Darwin is a port city located along the northwest coast of Australia's NT (Northern Territory). Darwin is NT's capital and biggest city with population around 145,000, ranking it Australia's 15th largest. The city offers many colonial-themed attractions, as well as great dining and shopping opportunities.
The town was established in 1869 as "Palmerston", and was renamed in 1911. A significant event in the town's history happened in 1974 when Cyclone Tracy swept across the coast. It destroyed more than half of the buildings, killing around 70 people.
Cyclone-proofing doesn't make for beautiful architecture, but today Darwin is an attractive blend of reconstructions and the few surviving colonial buildings. Interesting sites are the museum Fannie Bay Gaol, Old Admiralty House, Victoria Hotel, Chinese Temple, the Civic Centre with "Tree of Knowledge" banyan tree and Government House (1883). The Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences, located on the shores of Fannie Bay, is a contemporary installation with good exhibitions of Aboriginal art, Asian and Pacific exhibits. The Botanical Gardens display a great variety of tropical flora. The city is closely identified with, and serves as gateway to Kakadu National Park which lies around 125 mi (200 km) to the east. To the south lies Litchfield National Park, Edith Falls and Katherine Gorge.
In 2017 (July through September), in Darwin was homeported L’Austral (Ponant Cruises). The liner was also scheduled to return in July 2018. This was the largest expedition vessel ever homeported here. L'Austral operated on Kimberley coastal voyages leaving roundtrip from Darwin to King George River, Vansittart Bay, Prince Frederick Harbour, Kimberley Coast, Montgomery Reef, Talbot Bay, Buccaneer Archipelago, Lacepede Islands, Broome.
In 2018, the cruise port handled 55 ship calls and around 60,000 passengers. Most visits (34) were from smaller-sized expedition ships. Port's cruising season is October through March. The year-round tropical climate and the proximity to exotic destinations (Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Singapore) make Darwin a potential homeport for even larger cruise liners.
In season 2019, the cruise port handled 73 ship calls. For 2020 were scheduled 87.
Darwin cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Darwin AU dock at Fort Hill Wharf. The wharf was purposefully built in 2008 and used exclusively for docking of cruise vessels. Cruise line companies usually provide shuttle bus service between the port and city center.
The cruise terminal complex includes an air-conditioned terminal building, mini-market and car parking (with capacity to handle large tourist buses). The terminal building is modern and equipped with security screening, baggage x-ray scanners, manned check points.
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