Why Mindil Beach Market Is A Must See

Mindil got its start in the mid-1980s when six locals decided to replicate an Asian-style night market. What began with just a few stalls in the town centre has since grown into a fiesta-style mega market. More than 300 stalls now operate under palm trees by the beach.

Running between May and October (the Top End’s “dry” season) The Mindil Beach Sunset Market takes place on Thursday and Sunday evenings on parkland next to the ocean. It is Darwin’s biggest, boldest and most energetic market. You can picnic at film screenings or live music performances, stroll along the beach and catch one of the city’s pink sorbet sunsets, and sample flavours from neighbouring Asian nations at one of Mindil’s many food stalls. The market is also a great spot to browse for local craft, art and souvenirs.

Mindil Beach Markets was the perfect place to launch Slappa’s Thongs back in June 2010. This will be our 9th year and our customers keep coming back for more and bringing their family and friends with them. We never tire of hearing how our customers have traveled long distances to Darwin to see us and enjoy the market experience.

Planning Your Visit

Mindil Beach is a 6-minute drive or a 30-minute walk from the city centre. From Daly Street in the centre of Darwin, turn onto Gardens Road until you reach Chin Quan Road. At the end of this is Mindil Beach Reserve.

Nestled between the Sky City Casino and Botanic Gardens its an easy walk or hop on bus 4 or 6. Taxis from the city cost about $10 and free parking is available via Gilruth Avenue. If you can’t find parking at the on-site carpark you can also park at the Darwin High School and along the surrounding streets.

ATMs are located in the Hangout and Community Space. The majority of retail & craft stalls take EFTPOS, all food stalls are cash only.

Sunset during the dry season is approximately 6.30pm but varies throughout the 6 month period. Check any of the local weather websites to find out what time sunset is and try to organise to head to the beach at least 20 minutes before as it gets crowded FAST and it’s hard to get a good spot for the amazing sunset which can go down pretty fast (but worth every second).

What Kind Of Stalls Are At Mindil Markets

Mindil’s art, craft and jewellery stalls are hugely diverse – and a little bit quirky, too. If you’re looking for a shark or crocodile jawbone, Mindil has you covered. As well as novelty items, you’ll find a cornucopia of artisan Northern Territory wares.

Look for tribal-style jewellery from local brand Embella; a print capturing Kakadu National Park or Darwin’s beaches by photographer Louise Denton; natural skin care products and accessories from Natural Wonders and fun circus and performer toys from Psycus!

Take time to look around the collection of stalls which include masseurs, tarot readers, leatherworkers, indigenous artists, tailors and handmade jewellers. 

See a full list of Arts & Craft stall holders on Mindil’s website here.

You can also book tours such as fishing trips, Darwin Hop Tours, and Litchfield day trips at Matt Wright’s Outback Tours

Eating & Drinking At Mindil Markets

The market boasts up to 60 food stalls on a Thursday, featuring cuisine from Turkey, Greece, Sri Lanka, South America, North Africa, India and all over South East Asia. Enjoy a picnic dinner on the beach whilst experiencing a spectacular tropical sunset. 
Indonesian, Thai, Malaysian, Nepalese, Sri Lankan and Japanese food also feature strongly at Mindil Beach Markets. One of the most popular dishes is laksa (AUD$11.50). With Malaysian roots, the aromatic, creamy coconut and curry flavoured soup is served with tofu or meat, as well as coriander, pumpkin, broccoli, bamboo shoots and shallots.

Other fan favourites are WOW! Sushi Burgers and Lamb Shanks and Pork Hocks from Roast Shack .

The Mindil Beach Sunset Market Association was proud to announce recently that the decision has been made to ban the use of single-use plastics across all aspects of their Markets for the 2019 season and into the future. They encourage all Market attendees to bring your own reusable containers, cutlery and bags.

The weather can get up to 35 degrees Celsius on these long warm days and there’s no better way to cool down at the markets than with a large, icy juice in hand. At Mindil there are about half a dozen juice bars to choose from, all of which offer medium and large cups with any combination of fruits. Popular mixes include mango and coconut,  tropical and fresh lime juice, honey blended with heaps of ice. Add ginger or pineapple for healthy antioxidants!

See a full list of Mindil Beach Markets’ Food and Beverage Stallholders here.

The Markets are a BYO (bring your own) venue. No alcohol is sold on site but they encourage people to bring their own with them to enjoy whilst watching perhaps the best sunset in the world and enjoying an exciting and diverse range of food offerings. Alcohol is also served in their event area when booked in advance. 

Music & Entertainment

Mindil has three main performance spaces: two on either end of the market and one in the mid-section beside a pathway leading to the beach. With your takeaway food or drink, take a seat and soak up the market’s mix of world, tribal and folk music. The central performance space also regularly hosts street performers and fire twirlers. Music tends to kick off just before sunset.

There’s also live street theatre, magicians and circus acts all the time. Come and see the fabulous eMDee perform with their four-didgeridoo music. You can check their website here for upcoming events. 

The VIP Package and How To Book

The Mindil Markets VIP package gives you an insight into their iconic market. You get to sit back and enjoy your front row sunset seats whilst taking in the sights, smells and sounds of over 200 market stalls. The VIP package is an awesome way to experience Mindil and includes;

  • Being greeted at our Information Booth by our Hostess
  • Full history of the land and markets
  • Full briefing on the markets and the night’s happenings
  • Front row sunset seats from our VIP area
  • $20 Mindil Money (spend at any market stall)
  • Esky with ice (BYO)

Slappa’s Thongs at Mindil Beach Markets

This year marks our 9th year at Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. You can read all about our many years at the Markets in our blog post here and you can purchase a pair of Slappa’s Thongs here. See our Mindil Beach Blue colour!

Below are a few photos of Slappa’s over the years as we’ve grown as a business, we’ve watched Mindil grow around us.

Thongs on!

The Slappa’s Thongs Team

Roger at the Mindil Beach Markets in 2014
Slappa’s VW Kombi debuts at the 2015 Mindil Beach Markets
Denise at the Markets in 2016 with her Telstra Business Women’s Finalist Award
Roger at the Mindil Markets in 2017