NORTHERN TERRITORY: If you haven’t experienced a Darwin sunset, you’ve missed out on one of the Top End’s greatest attractions. There’s something magical about watching the sun set over the water, and with numerous west-facing beaches in and around the city, Darwin is the perfect place to enjoy nature’s golden hour.
There are numerous coastal drives where you can find a spot to enjoy a romantic picnic or admire the view. Alternatively, you could watch the sunset from one of many waterfront bars and restaurants. Cullen Bay marina is popular for drinking and dining with a view, or you could take your own chairs or picnic rug and set up on the grassy knoll and grab some takeaway fish and chips from La Beach if you want to do it like the locals do.
Another popular spot for sunset viewing is Mindil Beach, where you can go for a walk along a glorious stretch of sand as the sun races to meet the horizon in a blaze of technicolour glory. On Thursdays and Sundays between April and October, the craft and food stalls at the Mindil Beach Sunset Market draw a huge crowd in an atmosphere reminiscent of an Asian night market. It’s an iconic experience in these parts and loved by locals and visitors alike.
Other good places for sunset viewing are East Point Reserve (Alex Fong Lim Drive) and the Nightcliff foreshore (Casuarina Drive). Pick up some wine and snacks before heading out on these coastal drives.
With its uninterrupted views, Dudley Point at East Point Reserve is a popular spot with locals. The Reserve has BBQ areas and playgrounds along the coastline making it perfect for families, while nearby Fannie Bay has laidback seaside clubs like the Darwin Trailer Boat Club that are perfect for enjoying sundowners.
The Nightcliff foreshore buzzes with people enjoying the balmy weather in the Top End and is perfect for a sunset walk. Make a night of it and order from one of the food trucks or take advantage of the BBQ facilities and playgrounds as you wait for the sun to go down.
For a different perspective, enjoy a sunset cruise on the harbour. Larger than Sydney Harbour, Darwin Harbour is integral to Australia’s wartime story. Enjoy a fish and chip cruise if the mood takes you (only in Darwin!) or toast your love with nibbles and a glass of bubbles as you set sail.
Darwin’s waterfront Bicentennial Park has walking and cycling trails and great spots to watch the sunset. The park is a short walk from the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront and Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront, which in turn are conveniently located near a great array of restaurants and bars.
Nearby attractions include the Wave Lagoon, perfect for a late-afternoon swim or watching the sky reflect the sunset, and Deckchair Cinema, for entertainment after the sun goes down. It screens seven nights a week during the dry season (mid-April to mid-November).
A half-hour walk from your hotel through Bicentennial Park brings you to Doctor’s Gully, where hundreds of fish come to shore at various times of day to be fed by hand. Check the Aquascene calendar for times – often it’s in the late afternoon so you can hang around and watch the sunset after.
Nature puts on a brilliant show in this part of the world, and the good news for those who have yet to experience it is that it will all happen again tomorrow.
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