What started as a ploy to clean up beverage cans that littered the streets during the Cyclone Tracy rebuild in 1974 has turned into a fun annual event in Darwin. The Darwin Beer Can Regatta is the only day of the year where you will happen upon floating watercraft concocted from empty beer and soda cans, bottles or milk cartons, each competing to be named the best.
What makes the event even more interesting is the fact that none of these watercraft have been water tested until this point, which doesn’t end well for some.
This annual event, now coordinated by the Lions Club, takes place each July or August right on Darwin’s popular Mindil Beach. In conjunction with the boat competition the day’s activities include: tug of war contests, hat making contests from cans, iron men and women races, a race on land carrying a Henley boat and thong (sandal) throwing contests.
The famous Mindil Market will be open during the day with food stalls and the typical craft stalls for perusal. While it is not permitted to bring your own alcohol to the event, a bar will be set up where drinks of all varieties can be purchased.
Entry to the day’s events requires a simple gold coin donation ($1 or $2 AUD) that goes to help fund local Lions Club projects. Those entering a boat will require a $50 fee per team plus a registration form that must be turned in by 9am on the morning of the race.