Experience No.033 in Australian Traveller’s 100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences There’s nothing quite like the assault on the senses that is walking among the food stalls of Darwin’s Mindil Beach Markets. It’s a tropical fantasy come to life.
A gentle, humidity-free breeze stirs together an astonishing rainbow of fragrances from every corner of the world as the sun sets over a sandy beach lined by swaying palms.
Darwinians raise a glass of wine, toast their easy life and choose dinner from one of the 60 food stalls. There are more cuisines represented here than anywhere else in Australia. From the neighbourly Thai and East Timorese to the sub-continental Indian and Sri Lankan.
A little further afield are the Chinese, South American, Turkish and Greek. The dazzling array of choices renders most initiates useless for an hour as they oscillate between stalls trying to make a decision.
The food ranges in quality but for the most part is a fantastic multicultural experience with some twists – for example, the “roti roll”, an Indian bread and curry wrap.
The markets are only open in the Dry – late April to late October – on Thursdays and Sunday. Mindil Beach is the best market for dinner in Australia; just roll up your sleeves and dive right in.
Where: Mindil Beach Reserve, Darwin, (08) 8981 3454, www.mindil.com.au
Did you know: Mindil Beach Markets employs 1000 people in the stalls and contributes $15m to the local economy.