The Darwin markets simply blew me away. For multi-cultural, social and gastronomic pleasures they are pretty hard to beat when looking for things to do in Darwin.
Mindil Beach markets
The Mindil Beach sunset markets are at the top of my list with good reason. On Thursday and Sunday evenings the Mindil Beach esplanade comes alive with local music and crafts; an enormous selection of delicious flavours; and crowds of happy, multi-cultural people.
Fresh spring rolls, gado gado and satays, paw paw salad, fresh tropical fruit juices and smoothies. Darwin has almost a whole food in nearby Asia and the food here is Yuuuummmm!
Africans and Asians mingle with locals and tourists. Darwin only has a population of around 140,000 and a lot of them must be here. If not spilling through the stalls, then picnicking on the grass or waiting for the sunset on the beach.
Harbour cruise boats drift past and the sun disappears into a fiery sky.
Once it has finally gone the market becomes even more colourful with lights and fire pois.
There is music and dancing with Northern Territory bands providing the beats.
Parap Market is a daytime affair, running from 8am to 2pm at the Parap shopping village in an inner suburb of Darwin. It is no less colourful for all that and probably more popular with locals than tourists because of the produce.
Huge piles of papaya and pineapple rub shoulders with exotic flowers and fresh vegetables. Crocodile artefacts caught my eye and some lovely locally-made jewellery.
The food was similarly outstanding – Malaysian, Vietnamese, Thai. The list goes on and the crowds vying for the attention of the Laksa soup lady (Mary) were intense! Parap village also has some nice galleries, a speciality food store and a day spa.
Other Darwin markets
Other markets in Darwin include those at Nightcliff and Rapid Creek, again more produce here but still a great way to spend some time in Darwin!
Darwin’s markets are just one of many ways that Australia’s Top End overwhelms the senses. They are a wonderful place to socialise and ease into the city’s tropical lifestyle.
By Natasha von Geldern
Have you been to an amazing Darwin markets? Did you try Mary’s laksa soup?
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