Living in Darwin

Darwin SunsetDarwin is the capital of Northern Territory but it is not very big, being something like Australia’s 16th largest city. Greater Darwin consists of Darwin City, Darwin Suburbs, Litchfield and Palmerston and has a population of around 136,000 people. It is located centrally on the northern coast of Australia, so if Australia were of clock, Darwin would be on the 12.

It should be noted though that both Litchfield and Palmerston are quite some distance from Darwin City, being around 30 km and 21 km respectively. The population of Darwin and its immediately surrounding suburbs is probably something like 80,000.
Darwin Location

Darwin, like Perth, is quite isolated. It is closer to the capital of Indonesia than it is to the capital of Australia. It’s also very close to the equator. So it’s hot! It’s humid! And it’s got crocs!

There, I’ve got that out of the way.

But if you can stand the heat and humidity, Darwin and the surrounding areas offer the kind of stunning beauty not easily found anywhere else in the world. That beauty is enhanced by Darwin’s climate which has a “wet season” and a “dry season”.

This natural beauty has led to Darwin having a thriving tourist industry. The area is steeped in Aboriginal history and culture and surrounded by National Parks, the biggest and most impressive being Kakadu.

Whilst nature gives the region and its beauty, nature has also destroyed the city. On Christmas day in 1974, tropical Cyclone Tracy ripped the place apart taking many lives at the same time. But Darwin was quickly rebuilt and is today a modern, vibrant and young city.

Darwin is not short of beautiful beaches either. The pick of them being Mindil Beach, which includes an occasional market, just a couple of kilometres from the city centre and Vestey’s Beach, also close to the city. And if you want to be at one with nature, check out Casaurina Beach, 7 km’s east of the city. It’s a nudist beach. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Some beaches have nets to protect against the box jellyfish, but with the rise of appearances by the Irukandji, a jellyfish so small it can penetrate the nets, I’m not sure you would want to be trusting these places.

But it’s not just the jellyfish. The sea in this region is probably one of the most dangerous seas in the world. It looks beautiful, it looks clear and it looks blue. But it can be very dangerous for swimmers. Remember, crocs can be found in the sea as well as in the creeks and billabongs.

Always check with locals before going swimming in this region. There are safe places to swim in the area and they will know where they are. Darwin is beautiful, but it’s not for the faint of heart. If you decide to check out Darwin, you’ll need somewhere to stay. For the best choice and some great rates you should visit this site to find a Hotel in Darwin

What’s the weather like?

Darwin Annual Weather ChartThe climate of Darwin is tropical, that means there is no winter and summer, just wet and dry. If you take a look at my chart, you can easily see when those wet and dry seasons are.

There are on average 75 rainy days between December and May with a total of over 1300 mm of rain.

But during June to November, there are just 20 rainy days with only 200 mm. But the temperature doesn’t change much throughout the year. It’s always hot and it’s mostly humid.

Severe weather for the area include, of course, tropical cyclones, electrical storms, gale force winds and flooding.

Here’s a map of the Darwin area…..

Darwin Map

Darwin can be broken down into four main areas:

  • Inner Darwin  – known as Lyons Ward
  • North Darwin – known as Richardson Ward
  • East Darwin  – known as Waters Ward
  • West Darwin – known as Chan Ward

Questions about Darwin?

If you have any question about living in Darwin, please please feel free to ask them in the comments below. Or if you know this city well, why not tell us what you think of it or maybe even help out by answering some of the questions people have about the area. I’m sure anybody thinking of moving here would be very grateful for any help you can give them.

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{ 194 comments… add one }
  • Antonio Green January 8, 2017, 4:35 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, I am moving to Darwin as an international student and if you or anyone else reading this comment knows then please suggest me which area should I live in? Recommend me the area from where both part time job and uni will be equidistant or which area has more part time job options? Thank you

    • BobinOz January 11, 2017, 9:10 pm | Link

      I’m afraid I don’t know Darwin well enough to answer this question, but I do know that it isn’t a very big city at all. Pretty much all of the night life goes on in and around one street in the city centre, so if you’re looking for work in bars or restaurants, then that’s probably where you will find it.

