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Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin is the most populated of the two cities in the sparsely populated Northern Territory. Darwin's proximity to South East Asia makes it an important Australian gateway to countries such as Indonesia and East Timor. The Stuart Highway begins in Darwin, ending at Port Augusta in South Australia. The city itself is built on a low bluff overlooking the harbour. Its suburbs spread out over some area, beginning at Lee Point in the north and stretching to Berrimah in the east. Past Berrimah, the Stuart Highway goes on to Darwin's satellite city, Palmerston, and its suburbs. The region, like the rest of the Top End, has a tropical climate, with a wet and a dry season. The city is noted for its consistently warm to hot climate, all throughout the year.

 

Darwin and its suburbs spread in an approximately triangular shape, with the older south-western suburbs—and the city itself—forming one corner, the newer northern suburbs in another, and the eastern suburbs, progressing towards Palmerston, forming the third. The older part of Darwin is separated from the newer northern suburbs by Darwin International Airport and Royal Australian Air Force Base.

 

The two largest economic sectors are mining and tourism. Mining and energy industry production exceeds $2.5 billion per annum. The most important mineral resources are gold, zinc and bauxite, along with manganese and many others.

 

On 1 July, Territorians celebrate Territory Day. This is the only day of the year, apart from the Chinese New Year, when fireworks are permitted. In Darwin, the main celebrations occur at Mindil Beach, where a large firework display is commissioned by the government. Weekly markets include Mindil Beach Sunset Markets (Thursdays and Sundays during the dry season), Parap Market, Nightcliff Market and Rapid Creek market. Mindil Beach Sunset Markets are very popular with locals and tourists alike and feature food, souvenirs, clothes and local performing artists. The Darwin Festival held annually, includes comedy, dance, theatre, music, film and visual art and the NT Indigenous Music Awards. Other festivals include the Glenti, which showcases Darwin's large Greek community, and India@Mindil, a similar festival held by the smaller Indian community. The Chinese New Year is also celebrated with great festivity, highlighting the Asian influence in Darwin.

 

The Seabreeze festival, which first started in 2005, is held on the second week of May in the suburb of Nightcliff. It offers the opportunity for local talent to be showcased and a popular event is Saturday family festivities along the Nightcliff foreshore which is one of Darwin's most popular fitness tracks. The Speargrass Festival is held annually the week prior to July's first full moon and celebrates the alternative Top End lifestyle. The festival activities include music, screening of locally produced films, screen printing, basket weaving, sweat lodge, water slides, human pyramid, hot tub, frisbee golf, spear throwing, Kubb competition, bingo, communal organic cooking, morning yoga, meditation, greasy pig and healing circles. The festival occurs at the Speargrass property, 50 km (31 mi) northeast of Pine Creek.

 

The Darwin beer-can regatta, held in August, celebrates Darwin's love affair with beer and contestants' race boats made exclusively of beer cans. Also in Darwin during the month of August, are the Darwin Cup horse race, and the Rodeo and Mud Crab Tying Competition. The World Solar Challenge race attracts teams from around the world, most of which are fielded by universities or corporations although some are fielded by high schools. The race has a 20-year history spanning nine races, with the inaugural event taking place in 1987.

 

 

The Darwin Symphony Orchestra was first assembled in 1989, and has performed throughout the Territory. The Darwin Theatre Company is a locally produced professional theatre production company, performing locally and nationally. The Darwin Entertainment Centre is the city's main concert venue and hosts theatre and orchestral performances. Other theatres include the Darwin Convention Centre, opened in July 2008. The Darwin Convention Centre is part of the $1.1 billion Darwin Waterfront project. Darwin's only casino opened in 1981 as the Diamond Beach Casino, it later became the MGM Grand Darwin, before it changed to Skycity Darwin after Skycity Entertainment Group purchased the hotel in 2004.

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