • Beachfront Hotel – Overlooking Nightcliff beach
  • The Cavenagh – Go on a Sunday for a real Darwin experience, the Pub with a pool
  • One Mile – A funky industrial brewery and pizza place in Winnellie, open weekends
one mile brewery
One Mile Brewery

Cocktails;

  • Babylon Bar – a quirky laneway bar in our Austin Lane graffiti laneway
  • Trader Bar – A chic cocktail bar with great outdoor gardens and cocktail specials
  • Doms – Nightcliff’s own cocktail bar

Wines;

  • Stonehouse – Darwin’s CBD wine bar

Gins;

  • Charlies of Darwin – A speakeasy vibe, behind an unsigned graffiti door with it’s own distillery
  • Willing Distillery – A new addition, with a bar and cellar door/distillery!
Brand new Darwin Distillery: Willing

WHERE TO HANG OUT

  • The Markets – whether you go to Parap on Saturdays, Nightcliff on Sundays, or Mindil Beach on Thursday and Sunday nights – you have to eat a Darwin market Laksa at some point. ICONIC!
Darwin Laksa’s are serious business!
  • The Waterfront Lagoon – Simply Lay down by the swimming lagoon, or embrace your inner child and get out onto the aqua park!
  • The Deckchair Cinema – outdoor movies with friends are a vibe!
  • The Galleries – Check out some of the fantastic Aboriginal Art galleries we have around the city.
  • The Museum & Art Gallery of the NT – More art, and then some history, culture… and crocodiles! What more do you need!
  • The Harbour – 00Seven Jetskis are an awesome way to see the city from the harbour, with no prior jetski experience required, or Sail Darwin does an epic cruise with canapes and champagne included…
  • The Botanic Gardens – Plenty of places to lay on the grass, have a picnic, or just walk through some tropical plants and trees you might not be used to!

WHERE TO GET THE SHOT

nighcliff walk
Nightcliff Walks
  • INFINITY @ Mindil Beach Casino – This might be as close to Bali as we are going to get for a while, and there’s nothing better than being in an infinity pool, in a tropical destination with a cocktail in hand!
  • East Point & Nightcliff foreshore walks – Grass, beaches, palm trees… need we say more?
  • Crocosaurus Cove – Swim in the Cage of Death with crocs if you’re game!
  • Jumping Crocs on the Adelaide River – because everyone loves a crocodile Instagram!
  • Darwin Street Art there’s actually an app you can download, and it brings the walls to life through Augmented Reality… a BRILLIANT one to screen record and put on your stories!
Franck Gohier
Darwin Street Art

WHERE TO GO IF YOU HAVE A SPARE DAY

  • Litchfield National Park – Jump in the car and head out the Stuart Highway for a dip in some of the best waterfalls in the country! Definitely head to Florence Falls and Buley Rockhole & check them out, but if it’s busy, try Cascades or Greenant Creek for a quieter dip! The Litchfield Hotel is a groovy little place to stop for lunch, or pack a picnic for extra swim time!
wangi litchfield
Wangi Falls, Litchfield
  • A road trip out the Arnhem Highway – You need a couple of days to get any further out to Kakadu, but if you’re keen on a little day trip, you can stop in at the famous Humpty Doo, Join a cultural tour at Pudakul, check out Fogg Dam, or jump abord a Corrobboree Billabong cruise on some beautiful NT wetlands. OR after a look at the Jumping Crocs, head to Purple Mango Brewery for pizza and mango beers, or stop in at the newly renovated Bark Hut for a pub meal!
  • Barramundi Adventures & Berry Springs – Catch a famous Barra at Barramundi Adventures, before checking out the beautiful oasis that is Berry Springs (you can’t swim there yet, though!) and grabbing a meal at the Berry Springs Tavern.
  • Crab Claw Island & Dundee Beach – Explore some remote NT coastline before heading back via lunch overlooking an island that isn’t an island – the Crab Claw Island Resort.
  • See it all from the air – If you’ve got bucket lists to tick off, why not go all out and go on a Heli-pub crawl!!
crab claw helipub crawl
Crab Claw Island Resort

WHERE TO GET A LAST MINUTE OUTFIT

  • Skin When you’re getting coffee at Sweet Brew – head upstairs for chic basics for both men and women, super cool sunnies, and on-trend jewellery.
  • Vintage BoutiqueHead into the air raid arcade for Vintage Boutique – Darwin’s newest & coolest recycled store for both men and women. Check out our other favourites here!
  • Stomp If it’s a bag or statement earrings you’re looking for, Stomp in the CBD have literally one of everything in every colour!
  • Splash – the best selection of swimwear we’ve ever seen – which is no surprise because we all live in them here!
  • Lulu & Daw Duck into the Star Arcade for a fantastic selection of summer festival-worthy outfits, including some local indigenous labels, and get some funky earrings to match!
  • Embella Also just down the Star Arcade, Embella stock the most lovely linen dresses, tops, and shorts to complete any breathable festival outfit !!

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