Australia Day Darwin 2018: 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.

3 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.

Early birds can squeeze in a zumba warm-up at 6:15am outside the Darwin Convention Centre before the big event which starts at 7am sharp. The fun run starts at the Darwin Convention Centre and ends at Darwin Waterside Parklands. Celebrations along the Darwin Waterfront run until 7:40pm with the Fun Run presentation.

For more info: NT Australia Day


Image: nt.australiaday.org.au

An Evening With Samuel Johnson

A most elegant and star-studded event.

Replacing the iconic Australia Day Black Tie Ball comes this celebrity-studded event. Held at Darwin Convention Centre on 27 January, its centred around actor, Logie Award Winner and Australian of the Year Recipient Samuel Johnson and includes a five course degustation meal and drinks.

This is a ticketed event, with tables of eight available to purchase.

For more info: Australia Day NT


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.

The convey drives from Hidden Valley Raceway and finished up at Noonamah Tavern where punters celebrate with drinks, 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 Square 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

Stef is the Travel Editor at finder.com.au and has been writing about travel for over a decade. She's visited over 50 countries and has had some incredible experiences, including hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, hitchhiking across Romania and seeing the Northern Lights (twice!). And while she’d never say no to a luxury escape, she's far more likely to stretch her travel dollars as far as they can go by keeping her ear to the ground for unbeatable travel bargains. And she'll tell you all about them, too! Stef has had articles featured on Travel Weekly, Escape and Hostelworld.

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