Run the Top End at the NT City2Surf –

The Dry Season is the time of year where tourists flock to the Top End of Australia to enjoy the balmy tropical weather. It’s also the time, the iconic NT City2Surf is held. Thousands of runners have gathered before dawn on the Esplanade every June since 1974 to run the 12(ish)km to the Nightcliff Foreshore. The distance has long had a question mark over it and to end the debate, the course will be AIMS measured and certified by June. This will be the first time for the current course. 

The race claims to be the longest, continuous run in Australia. Unlike others that were forced to abandon their events during the COVID pandemic, the NT City2Surf missed the Northern Territory’s lockdown by a mere few hours. Not even the territory’s biggest natural disaster stopped the race. Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin on Christmas Eve in 1974 leaving devastation throughout the town but the race went on the following year. Its longevity is no doubt part of its popular appeal. That and the picturesque course.

Unlike other city to surf runs, the start in Darwin city overlooks the beautiful Darwin Harbour. The route is a combination of road and footpath terrain hugging the coastline and ending in the seaside suburb of Nightcliff. For five years in a row, local doctor Tim Hewitt has been the first man over the line. In 2022, he finished in a course record time of 40:26. The challenge has been thrown down for another to try and take away his crown in 2024. In 2023, Corinn Demeo was the first woman to finish in a time of 49:39. She’d only moved to Darwin a few months before and it was her first NT City2Surf.

Locals no doubt dominate the entries but NT City2Surf organisers, Athletics Northern Territory, are hoping to attract a larger number of runners from interstate. They are spruiking the weather, the ability to tick the race off your ‘to do’ list and the number of other city-wide activities on during the month.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service is the NT City2Surf’s nominated charity partner. Money is raised through donations and raffles for the lifesaving work the organisation undertakes in the Outback.

It’s definitely expansion time for this iconic Northern Territory event. To be part of it on 2 June, head to and register now.