Wonderful Darwin

“Excuse me, Sir, you’ll need to show me some form of I.D.”, the young man at the bottle shop said to me tonight. That he was probably half my age, didn’t help, and so I put it to him that I was 52 years of age and hadn’t been asked for I.D. in about thirty years. It was then he explained the situation: “We have a register of banned drinkers in the Northern Territory, and you can’t buy take away alcohol without some form of I.D.”.

Though I’m still a little surprised by it all, I can probably understand the environment in which the law came into being: the Northern Territory has a reputation for being a place of many people who drink far too much, and alcohol is banned in many communities.

The big drinking culture of Darwin was fairly evident when I first visited here back in the late 1990s, and then with subsequent visits up until about 2010, which was probably the last time I visited. I’m not sure if the legislation has changed their big drinking reputation of Darwin, but it’s surely a sign that Darwin has changed somewhat.

Looking out to the Arafura Sea
Looking out to the Arafura Sea

And you can see it in the centre of Darwin. When I first visited here, central Darwin was low-rise, with only a handful of apartment blocks. The centre of Darwin is now made up of lots of apartment blocks and hotels up to about ten stories. And there’s the development down at the wharf, which was once an old pier with a few fish and chip shops and bars, which is now quite an exclusive place to live or visit.

I’m staying on the third floor of an apartment block in what’s described as “City Heights”. It’s about a fifteen-minute walk to work, and the team here have provided me with a list of places to grab a coffee on the way.

Thankfully, though, there are some things about Darwin that haven’t changed. Government House is still wonderfully beautiful, an example of older style Darwin architecture. There’s Parliament House, often described by locals as looking like a wedding cake. And there are bits and pieces of pre and post-Cyclone Tracey architecture to be found.

And of course, there’s the famous Mindil Beach Markets (now held on a Sunday as well as a Thursday), where you can enjoy music, a terrific atmosphere, and some awesome food from some of the many different cultures you’ll find here.

Mindil Beach Sunset
Mindil Beach Sunset

And of course, there’s the awesome sunset, where people sit on the beach and watch the sun disappear and applaud. Today’s was especially good, as there was a low tide, so I was able to walk out quite some distance.

Low Tide at Mindil Beach in Darwin
Low Tide at Mindil Beach in Darwin

6 Replies to “Wonderful Darwin”

  1. Darwin featured on the tv news last night because of the military war games, which are actually games. There would be worse places to be than in a city full of military personal from all over the world.

  2. As of 31 July 2018, there have been 6,120 persons ever registered on the BDR.
    Of those persons, 74% were male and 80% were Aboriginal.
    Table 4: Count of persons ever on the BDR as at 31 July 2018
    Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal Unknown Total
    Female 1,270 172 157 1,599
    Male 3,640 770 106 4,516
    Unspecified 3 1 1 5

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: