The best markets in Darwin, are vibrant and bursting with the smells of Asia, reminding us of our closest neighbours across the Arafura Sea. Darwin is an extremely multi-cultural city, and one of the best ways to experience it is by taking in the market atmosphere. Watching locals interact, listening to an array of sometimes unrecognisable languages, this is the real Darwin and our markets are a quintessential part of life here.
Enjoying a laid back, relaxed lifestyle in the Top End is how we roll. Nothing is rushed and time often takes a back seat.
The laid back lifestyle is one of the things that really set us apart from other capital cities in Australia. Most visitors to Darwin come for the nearby National Parks but we highly recommend factoring in some time to enjoy Darwin itself. If you're doing a tour from Darwin then a couple of nights pre or post tour is ideal.
Our various Darwin markets are all unique in their own ways. Stalls vary and consist of a myriad of local crafts like hand poured candles, eco-friendly beauty products and essential oils (be sure to look out for the locally made essential oil Kakadu Blue). Then there's the local Indigenous art and amazing photography collections capturing the best of The Territory. Then finally the food - there are masses of food stalls; Indonesian, Filipino and Malaysian dominate with a peppering of exotic meats such as buffalo and crocodile as well as local seafood and don't forget the fresh juices! You can often see generations of the same family working on stalls, passing down unwritten recipes through generations. The markets are undoubtedly one the best places to eat in Darwin (although you do have to be picky so ask one of the locals).
Boasting idyllic weather for six months of the year, Darwin is one of the few locations where the sun keeps shining and warmth is guaranteed
The Mindil Beach Sunset Market is our most famous market, located close to the city it's definitely worth a visit, they are on each Sunday 4-9pm (& usually Thursdays as well, although not currently operating due to COVID). In addition to a plethora of food options you can enjoy live performances into the night as well as an array of local craft stalls. When you're done wandering around sit back and relax on the beach or on one of the grassed areas under the stars. Your time at 'Mindil' (as the locals call it) will most definitely leave you with fond memories of life in the tropics.
Another great option if you are visiting Darwin over the weekend it to check out one of the suburban markets such as Parap Markets (on Saturday morning) or Nightcliff Markets (on Sunday morning), both are frequented mainly by locals. (there's also usually a fantastic market at Rapid Creek but it's currently suspended due to COVID). All showcase mouth-watering food options, handmade local gifts and crafts and local produce. Don't be surprised if you find yourself studying unidentifiable tropical fruit and vegetables displayed on tables, with signs advising what it tastes like and how to cook it. You never know what you’ll end up bringing home after a trip to one of these markets.
Markets in the tropics offer a relaxed outing for all. It's all about strolling amongst their colourful stalls, listening to buskers, meeting locals and sampling some tasty treats along the way. No trip to The Territory is complete without experiencing at least one Darwin market.