Darwin nightlife is sooooo one-dimensional. Basically, every bar and club plays the same comercial music on repeat!!!
Went to the TROPIUM Free Mindil Beach Party on 1st September 2012 and had the best night i had in Australia. The atmosphere was amazing and the music was absolutely thumping. A good mix of tourists and locals with a sunset to die for, and not one cheesy 'pop-song' in sight!!
Will definitely be looking to go to one of TROPIUM's events in the future if i'm ever back in the NT.
Dress Code: No Dress Code!!! Just a banging beach party...
The Sky City Casino is the place to go for a gamble and a flutter and for some great bars, restaurants and excellent eating. I ate in the Sunset Restaurant, which has an excellent value seafood buffet.
The casino also offers a variety of entertainment including singers, bands and live music in the Sweethearts lounge,
Make sure you check out the Aqua lounge bar, as it has really cool decorations with fish tank and more.
Worth a look and a night out, especially the restaurants. Not much of a gambler myself, but if you are into casinos, it has all the regular forms of gambling available. Poker Machines, Blackjack, you name it.... It also has accomodation for those who are looking for somewhere different to stay..
Dress Code: I would recommend smart casual, closed in shoes for men. The usual going out attire.
The Vic is a place that is very popular with travellers to Darwin. There is usually live music, and it has a decent atmosphere.
There is a big screen TV to watch sports, pool tables, video games, slots, and places to just sit and drink with friends. You can sit inside or on the balconies outside.
The food isn't too bad either, but I would eat somewhere else.
The city area of Darwin is crawling in backpackers, so it’s no surprise that there are numerous bars providing for their evening social needs.
I won’t pretend that I’m of an age group for these places, but we did visit one with the “VT Survivors” before undertaking our trip. That was the Wisdom Bar and Café which was doing a steady trade even during the afternoon. We stayed only fairly briefly, but were quite taken by the resident possum up the large tree in the beer garden. You will find the Wisdom Bar in Mitchell St, not far from The Mall.
In the Mall itself, the Vic Hotel seems to be a popular watering hole. It’s located in one of the early-style stone buildings and, I suspect, has seen happier times as it seems all the early aviators stayed there while on their pioneering flights. Behind a glass panel in the Vic Courtyard alongside (and hard to read), are stones from the old Hotel signed by notables of early aviation. It seems the Vic has gone somewhat downmarket though, as it now features jelly wrestling (though could that be why the aviation pioneers stayed there?).
Our frequent walks between our hotel and the Novotel, the VT base for the weekend, took us past Shennanigans Irish Bar in Mitchell St. Our main impression was of the prodigous amounts of smoke (the NT seems to have few smoking restrictions) and the number of semi-drunken patrons spilling into the streets!
Main photo: Wisdom Bar
Second photo:VTers planning for “Survivor” at the Wisdom Bar
Third photo:The resident possum at the Wisdom Bar
Fourth photo:Vic Hotel and adjacent “Vic Courtyard”
Fifth photo:Stones at Vic Hotel autographed by early aviators.
Dress Code: Casual
After our planning meeting for the VT Survivor trip, we urgently needed food – we’d already had some drink… just possibly that may have led to what came next!
An alarm bell should ring when you’re wandering around the crowded streets of Darwin at meal time and come upon a restaurant with only the owners’ large family group inside. The sight of a karaoke machine should make that bell sound like a fire alarm. Well, we’d had a beer or two! We ordered a range of asian dishes: I’ll skip the restaurant review, but the only recommendation would be for Pauline’s excellent bowl of seafood laksa.
By this time we’d all had another drink or two and somehow the karaoke became the focus. Gentle Reader, if I’d recorded the karaoke efforts of the assembled VTers, you’d plead with VT to cancel the new ‘feature’ of VT video clips! Unaccountably, our efforts failed to attract a rush of talent scouts – even for the duet performance by Howie and myself which reduced many in the audience to tears and the machine rated at 96! Maybe that was what encouraged some misplaced vocal efforts later in our travels – look for Aussirose’s clip of the “Vegemite Song” (I’ll link it here when it comes).
Suffice to say that whatever the meal lacked was more than compensated for by the hilarity.
Dress Code: Informal.
Darwin has some great places to eat and drink and this is one of my favourites. Quite upmarket and a little more gown up than some other bars around town (by no means a complaint). We spent a few evening's in here sampling some good wines. They have a good menu and an alfresco dining area if you can stand the heat and humidity as it was December we couldn't and stayed inside. The staff are all young hip and friendly and they serve free snacks during the evening which we thought was a good touch. The music came from tv's placed around the walls but it was still possible to have a conversation without shouting. A more upmakret night out in Darwin.
Dress Code: Neat casual I would say but as it got later into the evening the dress code picked up.
The Victoria Hotel - once a pub where everybody knew your name, with an awesome steakhouse - now a quasi nudie bar filled with backpackers and chemically mood elevated youngsters.
