If you’re after a unique experience for your next Australian getaway, then the Arafura Games in the Northern Territory’s capital city should be high on your list! Running from the 26 April to 4 May 2019 in Darwin, the Arafura Games is an international multi-sport event that attracts participants from across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond with its 2011 events attracting a massive 1,600 visiting athletes.
This now-biennial event will be held over eight remarkable days and will feature a range of sporting competitions in different tiers available for sub-elite participants through to keen amateurs, with a focus on fostering friendship, goodwill and understanding between competing nations. International countries signed up to participate so far include China, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines, Vietnam and Timor-L’este so there will be plenty of international (as well as Australian) sporting talent on show!
Arafura Games closing ceremony 2011, Darwin (credit Arafura Games)
Beginning in 1991 as the Arafura Sports Festival, this sporting event saw 1,500 athletes compete in seven sports and from 1998 was then-on known as the Arafura Games and held every two years. Alongside celebrating the beauty of sport, the festival fosters goodwill between neighbouring countries while sharing sporting and cultural knowledge within the Asia-Pacific regions.
2011 Arafura Games Swimming finals (credit Arafura Games)
From your central locations, exploring the city is easy with many popular tourist hotspots in walking distance (Crocosaurus Cove, Smith Street Mall and Mitchell Street). A 48 hour Hop on Hop off Bus pass means you’ll have plenty of time to sight-see around Darwin with stops at Stokes Hill Wharf, the Waterfront Precinct, Doctor’s Gully for Aquascene Fish Feeding, the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Mindil Beach and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. A Darwin Harbour Sunset Cruise will also provide a memorable way to end one of your days as you take in a glorious NT sunset while on the water in Darwin Harbour.
Take in the stunning Top End sunsets from the waters of Darwin Harbour on a sunset cruise (credit Darwin Harbour Cruises)
If we’ve tempted you to visit the Top End to experience, participate or volunteer at this year’s games (and enjoy some of Darwin’s delights), then click here and secure your Arafura Games holiday now!
Written by Georgina Smerd for Holidays of Australia & the World