Pacific Center - Migration Services


Darwin is a modern capital city highly valued by its diverse and highly multicultural population, with a strong position in business and industry.

Darwin is treasured country to its traditional owners, the Larrakia people, who are prominent and active members of the local community.

Darwin has evolved from its days as a laid back frontier town and while it still retains its relaxed charm, it has become a sophisticated city. Many visitors are surprised to find that it has accommodation, eateries, clubs, pubs, museums and other amenities that are equal to what you'll find in the southern cities.

The city is both modern and multicultural, boasting a population made up of people from more than 60 nationalities and 70 different ethnic backgrounds. The city is characterised by its many exciting cultural festivals and weekly food and craft markets.

Darwin is one of Australia's thriving business capitals. In business and industry circles, Darwin is described as Australia's gateway to South East Asia. It's closer to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta than it is to Canberra and is about the same flying time from Singapore and Manila as it is from Sydney and Melbourne.

The majority of Darwin's workforce, about 60%, is made up of Government employees. It is also the main service centre for a wide range of industries headed by mining, offshore oil and gas production, pastoralism, tourism and tropical horticulture. The Port of Darwin is also the main outlet for Australia's live cattle export trade into South East Asia.

Tourism is the Territory's largest employing industry, estimated to employ directly and indirectly 16,300 Territorians or 12 per cent of the total NT workforce. Darwin attracts travellers from all around the globe looking to experience its outdoor tropical lifestyle. With waterfront dining, crocodile adventures, rich historical experiences, and access to the Tiwi Islands all within a few minutes of the city centre, there's enough to do to fill a weekend or a week.

International flights arrive directly into Darwin Airport from hubs in Asia. There are direct domestic flights from all capital cities and other cities such as Cairns, Broome and Alice Springs. From the airport it's an easy 15-minute taxi or coach ride to the city centre.

There's a saying among locals: "If you don't like sunsets and markets, you won't like Darwin." Embrace the first part of this equation with a sunset harbour cruise. They typically run for two to three hours and include a drink and canapes. Descend the rainforest-walled steps near Parliament House to arrive at Deckchair Cinema - "the Deckie" to locals. Under open skies, this Darwin Film Society venue projects a mix of art house and mainstream movies. All screenings begin at 7.30pm; on weekends you can attend a double session.


Darwin in the Top End of the Northern Territory has two distinct seasons, the 'wet' and the 'dry'. Plan ahead with this information on temperature and rainfall.

The wet season in Darwin is characterised by high humidity, monsoonal rains and storms. Average temperatures range from 24.7 - 32 °C (76.5 - 89.6°F), and humidity can push past 80 per cent. The average annual rainfall is 1727.3 mm (68 inches) and January is the wettest month. Despite this, January and February is considered by many as the most beautiful time of year in the Top End. Sunny days and afternoon storms refresh the landscape, and animals and plants flourish.

October to December is the season of spectacular lightning storms, an event eagerly awaited by locals who watch the show from beachside restaurants and bars.

The dry season, from May until October, is characterised by warm, dry sunny days and cool nights. Temperatures typically range from 21.6– 31.8°C (70.9 - 89.2°F), and humidity levels are much lower: around 60 – 65 per cent.

Relatively cool weather arrives in May, and until July, nights are crisp with temperatures ranging from 17 - 23 °C (62.6 - 73.4°F). It is also the perfect time to explore the more remote areas of the region that can be off-limits during the wet season.

Daylight saving is not observed in the Northern Territory. The time zone in the Northern Territory is Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), UTC + 9.5.

December experiences the longest hours of daylight with sunrise at approximately 6:15am and sunset at 7pm. June has the least hours of daylight with sunrise at approximately 7am and sunset at 6:30pm.

Visitors to Darwin should look out for the UV index in local weather reports, which describes the daily solar UV radiation intensity. Protect yourself from sunburn by using SPF30+ sunscreen, which is readily available throughout Australia at supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies, and wearing sun-smart clothing, including a hat and sunglasses.


The small population in the NT and vast freight distances mean you do pay higher prices for many goods. Shorter travelling distances in urban areas often provide savings. Depending on where you live in the NT local markets can offer locally grown produce as an alternative to supermarket shopping.

The housing prices in Darwin are much lower than the Australian average. This is great news if you are hoping to find the perfect new home in Darwin. On average, a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre will cost around $1,151.68 a month.

The cost of living Darwin will be affected by how much you use public transport. In Darwin, public transport is very affordable. This makes it easy to get around and convenient to go to and from work. The main form of public transport in Darwin is the bus system, which is widespread and easy to use. Bus services in Darwin are cheap and it will only cost you $3 to travel for 3 hours. You can also catch a ferry to Mandorah, which costs $26 return or $15.50 one way.

Petrol prices can change quite regularly and will affect the cost of living in Darwin. Fuel prices fluctuate depending on the time of year, school holidays, and public holidays. Don’t expect these prices to be fixed all year round. On average, petrol in Darwin costs around $1.47 per litre, which is the same as the national Australian average. Luckily there are no toll roads in Darwin so they only other expense you will have to pay for your car is insurance and getting it serviced.

