Australia's northernmost city, Darwin (named for naturalist Charles Darwin) is the central business hub of a part of the country known as the Top End. Simultaneously Australia's smallest state capital and the largest city in Northern Territory, Darwin offers MICE venues that see plenty of action from chief industries government, mining, and tourism. It is a truly tropical place on the Timor Sea, with epic countryside never far away. The temperature here remains warm throughout the year.
Darwin International Airport (DRW), eight miles northeast of the city centre, has flights to all the major cities of Australia, as well as to such southeastern cities as Manila, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.
The Darwin Convention Centre occupies a scenic spot with water to three sides and contains a main hall for up to 1,500 persons, seven meeting rooms, and a 3,903-square-meter exhibition hall, among other spaces.
MICE hotels in Darwin include the 204-room Mantra on the Esplanade, which has two meeting rooms for up to 50 persons each; the 140-room Novotel Darwin Atrium, which has two meeting rooms able to host up to 100 persons; the 132-room Darwin Central Hotel, which also has meeting space for up to 100 persons; the 117-room SKYCITY Darwin, which is a casino-entertainment complex with a nine-hole golf course and having a beach pavilion and a grand ballroom for up to 450 persons, among other facilities; and the 85-room Quality Hotel Frontier Darwin, which has the Arnhem Room which can host up to 150 persons.
This is a unique area of Australia and indeed the world. To make the most of the experience for your groups, plan a function at such Darwin MICE venues as the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, which has Australian and Southeast Asian art, a cafe, five galleries, and a theatre; Crocosaurus Cove, which permits guests to learn about the saltwater crocodiles that live in this region (probably the closest you'd want to get) and has room for banquets of up to 260 persons and receptions for up to 1,000; Australian Aviation Heritage Centre, which has numerous aircraft on display, including a B-52 Bomber, and has banquet space for up to 350 persons; Bamurru Plains, a luxury bush camp in the bird-and-animal-filled Kakadu National Park on the Mary River floodplain, which has nine luxury safari guest tents and group activities such as airboat, Aboriginal art, river cruise, and four-wheel-drive tours; and Darwin Entertainment Centre, which attracts top touring acts and contains the 1,054-seat Playhouse and 298-seat Studio.
For tasty restaurants with the ability to host groups, choose among Nirvana, a trendy Asian joint with occasional belly dancing; Tim's Surf n' Turf, with steak and seafood, a "pet" saltwater crocodile, and private dining space for up to 250 persons; Char Restaurant, which has a large, tropical-house setting, a large patio, and a South Seas ambiance; Yots Greek Taverna, which is on Cullen Bay, specializes in seafood, and has seating right by the waterside; and Pee Wee's at the Point, a thoroughly modern and inspiring spot north of Darwin on East Point that stares across the sea, has a very relaxed atmosphere, and can host cocktail receptions, gala dinners, and themed events.