Darwin is quite distinct from its arguably more famous Australian counterparts like Melbourne or Sydney. For one, the weather's tropical, as it's at the Top End of the continent and nearer to the equatorial line than any other major city in Oz. The makeup of its populace is also different, notably with more Southeast Asian immigrants as it's also the closest to the Asian continent. The latter may explain how its markets are teeming with nasi padang stalls, a sight rarely seen in most other Australian markets.
One of the biggest attractions, and arguably the most prolific market, in Darwin is the Mindil Beach Sunset Market. The beach, relatively scarce during the day-time (because crocodiles), comes alive at sundown, when locals and tourists alike are drawn to the bustling market for a fun night out.
Several musical acts scattered all around lend to the electric atmosphere of the market, and first one right off the bat, near the entrance of the market where the main carpark is, was local music act eMDee. They describe their music "high tech didgeridoo meets drum & bass" but really, it's world music to us plebs.
Then there was this cutie-pie singer-songwriter girl, very taytay-like, belting out covers and original songs.
Another cute-as-a-button singer-songwriter girl.
At one of the picnic spaces was an electronic music duo, playing with traditional aboriginal instruments.
One of the cooler shops around, the telescope viewing station, which you can take a good look at the constellations come nightfall.
The Thursday market is better for food, so hit the market hungry, whereas the Sunday market comprises more knick knack stalls. For food, there are a few open arenas set up with makeshift tables and chairs for eating.
Slushies, a favourite pitstop at a market with tropical-ish weather like in Darwin. So. Many. Flavours. Our fave was the green apple, so much yums.
Easy to eat while walking around, was a market failsafe Corn Dog (A$5).
Find it at the Aussie Burgers & Hot Dogs stand.
A fusion of the East and West, seafood satays slicked with a spicy sambal sauce for heat. The shrimp skewers and battered basa were pretty delicious.
Get them at the Seafood Truck.
The Paella (A$15) topped with chicken, chorizo, prawns, calamari, mussels and vegetables, looked better than it tasted. The seafood was overcooked by the time we got to them.
The stall for reference.
The Burritos were commendable, well-marinated meats and generous with the stuffing.
Can't really go wrong with ultra fresh oysters at the Oyster Bar either.
Mindill Beach Sunset Markets
Maria Liveris Drive
Open Thursdays and Sundays from 4pm to 9pm