Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway might not have the prestige of circuits like Mount Panorama or Phillip Island, but it sure is a fan favourite when the Supercars Championship makes its annual winter escape to the venue.
Darwin itself is one of those bucket list destinations anyway, but following the Supercars to the Top End is a great way to tick two boxes at the same time.
The city comes alive during the dry season, but this steps up another level when Supercars come to town, with the motorsport event one of the largest that the city hosts.
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Darwin several times over the last few years alongside the Supercars Championship, so here is my advice if you are planning on heading to Darwin for the Supercars round at Hidden Valley Raceway for the first time.
Where Is Hidden Valley Raceway?
Hidden Valley Raceway is located a short 15-minute drive from the centre of Darwin in the Northern Territory.
A permanent motorsport facility, Hidden Valley Raceway is not only home to the circuit made famous by the Supercars Championship, but it also hosts a speedway, drag way, karting facility and a mud racing venue (it’s a local NT thing!)
If you are looking on a map, Hidden Valley Raceway is just southeast of Darwin’s International Airport and best accessed from Tiger Brennan Drive on the way to Berrimah.
Where To Stay In Darwin?
Darwin is a very popular tourist destination, so there are a lot of accommodation options to choose from.
The only thing you need to watch out for is the Supercars event in the city is extremely popular, particularly with domestic tourists, so everything does tend to book out early, and what is available closer to the race meeting does become quite expensive.
If you are looking to make your Supercars experience in Darwin luxurious, I would recommend booking to stay at either the DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin or Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront.
For those of you hoping to rub shoulders with your favourite Supercars drivers and crew, they tend to stay at the H on Smith Hotel or Oaks Darwin Elan Hotel in the city.
However, I tend to try to book to stay at either the Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel or Travelodge Resort Darwin. Both of these are just as close to the centre of the city, very comfortable and often a little bit cheaper when booked early.
Getting To And From Hidden Valley Raceway?
For most of the year, the best way to get to Hidden Valley Raceway is to drive there yourself.
However, when Supercars come to town, they do put on a special bus service to help ferry people from various locations around the city to the track and back so that not everyone needs to rent cars while they are in Darwin. These buses are included in your ticket to attend the race.
For more information, head to the event’s website.
What To Do In The Evenings?
As I mentioned earlier in this post, Darwin comes alive when Supercars come to town, so you’ll have plenty of choices.
On Thursday night, before the race meeting officially starts, I would strongly recommend heading out to the Mindel Markets. It’s one of the most popular things to do in the city, and Supercars often schedule a driver signing session to coincide with the markets as well.
You might also find that a concert or top fuel drag racing event is held at Hidden Valley in the evening following the regularly scheduled Supercars track activity, all included in your ticket. Check out this year’s schedule in the lead-up to find out what’s on the program.
Otherwise, there is an abundance of options within the city. Just take a walk down Mitchell Street, and I’m very sure you will find somewhere that suits you. I do recommend The Tap on Mitchell for a great relaxed option for either a meal or just a couple of evening beverages.
If you are in the mood to party on after Sunday’s race, you will find the unofficial race after-party at Monsoons which may or may not be of interest to you.
Spending Time in Darwin Before or After?
Darwin is definitely one of those places where you are going to want to spend some time before and/or after the race.
The event itself is a great little escape from winter in the southern states. But you should really take advantage and spend a few more days in the city to see more of what the region has to offer. Besides, flights are expensive and long (well, long-ish), so why rush back?
At the very least, rent a car and drive out to Litchfield National Park for the day or even Kakadu National Park. But you’ll definitely find plenty to discover in the city as well. Check out this comprehensive blog post about Darwin to find out more.
Hidden Valley Supercars Tips
Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway is a fantastic race track for spectators. You can see most of the action from pretty much anywhere around the circuit.
I recommend spending time both in the infield section and outside sections to see the on-track action from a variety of vantage points.
Just keep in mind it does get hot in the sun at Hidden Valley; it might be winter, but it’s the dry season, so it does get quite hot. Fortunately, there are some shaded sections around the track where you can enjoy the action while keeping out of the sun. Maybe stake out your spot in one of these areas earlier in the day as they will fill up as it heats up.
That said, you can also take advantage of some of the special tickets that give you access to shaded and elevated viewpoints around the track. It’s a very good option to ensure you can get out of the sun when you need to.
For more information about the Supercars round in Darwin, visit the championships website.
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