Source: Getty Images
Once considered sleepy, Darwin today boasts the same lifestyle attractions as any other capital — with a Top End twist! The most popular suburbs in the capital offer a mix of laid-back outdoor attractions, great food and solid public transport to suit the lovers of the nightlife, culture queens or shopaholics. Peak season for share accommodation is Dec-Feb, so if you’re hoping to live in one of Darwin’s top 10 share suburbs, you better get cracking!
For CBD living in Australia, Darwin is hard to beat. Predictably, it boasts some of the city’s best restaurants, bars and nightlife, but it also takes in the beautiful city waterfront and venues like the Deckchair Cinema, the Darwin Wave Pool (a cultural icon) and plenty of museums. With views across to Charles Darwin National Park, Mindil Beach Sunset Markets so close by and ample public transport, this is the place to be if you work or study in the city centre.
Wrapped around Cullen Bay and its glamorous marina, leafy Larrakeyah is just a couple of kilometres from the CBD. Unsurprisingly, it’s popular with professionals and their families, but attracts a mix of residents and the rentals in this neighbourhood are lush. Move here to be surrounded by gorgeous beaches, The Gardens and some of the city’s most popular restaurants … all within late-night walking distance of the city’s finest dining, drinking and dancing establishments.
Source: Getty Images
Stuart Park brings together a range of accommodation in a single, quiet neighbourhood just east of the Botanical Gardens. Whether you’re after a classy apartment in a new high-rise building, or an older-style home with space to stretch out, Stuart Park delivers. It’s dotted with pocket parks, the well-maintained Dinah Beach oval and there’s plenty of waterfront to wander or jog along. But the neighbourhood also boasts a compact shopping centre and a handful of much-loved eateries and cafes for the days when you simply can’t drag yourself the two kms or so to the CBD.
If you like the great outdoors and consider yourself a bit of a greenie, you’ll love Nightcliff. With some of the city’s best sunset views, and plenty of waterfront to enjoy as you wind down after work, it’s no wonder the place draws crowds from across Darwin each evening. There’s a community pool, plus public tennis courts, a football oval and bowls club too. On Sundays, the much-loved Nightcliff Markets throng with customers of all stripes — perfect for people watching! It’s around 10km from the CBD so, as you’d expect, the suburb offers major supermarkets and a selection of great places to grab a bite too.
Spread out between the Botanical Gardens and the Darwin Race Track, trendy Parap is clustered around a compact neighbourhood shopping centre. Here you’ll find gourmet groceries, good coffee and on Saturdays, the bustling Parap Village Markets, where locals and visitors snap up bargains along with brekkie. Chic bars and restaurants round out this vibey suburb, and great public transport makes it easy to head to the beach or the city — if the quick walk to Vestey’s lagoon is too much for you!
If you fancy living in “old Darwin” — think grand-looking houses, big blocks and established gardens — then Fannie Bay is for you. Just 10 minutes from the CBD, this laid-back suburb is popular with young families and professionals alike. A convenient, well-serviced shopping centre and great access to beachside walking trails with a westerly outlook (ideal for sunset-watching) make life in Fannie Bay a breeze. You’ll be just a stone’s throw from the Parap, Nightcliff and Mindil Markets and enjoy plenty of sporting facilities too: take your pick from golf, swimming, sailing, tennis and more.
Family-friendly Coconut Grove is a real neighbourhood with a strong community feel, so you’re sure to feel welcome here. It’s well-served by public transport (just 8km north of the CBD), and a lazy Sunday-morning stroll from Nightcliff Markets, but if you miss them, there’s a shopping centre complete with supermarkets and a handful of tasty take-aways to keep you going till next week. Properties here are very tightly held, so if you can find a spot, snap it up!
With trendy Nightcliff to the west and the eponymous Rapid Creek to the east, this neighbourhood enjoys the best of what Darwin’s northern suburbs have to offer. The extensive beachfront walking trails, complete with free public gym equipment are sure to tempt the nature-lover in you — as is the fishing in Rapid Creek itself. If you don’t get a nibble, you can grab a bite at the renowned Beachfront Hotel or stock the fridge at the popular Rapid Creek markets.
Source: Getty Images
Nakara is the most affordable suburb on this list, and it’s also the furthest from the CBD (just 13kms). Yet it has a lot to offer. First, it has both the truly massive Casuarina Shopping centre and Charles Darwin University within easy walking distance. Large houses and low-rise apartments give the neighbourhood a low-key vibe, which is probably why it’s popular with families as well as students. It’s well-serviced by buses, which makes it easy to get to the beach, the city… or anywhere else you care to go.
Locals love Millner for being close to everything: beaches, shopping centres, walking and biking trails, swimming pools and public parks, the airport, Nightcliff and Rapid Creek Markets… the list goes on. No wonder it’s popular with families, but also professionals who enjoy having easy access to all that Darwin has to offer. Millner is also easy on the eyes, with most households keeping their gardens looking good. If you like laid-back living in a quiet but central location, Millner is worth a look.
The data above shows the most in-demand Darwin share suburbs on our site from Dec 2019- Feb 2020, which is the peak season for share accommodation. We’re now in December and rents have dropped in many areas due to COVID. If you’re looking to find your dream share house now, you better jump on that wagon tout-de-suite to snag a home in these fab areas.