      The University, if I remember correctly, is about 20 minutes drive away, in fact I’m pretty sure there is nothing you can’t get to within 20 minutes in Darwin. So I would think what you should be looking for is accommodation that fits your budget and has good transport access to where you will be studying and also to the city.

      That’s what I think, but maybe a local will see your question and be able to give further advice. Good luck, Bob

  • Ann January 2, 2017, 10:15 am | Link

    I am a musician (composer and pianist), 29 years old, 2 children. We are from Russia. We would like to work in Darwin. Is it possible to get 190 visa? And how to get the job offer? I sent my CV almost every day.

  • Andy December 29, 2016, 5:27 pm | Link

    Hi, I’m Andy, Age 43, married, one kid.
    I’m insurance agent From Jakarta, Indonesia, very tired live in this chaotic city.

    If i had 1 million US dollar, is that enough for retirement, raise kid and maybe settle small bussiness in Darwin ?

    • BobinOz December 30, 2016, 5:56 pm | Link

      Well, it would certainly go a long way towards it, but you would probably need to spend at least half of that buying somewhere to live. But given your age, I don’t think you have enough yet to retire here in Australia. I think your bigger problem though, could well be securing a visa to come here and that’s what I’d look into first.

      My page with Migration Advice will help you with that.

  • Vicki December 29, 2016, 4:58 am | Link

    G’day Bob,

    Have been living away from Australia for over 2decades now, have been thinking of returning(lived in Melbourne in the past) Interested in making a new start.Will I be able to find work easily? I have a BA degree and a Diploma in Education (attained at Melbourne Universities).

    Homesick aussie💚💛
    and a Diploma in Education.

    • Mark December 29, 2016, 10:02 am | Link

      In general you should be fine getting a job .How long depends on how adaptable As a better answer though… What are you experienced at? I am assuming you have used your diploma in that field or you work doing something completely different. if it is teaching it may be easier to answer more specific.

      • Vicki December 29, 2016, 5:22 pm | Link

        Thanks Bob.

        • BobinOz December 29, 2016, 10:22 pm | Link

          That was Mark Vicki, I’m Bob 🙂

          I would have a different view to Mark, I think the Australian job market is as flat as its been for about the last 10 years, so I don’t think getting a job is ever going to be easy. That said, Mark, I know, does have experience in this field and I believe he has answered you based on the quite natural assumption that you are a schoolteacher, but, as he has also suggested, it will depend on what you are experienced at.

          I think it will pay you to do some thorough research though, my pages Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and…


          …can help you with that. Good luck, Bob

  • yadvinder singh December 23, 2016, 4:59 pm | Link

    Hello sir
    My state nomination was unsuccessful last month because of employment evidence .can u please guide me for job 242211 vocational education non trades .I am a Lecture in a diploma college
    Please guide me

    • BobinOz December 23, 2016, 9:43 pm | Link

      No, I can’t help you with that, you would need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent about your options. See Would I Qualify?

  • Richard Barling December 18, 2016, 6:20 pm | Link

    To rent in Darwin do I need a residents visa or can I come and go on a tourist visa?

    • BobinOz December 19, 2016, 7:29 pm | Link

      Interesting question, I’m not really sure whether you legally need to have a certain status in order to rent here, but I suspect most landlords would be looking to rent to somebody with a reasonably solid temporary type of visa.

      If you are flitting out of the country and back again and just staying for a few weeks each time, I’m not sure many landlords would like that. They may prefer to rent to more regular tenants who are there all the time, rather than having their property empty for long periods.

      So even if there are no legal requirements and you can rent on a tourist visa, it may work against you with many landlords.

