The gaming tables at the Skycity Darwin Casino, Gilruth Avenue, Mindil Beach (tel. 08/8943 8888), are in play from noon until 4am Sunday to Thursday, until 6am Friday and Saturday. Slot machines operate 24 hours. The dress code allows neat jeans, shorts, and sneakers, but men's shirts must have a collar.
A good spot to catch Darwin's Technicolor sunsets is the supercasual Darwin Sailing Club, Atkins Drive on Fannie Bay (tel. 08/8981 1700). Ask a staff member to sign you in. Dine on affordable meals outdoors while a family of goannas (monitor lizards) swirls around your feet looking for meaty scraps. The bar is open Monday to Friday from 11:30am to midnight and until 2am on Saturdays and Sundays (Dec-Mar), and Monday to Friday from 10am to midnight and on Saturday to Sunday 10:30am to 2am (Apr-Nov). The club is closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day.
The cafes and restaurants of Cullen Bay Marina are a good place to be day or night, but especially for Dry season sunsets.
If it's Thursday, you are mad to be anywhere except the Mindil Beach Sunset Market.
Movie Stars Under the Stars
Lie back in a canvas deck chair under the stars at the Deckchair Cinema (tel. 08/8981 0700; www.deckchaircinema.com) to watch Aussie hits, foreign films, and cult classics. Located on the edge of Darwin Harbour (at the end of Jervois Rd., opposite Parliament House on the Esplanade), this Darwin institution is run by the Darwin Film Society. Pack up a picnic dinner in a hamper and get there early to soak up the scene: the twinkling lights from boats anchored in the Arafura Sea and the fabulous sunsets make for a magic moment. A kiosk sells wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks, and there's a hot buffet every night (or you can bring your own food -- but no outside alcohol is permitted).
There are 250 deck chairs as well as about 100 straight-backed seats, and staffers can supply cushions (though bring your own if you can to make sure) and even insect repellent if you need it. Entry is by a walkway from the Esplanade, or by car off Kitchener Drive (there's a parking lot). The box office and kiosk open at 6:30pm and movies start at 7:30pm daily in the Dry (Apr-Nov), with double features on Fridays, Saturdays, and some Sundays. Tickets are A$13 adults, A$6 children, and A$30 for families of four, or A$20 adults, A$9 children, and A$45 families for double features. (In the Wet, the movies screen indoors, so call for details of the current venue.)
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.