Darwin, Northern Territory
As well as markets, crocodiles and cruises, you'll find strong Aboriginal cultures, as evidenced by the array of languages spoken in the streets and the vibrant Aboriginal art that fills the city's galleries museums. Darwin's proximity to Asia means you'll also find strong Asian influences especially in the energetic food scene and night markets.
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. Descend the rainforest-walled steps near Parliament House to arrive at Deckchair Cinema – "the Deckie" to locals. To feast your eyes on a live crocodile, pop into Crocosaurus Cove in the city, where, if you're really brave, you can go cage swimming with a croc too. While Darwin's centre is the main hub for the restaurant and bar scene, a further 15 minutes north sits the suburb of Nightcliff – home to an evening food van scene, weekend markets and beachside beauty (owing to the picturesque cliffs and ocean that hug Nightcliff's extensive parklands). Amid the breezy dry season air on Thursday and Sunday evenings, Mindil Beach Sunset Market hosts street performers, musicians, craft stalls and a large collection of international food stalls on the stretch of parkland behind Mindil Beach.
Darwin may be laid-back but, it could never be described as dull!