    • Mark December 23, 2016, 10:04 pm | Link

      You can rent on a tourist visa but its likely you wont have other things in place like some form of employment some security for the landlord some evidence of remaining which makes you a worse risk than the person that presents themselves with all intact…Of course we are assuming long term rent if your only talking two three weeks then yes you will be fine but thats not really a contrasted house rental more a holiday rental

  • Yousif Khader December 4, 2016, 5:00 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the information you’ve shared with us. can you please tell us about average earning in Darwin & cost of Living for family with 3 kids,

  • Piper November 19, 2016, 12:10 pm | Link

    Just wondering what the current rent situation is like in Darwin? Im looking at moving by myself, just wondering if it would be better to get a unit/house by myself or to rent a room?

  • Brent October 29, 2016, 8:37 pm | Link

    Hi. Thanks for sharing info. on Darwin. I am an Agricultural Engineer (Agronomy) and I applied to immigrate to Australia (NT sponsored me). How is the agriculture situation in Darwin?

    • BobinOz October 30, 2016, 7:18 pm | Link

      I don’t know about that Brent, but hopefully somebody local will be able to help you out. Anybody?

      If you don’t get a response, and its work within the agricultural sector that you are looking for, you can always research it on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship

  • Ady October 18, 2016, 9:13 pm | Link

    Hi BOB, I really appreciate your efforts in sharing the information in detail. I do read it quite often for more information as I am planning to apply for a PR to Australia.
    Most probably I will be choosing Darwin as the place to move to at first. What are your suggestions on job market for Learning & Development professionals in Hospitality industry?
    Looking forward to your assistance.

    • BobinOz October 19, 2016, 11:04 pm | Link

      Well, there is a reasonable hospitality industry in Darwin I believe, but that’s all I know. I’m afraid you will need to research that one for yourself, my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship can help you with that. Good luck, Bob

  • Susie October 9, 2016, 6:40 pm | Link

    Im an aussie living in qld but want to relocate to darwin. Whats the work situation up there this time of the year? Im a cleaner n shop assistant. I wanna go now.

    • BobinOz October 10, 2016, 5:48 pm | Link

      Sorry Susie, I can’t help with this being in Brisbane. Anybody in Darwin got any ideas about this?

      • Rachel October 17, 2016, 4:02 pm | Link

        Darwin is just starting the build up to the wet season, so its Hot and super humid. Its called Mango season because Mangoes Crazy!! just make sure you have Air-Conditioning 🙂

        • BobinOz October 17, 2016, 7:06 pm | Link

          Yes, air-conditioning is a must up in Darwin, that’s for sure. Enjoy your mangoes 🙂

  • XEE September 25, 2016, 12:29 pm | Link

    Hi there!

    What is the cost of living in Darwin like, as compared to say, Perth? In terms of accomodation etc…thanks!!

    • BobinOz October 2, 2016, 5:10 pm | Link

      I don’t think there will be a great deal in it, but I do know that it appears rental prices are falling rapidly in both cities. See…

      Average Rental Prices by Capital Cities in Australia

      I’m guessing a bit, simply because I don’t live in either of these places, but I really can’t imagine there is much in it between the two for cost of living.

  • Rajat September 23, 2016, 3:21 am | Link

    I am moving to darwin for hospitality management after my 12th what type of work i will get and what will be the minimum wage rate and how much time it will take to settle down over there .

    • BobinOz September 26, 2016, 12:17 am | Link

      Minimum wage is about $18-$20 I think but I couldn’t possibly answer your other questions.

  • Ashok Kumar August 15, 2016, 11:42 pm | Link

    Hi All!!
    I’m Ashok Kumar. I’m a mechanical engineer. Now a days working in a caterpillar company as a lead engineer in design section. I hope to come to Darwin on or before January 2017. I have more than 12 years experience as a mechanical engineer. Pls inform me job opportunities in Darwin.


    Best regards
    Ashok Kumar. G

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