When it comes to food, your cost of living in Darwin should be slightly lower than in other parts of Australia. Milk, white bread, white rice, and potatoes are all more affordable than the national average. The grocery prices in Darwin are 4.89% lower than the Australian average. Eggs are markedly more expensive, sitting at $5.41 a dozen compared to the national average of $4.27.

The average Australian pays around $199.72 per month on basic utilities. In Darwin, most people pay around $311.05 per month for utilities. You will find the internet will cost you around $72.22 per month here in Darwin, while one-minute prepaid mobile phone calls will cost you $0.14 per month. Mobile phone plans will cost around the same as elsewhere in Australia, but there may be more limited phone reception in some areas.

Staying fit is more affordable in Darwin: A gym membership will only cost you $54.63 per month. You can also hire out a tennis court for around $17.50.


Every Australian will tell you the same thing: the Northern Territory is like nowhere else. Whilst studying in Darwin, you’ll be able to explore the greater area around the city. Think wondrous stretches of desert, towering natural monoliths, swimming holes and absolutely incredible natural sights like the breathtaking Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, world-famous Uluru, Kakadu National Park and the Karlu Karlu Devil’s Marbles.

The more famous sights in the Northern Territory are stunning, but so is the city of Darwin. The city is modern, but surrounded by natural wonders including sandy, sun-splashed beaches and the famous Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks.

In Darwin, you can meet artists at work at one of the city’s many Aboriginal art galleries, such as the Readback Book Exchange and Aboriginal Art Gallery in the CBD, or the Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association at Milikapiti. To see the city of Darwin in a different light, take a tour led by an Indigenous guide and learn about the Larrakia people’s Dreamtime stories. If you’re after a weekend away, head to the nearby Tiwi Islands to celebrate the famous Milimika Festival, “a festival of art, dance, music and…football”.

The Northern Territory is home to many multicultural community groups and services. All of these groups usually come together at the city’s Darwin Waterfront Harmony Soiree, an annual event celebrating the Northern Territory’s cultural richness. The event includes cultural performances, stalls and activities such as lantern competitions, a lantern flotilla release and an epic fireworks finale. There are also many chances to make friends – and an impact – as a student volunteer through Volunteering SA/NT.

Darwin is wild! Darwin is a very modern city, but its surrounds are home to an incredible ecosystem of Australian wildlife. Think plant-life, birds and animals – including saltwater crocodiles! Go bird-watching, or watch crocodile-feeding at Darwin’s Crocodylus Park or Crocosaurus Cove. You can even spot wild crocs in Kakadu National Park – but remember, be careful and CROCwise. If you’re in Darwin, don’t forget to wander through the city’s most iconic community markets. The Saturday Parap Village Markets, the Sunday Nightcliff Markets and the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets on Thursday evenings are all popular. Each one colours the streets with brilliant live music, performances, stalls, and Asian and Indigenous arts, crafts and foods.

When you study in Darwin, you’ll be living in a place completely unique to the rest of Australia. It’s raw, genuine, and as pure an Aussie experience as you can get. Plus, it’s filled with boundless opportunity. From breathtaking natural surrounds, to friendly community and learning opportunities, there’s very little reason not to live in the NT.


The car is the dominant mode of transport for Darwin residents. The Stuart Highway is the only major highway that services the Darwin area. It connects Darwin to its satellite city of Palmerston, and then goes on to the South Australian city of Port Augusta.

Arterial roads also service the Darwin area, which provide quick and easy access into and out of the city centre. Public transport is provided by Darwinbus bus services.

While Darwin is pretty walkable and cycling is one of the most popular means of transport in the city, Darwin also offers public transport by bus, ferry, and taxi.

Public buses in Darwin run 7 days a week and can take you around the city and outer suburbs. $3 will get you unlimited bus travel for 3 hours.Darwin has 2 ferry services that operate daily – one from Darwin Harbour, from between Cullen Bay and Mandorah, and the other from Darwin Harbour to the Tiwi Islands.

Taxis are aplenty in Darwin – particularly in busy areas such as dining precincts and shopping centres. You can also order one online or by phone call wherever you are in Darwin.

There is limited public transport on Darwin's waterways. There are two ferry services, one of which operates from Darwin Harbour, from between Cullen Bay and Mandorah. The ferry is operated by Sea Cat Ferries. Ferry services operate daily. The other ferry service is from Darwin Harbour and travels to the Tiwi Islands in the Territory's north.

Bike riding in Darwin is one of the most popular means of transport. There are more than 70 kilometres of bicycle paths in the Darwin area and into the Palmerston area, south of Darwin. Main bike routes travel along the Stuart Highway and throughout the coastline of the Darwin area as well as the Darwin city centre.

Darwin is served by Darwin International Airport close to the city's CBD in the Northern Suburbs for regional, domestic and international flights.