Ryan Travis came to Darwin with one goal.
- Accommodation providers in Darwin say they were booked during peak hours.
- The influx is attributed to an increase in domestic tourism combined with major events.
- Visitors are advised to book in advance to avoid missing out on a place to stay.
“I’m here to have some fun,” said the English tourist with a cheeky smile.
Like thousands of other travelers, in early May he headed north to techno event the headliner is a famous British DJ.
Two weeks later, Mr. Travis was barely leaving the pool pagoda in his downtown dorm.
“It’s cold in Sydney, cold in Melbourne. Darwin is warm. I like it”.
The influx of travelers chasing the sun and music has resulted in urban dorm beds filling up much faster than usual.
“We are usually not busy until June, July, August,” said Nikki Moss, general manager of Youth Shack.
The situation has been exacerbated by the closure of several other CBD hostels in recent years.
And with thousands of revelers arriving in Darwin for Bass in the Grass this weekend, there is no more room in the 300-guest hostel.
Combination government subsidized travel vouchers for local residents and half price for interstate travelers helped to maintain many of the city’s hotels during the pandemic.
“It wasn’t like your typical low season and all of a sudden it gets busy. [when the dry season starts]- said the general manager of Darwin Hilton Marcus Kaliss.
“We’ve been busy since the last quarter of last year.”
All 234 hotel rooms are booked this weekend.
In anticipation of a number of big events – from supercars in June to the carnival of the Darwin Cup races in August – the city’s caravan parks and campgrounds are also in high demand.
Ms Walter attributed some of the influx to the closure of international borders.
“You have so many people who would normally travel abroad, they bought themselves a shiny new caravan and are heading here,” she said.
“Plus, you have everyone who postponed their plans last year, and they all rebooked their loans this year.”
‘They go in droves’
Ms Walter said many visitors leave too late to make reservations.
“So, they have tickets for the V8, they have their flights, and now they cannot find accommodation,” she said.
“And now they buy a swag and watch how to throw the swag on the grass.”
Chris and Yvonne Roff of Noosa Heads in Queensland are among those who traveled to Darwin nearly 23 years after their last visit.
But they arrived prepared, securing a place for their caravan before the masses arrived.
“Half of Australia is heading towards the Northern Territory, so you better get ready,” Mrs. Roff said.
“They absolutely go in droves.”