Australia Day Darwin 2017: What’s happening in the city?

From fun runs to ute runs, this is how Darwin does Australia Day.

Don’t expect to arrive in Darwin with binoculars and cameras at the ready to capture the evening fireworks. Darwin likes to do public holidays its own way.

It likes to make its citizens get out and about today in everything from a fun run to a ute run. You down?

Best Australia Day events in Darwin

Australia Day Run in Darwin

Dust off your joggers and show off that Aussie pride in Darwin city’s annual fun run

Run or walk, it doesn’t matter, so long as your community spirit is high and you’re bursting with national pride, you’re good to join the masses in this Australia Day fun run.

2.5 and 5km circuits are available and while dressing up isn’t mandatory, it’s encouraged. You’d be a fool not to, in our humble opinion.

The run starts at 7am sharp at the Darwin Convention Centre and ends at Darwin Waterside Parklands. Celebrations along the route conclude at 10am.

For more info: NT Australia Day


Australia Day True Blue Sale

Support your fellow Aussie and buy local in the Australia Day True Blue Sale

What could be more patriotic than getting behind the little guy on Australia Day? Nothing, that's what!

The Australia Day True Blue Sale is the perfect excuse to support local and small businesses. Better yet, it's all online, so you can do your shopping in your jammies in the morning (errr - we mean closer to noon) after you wake up or late in the evening while winding down from a big day celebrating.

Brands in this year's sale include: Ruby Olive, Mosmann, Surfstitch, Sunday Somewhere and THE ICONIC.

For more info: Australia Day True Blue Sale


Image: Australia Day NT Facebook

Australia Day Black Tie Ball

The most elegant event on the January calendar

Now in its 22nd year, the Australia Day Black Tie Ball is an icon of Australia Day festivities in Australia. Held at Darwin Convention Centre, it’s open to the public and honors the Territory Australian of the Year Awards recipients while acting as a fundraiser to support the Australia Day Council NT.

Doors open at 6:30pm for a 7pm start and features a silent auction, champagne bar and live entertainment throughout the evening.

For more info: Australia Day Council Northern Territory

Oz Fusion

Multicultural Australia takes the spotlight in this celebration of cultures in Darwin.

Inaugurated in 2013, Oz Fusion is a free festival of performances, music and multicultural foods with a welcoming, community feel.

In 2016, Oz Fusion was held in Palmerston Recreation Centre from 4pm-7pm. Details of 2017’s event will released soon.

For more info: Oz Fusion


Image: NT Australia Day

Australia Day Ute Run

Hosted by the Holden Car Club (who else?)

Utes. Blue utes. Blue utes flying Strayan flags. Blue utes flying Strayan flags with an Aussie in a wifebeater behind the wheel. Now if that doesn’t scream “Australian” we don’t know what does.

That’s exactly what goes on at Darwin’s Australia Day Ute Run. Held in partnership with Variety, the children’s charity, it’s a fundraising and community event in one that sees “Aussified” utes parade down the streets in a manic display of patriotism.

When the show is over and the engines have gone cold, the punters celebrate with a barbeque, games and family-friendly activities.

For more info: Australia Day Ute Run

Top free things to do on Australia Day in Darwin

  • Cool down in Berry Springs National Park: Complete the theme of the day and get out and explore your surroundings by foot. Berry Springs National Park has it all, from shaded picnic areas and barbeques to clear natural swimming pools.
  • Get cultured at one of the Darwin’s free museums: Learn about Darwin’s past in one of its free museums such as the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory or Fannie Bay Gaol.
  • Make it a relaxing day in George Brown Botanic Gardens: Open 7am-7pm daily, the city’s Botanic Gardens offer rainforest walks, picnic lawns and guided Segway tours.
  • Browse the wares at out the Mindil Beach Sunset Market: Darwin’s famous open-air markets are open only on Thursday and Sunday nights. Lucky for you, Australia Day falls on a Thursday this year.
  • Splash around at the Darwin Waterfront Recreation Lagoon. While you have to pay to go into the wave pool, the patrolled lagoon (which has stinger nets) is free to use. It's the perfect place for an Australia Day picnic.

Are stores open on Australia Day in Darwin?

The major shopping centres that will open for Australia Day and their trading hours.

  • Casuarina Shopping Centre: Open from 10am-3pm
  • Smith Street Mall: Times vary
  • Mitchell Centre: Open from 10am-3pm

You can also spend this public holiday shopping from the comfort of your own home. We're throwing a True Blue Sale, celebrating Australian retailers, were you can save big on your favourite Aussie brands. Check it out here!

Images: Australia Day NT Facebook

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal or cheap flight available, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too.

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