As far as nightlife goes this is definitely one for the younger set - at times sporting minors who the security staff blink through. Typical younger crowd here, you're not really going to find any top-shelf spirits or anything more exotic than Bacardi. What you'll find is lots of skin being shown a very "doof, doof" music scene and service about as desirable as another hole in the head.
The verdict -the place to go if you're desperate and nowhere else will let you in. However, there are many better choices in Darwin that don't involve being dragged away from the main nightlife precinct.
Dress Code: Very loosely enforced no thongs or singlet code.
The VIC is a popular place for anyone who goes out in Darwin. Filled to the brim with backpackers and locals, you will find most of them upstairs in the nightclub dancing on the tables, usually the only spare room to dance on.
Downstairs is the bar area, a band can be seen most nights
Dress Code: no thongs, singlets. Thats about it, dress codes arent too strict in Darwin
The Vic Hotel, located in the Smith Street mall in Darwin is a great spot for a night out dancing, drinking and most of all getting up there on the tables and stages and shakin that booty. Always great fun, they have bands on occassion, DJ, sometimes games for the tourists and the locals with prizes. But really it is your usual nightclub. I liked it and that whole atmosphere of having lots of levels to the fun!
Dress Code: Smart Casual. Darwin is always Casual, but still I think the old closed in shoe thing for guys applies. Other than that, usual night wear. You can dress up a little more if you want of course though.
It is not my personal favourite, however, probably one of the most well known nightspots in Darwin is Discovery. Drinks, music, dancing it has the usual nightclub scene with lots of levels and space and lots of events are held here. It quite often houses entertainment that comes to town, and is a very well known place for partying a night away by both the tourists and the locals.
Dress Code: The usual closed in shoes for blokes I think applies, but other than that, smart casual per the usual Darwinian trend. Comfortable yet somewhat appealing clothes would apply.
This is a gay nightclub in Darwin but well worth a visit. It has a live webcam on Friday and Saturday nights. Queens regularly walk through the club, its just such a diverse atmosphere, the music is thumpa thumpa stuff which can be boring but the atmosphere sure makes up for everything. Its a seriously fun and friendly place for both gays and straights.
Dress Code: Presentable and clean
The 2004 Darwin Fringe is going to be a delicious affair with tantalising titbits, magnificent morsels, enticing events and alluring activities all guranteed to tempt one's palate.
With a range of theatre, music, comedy, film and visual art, this Fringe, like previous years, is set to stimulate, provoke and entertain. There is the usual range of Fringe driven activities. Held every year in late July and in 2004 from 23 July - 5 August.
Dress Code: Venues
Brown's Mart Theatre - historic building operating as a multifunctional theatre space with wooden floor, mezzanine, backstage area - capacity 110 +.
Brown's Mart Courtyard - an adaptable fenced outdoor L-shaped space surrounding Brown's Mart Theatre. Some seating, walls semi-suitable for projection, structures able to be utilised for hanging etc - capacity of a several hundred. Can be extended into Civic Park next door by removing fences.
Town Hall Ruins - an outdoor historical ex-building (with some walls partially intact) set in parklands opposite Brown's Mart with a paved/cement performance area extending to large lawns - capacity can vary depending on use up to several hundred. Great for theatre, poetry and music.
Courtyard Room - can be used as exhibition & installation space. Sometimes this room also houses a pool table & internet machines.
Held now for the 2nd year, Bass in the Grass is a Music festival running for a day usually on a Saturday in July. Held here in Darwin and i believe 1 in Alice Springs, 2004's Bass included such acts as Jebidiah, Shannon Noll, SuperJesus, Grinspoon, Plonker, Hairy Lemon, The Dissisociatives, Elysium, Even, Sophie Koh, Human Nature, Frenzal Rhomb, World Fly, Lifted Mace and Roy Mackonkey.
The event was awesome for Darwin and if your here when its on i would highly reccommend it. Great Australian Music.
Dress Code: Dress is anything, alcohol to adults served, Merchandise a plenty
COST: $40 presale, $50 at gate
Theres loads of pubs in Darwin and Darwiners drink double the average consumtion of alcohol than anywhere else in Australia! most places do jugs of beers for about $7! cheap as chips!
The best pubs are :
Shinnegans(havent a clue how you spell it!) is an irish bar , packed , also have karaoke.
Rorkes Drift, as well as good food, they have a good garden for getting hammered!
The Victoria(The Vic), the place to go if youre backpacking, drinking games, free food, cheap beer, disco at the end!
The Blue Heeler, a very good pub, sometimes with games and live entertainment, and cheap food!
Hippy Club, another backpackers place, good for cheap food certain nights, also for a boogie and also for a good game of pool!!
On Thursday - Sunday nights, there are a bunch of stalls out on Mindil Beach. This is a typical market - food, crafts, art, other interesting stuff. It's worth a wander through, especially if you are on your way to the casino, since it's right next door.
Dress Code: No dress code.