1. Darwin is expensive; this is driven by the fact they have two opposing seasons, Dry vs. Wet. With a massive decrease in Tourists during the Wet season because a lot of the national Parks are closed they hike up the prices between May-November when it’s dry. I was paying $25 a night (which is expensive anyway) and 1st May it went up to $30 for one night!
2. Because Darwin is so hot and you can’t swim in the sea for fear of crocs, they have a free waterpark just ouside of the city which I think is an amazing government incentive. They also have a lagoon by the port which is actually part of the sea dammed off from the crocs next to their infamous wave pool which you can $8 for a day pass and you can surf like you’re in Bondi… kind of.
3. “Going out in Darwin is like going out in Spain.” claimed one Irish girl. Well I was expecting a one outback pub kind of town but Darwin is bustling wih up and coming restaurants and bars, but yeah it is a bit like Spain, largely due to the growing numbers of people heading up there for work.
4. There are a lot of jobs for backpackers, a lot of labour, construction, gardening work which will also get you your 2nd year visa for many places in the Northern territory. However the bar/restaurant jobs are snapped up instanly and a handful of being paid to make sandwiches for the construction worker jobs, as well as, traffic controlling which pays $22 an hour so stand in the middle of nowhere and turn around the GO/STOP stick all day.
5. Overall, I much preferred Darwin to Cairns, it was a lot cleaner and more up to date than Cairns so despite being expensive I’m glad I stumbled across Darwin on my travels and would definitely reccommend it over Cairns anyday – especially if you’re Irish as you’ll have 25 new friends in your first day 😉