Darwin, the capital city of the Northern Territory, has recently received high levels of government investment in tourism development. This paper examines the role of the Northern Territory Government in the development and marketing of tourism in Darwin and investigates the types of strategies that the government has sought to implement over the past decade. The results suggest that the Northern Territory Government has been using tourism primarily as a vehicle to boost immediate short-term economic and employment growth by investing in large-scale &showy& construction projects. Government sponsored initiatives in tourism are highly growth-orientated and show a tendency towards &superlativism&. The paper finally discusses a range of limitations and implications of such strong government patronage of tourism and identifies directions for future research.