There’s a reason the Mindil Beach Sunset Market continues to attract locals and tourists every Thursday and Sunday night during the dry season (May-October). That’s because it’s the perfect place to enjoy a laidback balmy evening in Darwin. We loved the atmosphere so much we visited twice on our last trip.
Arriving when the market opened meant we could easily park, look around the markets before the crowds, grab an early dinner and get a good position to watch sunset. The aromas from the multi-cultural food vendors lured us pretty quickly but with so many choices it was hard to decide. Our family have varying tastes so we loved being able to grab a plate from different vendors, ensuring everyone was happy. Darwin is closer to Indonesia than it is to Sydney and the Asian influences are apparent as you walk among the stallholders. But don’t worry, if you like your fish & chips, pizza or fancy trying crocodile you can have that too.
I love to shop, even if it is just window-shopping. Returning home with gifts for family is always difficult but the Mindil Beach Market has a good range of unique locally-made souvenirs and gifts which made it easier. BJ and Hubby both bought themselves new hats, I bought a necklace for my Mum and AJ found herself some souvenirs.
SUNSET ON MINDIL BEACH
It’s safe to say the word is out, watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean is a special experience. The combination of the markets, delicious food and entertainment draws people to Mindil Beach at sunset.
If you’re looking for a quiet moment of reflection while the sun sets, then Mindil Beach isn’t for you. However, if like BJ, you like a social atmosphere where everyone seems to be celebrating sunset then definitely join the crowd and enjoy. We were even lucky enough to have one of our readers spot us and come over for a chat.
Wheelchair access is tricky on the beach. The first evening we used a path to get to the beach and then sat at the closest point to it without tackling the sand. On our next visit we were keen to get closer to the action and Hubby pushed the chair on to the sand. Despite having BJ’s off-road tyres on it was difficult.
Even when the sun dipped below the horizon people lingered on the beach, enjoying their picnics and the new entertainment, a fire twirler.
Once back at the market we chilled out to the live music while AJ happily embraced the island vibe getting a henna tattoo.
The majority of the market is joined by level paths.
Accessible bathrooms are available.
Access to sunset on the beach is via an incline up to the beach. Once at the top, it’s sand, there’s no official wheelchair access to the beach.
Accessible parking is available.
Mindil Beach Sunset Markets run from the last Thursday in April until the last Thursday in October annually. They’re open every Thursday from 5pm – 10pm and every Sunday from 4pm – 9pm.
Thursday is the bigger market, Sunday is quieter.
BYO champagne or beer to enjoy on the beach. No alcohol is sold on site.
Arrive early, it’s much easier to get around the market and food stalls before the crowds.
You can read more about Mindil Beach Sunset Markets here.
If you’d like to watch sunset over the ocean without the crowds and at an accessible location, you can do so at Cullen Bay Beach. There’s an accessible path which runs parallel to the beach and allows unobstructed views. It’s a great spot to take a picnic dinner.