The AusSTS workshop will be held at Charles Darwin University, which is located near Casuarina in the region’s northern suburbs. Charles Darwin University is only 6 km from Darwin International Airport.
The easiest way to get to Darwin is to fly. The main airlines that fly to Darwin from within Australia are Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin. If you are travelling from overseas, Singapore, Emirates and SilkAir fly to Darwin. There is a train, the Ghan, that travels from Adelaide to Darwin. The train journey takes 3 days and costs a lot.
Darwin city is around 11 km from Darwin Airport (in the opposite direction from the University). You can take a taxi or an Uber for around $15-$20 to the city centre.
Darwin is located in Australia’s Top End of the Northern Territory. The climate is tropical – so our seasons are different to ‘down south’. In July, it will be the dry season – sunny skies, warm days (approx 32°C every day) and cool, balmy breezes in the evening.
It will be warm enough to swim (just make sure you swim in a pool and not the ocean!). Don’t forget to pack your swimmers, hat, sunglasses, long sleeved shirt and sunscreen. You might need a light jumper or cardigan for the evenings and for air-conditioned buildings but otherwise, pack for a tropical getaway. Darwin is very informal, so shorts and thongs are fine, even at the conference.
Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus is in the northern suburbs of Darwin, 12km from Darwin CBD (this trip can take 20-30 minutes by car depending on traffic, and 40-60 minutes by bus).
Most of the conference events will be held in the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge, Leadership and Education (CIKLE) precinct, in the ‘Blue’ buildings. The opening keynote will be held in the Mal Nairn Auditorium (Red 7).
Click here for a map of CDU campus, with the Blue buildings marked on the right hand side. Around campus there are also lots of maps on boards. We were recently told at a CDU open day that people in Darwin are almost ‘aggressively friendly’ so don’t feel shy to ask someone for directions if you’re lost – you’re sure to find help (and maybe a new friend).
There is a large shopping centre nearby with a full range of facilities, a food court and cinema.
On campus at CDU
International House Darwin (IHD)
Budget accommodation is available on campus at International House Darwin (IHD). Student accommodation is $48 per night and is a single standard room with shared kitchen, bathroom and washroom – book using this link.
Non-student accommodation in fully equipped studio apartments is $132 per night – book using this form.
North Australian Research Unit (NARU)
The North Australia Research Unit (NARU) (a campus of ANU) has accommodation on the CDU campus. Guests stay in private rooms with shared kitchen, bathroom and living facilities. Each unit has 2-3 bedrooms, and are fully furnished and air-conditioned. Beds/rooms cost $85 per night.
While there are no hotels in the suburbs surrounding CDU, there are lots of AirBnB options. We would recommend finding a room if you’re on your own or getting a group together to book a whole house.
Suburbs within walking distance of CDU include Brinkin, Nakara, Tiwi and Alawa, and a bit further but a lovely walk or cycle along the foreshore are Nightcliff and Rapid Creek.
Many Darwin families go away in the July school holidays, and look for housesitters to stay at their homes for free. If you’re happy to walk dogs, feed chooks, and do a spot of maintenance, join the Darwin House Sitting Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/725003704271159/. We may be able to organise billeting (staying in someone’s house) for some people, but with very limited numbers. Email AuSTSgradnetwork@gmail.com if you’re interested.
There are many hotels in Darwin city, including the Travelodge Resort Darwin, Darwin City Hotel and the Mantra Pandanus. In the northern suburbs, the Club Tropical Resort is just 200m from Lee Point Beach and 5km from CDU. In Coconut Grove, a nice suburb midway between the city and CDU, there is the Coconut Grove Holiday Apartments. In Parap, there is Quest, Casa on Gregory and Elsey on Parap.
Darwin is a multicultural city and boasts a range of food options in the Darwin CBD, waterfront area, at Casuarina Square and in the northern suburbs. During the dry season, there are the famous Darwin markets, all offering local delicacies, produce and gifts. Another highlight are the pop-up food trucks, which are all in great outdoor venues around the city and foreshore. The City of Darwin has a handy map with trading times and locations.
De La Plage at Casuarina Beach is a great beach-side cafe very close to CDU (only open certain hours). Other good options are the Laneway in Parap, and Ray’s Patisserie, Hanuman, Little Miss Korea, Chow, Moorish, the Trader Bar in the City.
The conference will be catered for morning and afternoon tea and lunch. There are several food and drink outlets at CDU if you need extra sustenance, including the Lunch Room, Ugly Duckling and the Arthouse. We will be hosting some events off campus, including at the Lucky Bat Cafe & Pizzeria in Nightcliff.
Buses are the public transport option in Darwin and they are very cheap (especially for students – see the price of bus fares here). Paper tickets are available for single trip and daily fares, or ‘Tap and Ride’ cards can be purchased for multiple and weekly trips.
If you are staying in the city, there are two bus routes from to CDU – the #4 and #10. Both options take 40-45 minutes and terminate at Casuarina shopping centre, with reverse services. The #4 is the only service that enters CDU campus, while the #10 requires a bus change at Casuarina terminal. The #4 and #10 services both stop at Smith Street at the T intersection with Searcy St, on the other side of Woollies and next to Bendigo Bank, a few minutes after departing the city terminal. The #4 also travels through Coconut Grove, Nightcliff and Rapid Creek.
Cycling and walking
Darwin is a delightful place to cycle and walk. There are many beautiful walks in Darwin, including Nightcliff Foreshore, Dripstone Cliffs, Lee Point and East Point. There are lots of bike paths around Darwin, including one that runs along the foreshore, over Rapid Creek passing by CDU and onto Casuarina Beach. If you’re able to, get access to a bike and have an explore! Download a cycling and walking map of the Darwin region and a cycle map of CDU before you arrive.
Within a couple of hours of Darwin, we recommend exploring Territory Wildlife Park and Litchfield National Park. If you feel like camping a little bit further afield, try Kakadu National Park and Nitmiluk Gorge near Katherine.
We will be preparing some suggestions for activities outside the workshop days if you would like to extend your stay in the Top End.