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Living in Darwin

Friends at a BBQ

Situated on the very edge of the Northern Territory this coastal community is home to possibly the friendliest and most culturally diverse people in Australia.

Darwin’s suburban landscape varies greatly, from inner-city apartment living through to sprawling acreage properties. Homes are typically designed to celebrate the outdoors including large entertaining areas, tropical gardens and swimming pools.

Nothing is ever very far away. Darwin CBD is only a 15-minute drive from the Darwin International Airport and major shopping centre Casuarina. A further 25-minute drive will see you amongst mango farms, rural properties and bushland.

Due to the smaller population and large freight distances the cost of living in Darwin is higher than most places in Australia.

There are two major hospitals in Darwin with the main public hospital being Royal Darwin Hospital. It is home to the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre and the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre. Darwin Private Hospital is the Northern Territory’s private health provider. There is also a wide range of specialist clinics, practices and services throughout the city.

In 2018 the new Palmerston Regional Hospital opened in the satellite city Palmerston .

For information on the real estate market in the Northern Territory read the REINT’s real estate local market publication.

Check your favourite online real estate website for accommodation options.

A couple sit on their lounge an watch the sunset

The weather

A tropical savannah climate, the Top End of the Northern Territory typically sits at 25-33°C all year round. Unlike the rest of Australia, which experiences four distinct seasons, Darwin only has two: The Dry and The Wet.

The Dry is a magnificent time of year that encourages an influx of visiting tourists, backpackers and family. From May to October Darwin is nothing but blue skies, sunny days and cool nights (and by cool, we mean maybe 20°C).

As the dragonflies begin to appear the humidity drops to a comfortable 60-65% and Darwin comes to life with markets, festivals and tourists.

This might sound too good to be true, so read some of our stories to see for yourself the tropical perfection that is The Dry.

The Wet Season occurs from November through to April every year. As the humidity increases it becomes a little more difficult to enjoy being outdoors. This transition period from the beautiful dry is naturally called “the build-up” and results in everyone being a little bit hot and bothered for a few weeks.

Once the humidity peaks however Darwin welcomes some incredible monsoonal rain and storms. The lush-green tropical landscape starts to come alive, the waterfalls tumble, and spectacular lightning shows take over the skies.

“You have come by way of the Larrakia Land. You will hear the voice of Larrakia ancestors. When you leave, the Larrakia message will stay with you.” – The late Reverend Walter Fejo.

The culture

The Larrakia people, or the ‘Saltwater people”, are the traditional owners of the Darwin region and have maintained close trade relationships with neighbouring communities such as the Tiwi, Wagait and Wulna. Today, around 2000 Larrakia live in the Darwin region and are recognised for their talent in music, performance and art.

The Darwin area is now home to more than 140,000 residents and is one of Australia’s most culturally diverse places. There are over 100 nationalities and around 50 social, cultural and religious organisations.

First and foremost Darwin has a transient population. People come and go quite regularly for opportunity and adventure which has resulted in a handful of cultural quirks:

It’s rare you cross paths with a born and bred Darwin local these days.

With so many expats and interstate roamers, Darwin has become a true melting pot of different cultures and stories to discover.

Immigrants have been a major contributor to both the economy and culture of Darwin, in particular Greek and Asian backgrounds. As a matter of fact, Darwin is closer to Asia than it is any other capital city in Australia.

Combine this with the tropical climate and many people remark on how Darwin almost feels like a different country.

Just like you, Darwinites have moved to a new and interesting place away from their support network and are looking to build a new one.

Religious freedom and mutual respect are also an integral part of the culture and Islamic mosques, Buddhist and Chinese temples and a range of Christian churches all co-exist peacefully.

Diverse culture is embraced and Darwin locals look forward to a Dry Season filled with cultural festivals such as the Garrmalang Festival, the Greek Glenti, the Pesona Indonesia and of course Chinese New Year in February!

Okay yes, we have already mentioned this but it is a big factor that plays into what builds Darwin’s culture.

It’s far too humid for a suit and tie so business is conducted on more personal and friendly terms.

Darwin is nestled amongst some of the most stunning and untouched parts of Australia with turquoise oceans and breathtaking sunsets, powerful waterfalls and pristine hot springs, monsoonal rainforest pockets and lily pad dotted billabongs.

Locals know exactly how lucky they are to be only a car trip away from these beauties and they soak it up.

Art class in the mallKids on the beach on Territory DayDarwin City street art muralPeople cruising on the harbour

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Working in Darwin

Darwin has earned its reputation as a goldmine of opportunity. The rapid growth of the community, proximity to Asia and diverse industries has cemented the city as a platform to launch a career and gain access to new experiences and challenges that can set you up for life.

To learn more about what opportunity looks like in Darwin explore some of our first-hand accounts from those who have made the leap and experienced career advancement.

Find out more about careers