There were fireworks as well as the usual wonderful choice of exotic food at Thursday night’s first market for the year, marking the beginning of the dry season and cool nights. More than 500,000 locals and tourists enjoy this ‘must do’ Darwin experience every year – it’s not just a ‘tourist trap’, locals go there to have fun too!
The market began in 1987 with 40 stalls and has grown and diversified into a huge tourist attraction. It’s been awarded four Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Awards and the NT Government Charles See Kee Award for the advancement of multiculturalism. Today there are 59 food stalls with more than 1200 different menu items and over 200 craft stalls.
One of only a few major events in Darwin not centred around alcohol, the markets are completely free to attend – no parking charges, no entrance fees – and there’s a wide range of entertainment including street theatre, children’s amusements, and free concerts by the best of local musicians.
The sunset markets run Thursdays from 5–10pm and Sundays from 4–9pm now through to the end of October.
It’s probably 4 or 5 years since I’ve been to Darwin – one of my very favourite places – and we ALWAYS go to the market. There’s a great laid-back atmosphere, music, picnic places by the water and a perfect temperature for wandering around tasting a huge range of food and being tempted by all sorts of craft. I’ve read somewhere recently that with all the development going on in town there is some concern amongst Darwinians they may be in danger of losing their charismatic laid back ‘larrikin feel’…I sincerely hope local leaders can do something about this!