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Beach, Bevs & Beats

If spending a breezy Sunday by the beach, sipping on cocktails and feasting on food from pop-up restaurants sounds like your bag, you’re in for a treat this month. Add to this delicious mix some roaming performers and a soundtrack of live tunes – all dished out on a long weekend – well, that’s downright magic right there.

By Tierney Seccull

The third annual Darwin Cocktail Festival returns this Picnic Day Long Weekend to serve up 10 blissful hours of fun in the sun at Darwin Ski Club. The seaside setting offers five themed spaces with cocktails, food and tunes, so you can see how you feel on the day and let your tastebuds be your guide.

Lori Gardiner is the mastermind behind this blissful day by the beach and says punters can experience some of the best that Darwin has to offer, including our enviable Dry season weather.

“The Cocktail Festival has to be by the sea, in the open air, so the Ski Club is amazing – they’ve done a lot of renovations and made extensions to beautify the space. It’s all about the experience, so we’ve themed the food and cocktails with the areas to give people plenty of options. It’s a bit of a Carnivale vibe!”

Soak up Bali vibes, funk and 90s R’n’B at the Paradise Island Stage or pop by Once Upon a Time in Mambo Land for Latin-inspired sips, eats and sounds. Enjoy a Pirate Life beer or a Pimms and a boogie at the Splash of Disco space, laze on a sunbed and chuck the headphones on for a silent disco at Bundilla Beach Club, or soak up Aussie-inspired cocktails, wine and cheese boards at Downunder Land.

Local heroes feature heavily on the cocktail menu, with 14 bars and over 35 locally inspired concoctions to pick from. The Tap Bar brings their famous Fish Bowls – perfect for sharing! – Willing Distillery has you covered for gorgeous gin and tonics, and Dom’s Bar & Lounge returns with the award-winning Territoritini. Mayberry brings the margs, Cartel comes armed with cold brew, and Porkin’ slings paella to fill those tums.

Created with the view to showcase local flavours and talents, Gardiner says the event has a great flow on effect.

“I think it’s really exciting to showcase Darwin businesses at the festival. For someone who may not have known about Willing Distillery or The Cavenagh or whoever, they can experience them at the festival and then visit them another time. It all flows on.”

Dom Wundke of – you guessed it – Dom’s Bar & Lounge, says the Darwin Cocktail Festival is great for biz.

“We’ve been involved ever since it started, and it’s just a really vibrant and entertaining festival with a great turn out and quality drinks. It’s a nice boost for business – everyone does really well out of it. It’s such an awesome day out.”

In a nutshell, Darwin Cocktail Festival is a big old local lovin’ soirée – from what’s in your cups and on your plates, to the roaming entertainers and picturesque ocean views. Head along and take a deep dive into the fab flavours of delicious Darwin. Cin-cin!

Darwin Cocktail Festival
WHEN SUN 6 AUG | 12-10PM

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