Let’s talk about Darwin. A few years a good friend of mine decided to leave her life in Brisbane for a new adventure in Darwin. At first, I remember thinking “no, don’t leave me” but I knew it is something she had to do and although I was crying on the inside I was super happy for her new adventure. Unfortunately, Jenni, my beautiful friend lived up there for years before I was able to visit, always with the intention but I was broke and on a very tight budget and wasn’t able to get up there. Finally, in 2014 David and I went and visited Jenni in Darwin and again in 2015 (after she had her baby). The first time we visited Darwin in the winter (June 2014) and Summer (January/February 2015). The weather was beautiful both time with a bit more rain in January/February. Darwin has a very relaxed atmosphere. It reminded me lots of my home town in Atherton Tableland/Cairns region. The next time we go to Northern Territory I would like to visit the Kimberley among the many other areas of the Northern Territory that offer culture and adventure in the outback Australia. Jenni was our tour guide in Darwin and although she was pregnant on our first visit she managed to still show us around, she is a trooper. Although, we were not in Darwin very long, both times, we managed to do a few things as below:
1. Jumping Croc Cruise – http://www.jumpingcrocodile.com.au/
Jenni said we had to go on this so we went on the cruise. Thankfully you are on a large boat as we are cruising through crocodile infested waters and as the boat travels you can see the many eyes and body in the water. I can only imagine what is under the water. During the cruise the workers attach food to a long pole and lure the crocodile close to the boat and the jump for the food. You get to witness the crocodile using their tales to launch out of the water and snap up the food. We are somewhat close to them when it happens and it is somewhat exciting and scary all at the same time. Apparently people fish in these waters and I think you would have to have to be CRAZY. I have read and heard of people being taken from boats while fishing in the river. There are some views that by feeding and encouraging the crocodiles to jump means that they are becoming smarter thus, taking those who are fishing on smaller boats leading to more deaths. I would stay far away from anything that has more than 80,000 crocodile living in it and would not be swimming, fishing or cruising along is a small boat. I feel for those who have lost love ones this way. Those who are visiting Darwin and are interested then the cost for us to go on this was $35 per adult and it is a 65km drive from Darwin. There is also the Crocosauras Cove but we didn’t do this.
2. Litchfield National Park – http://www.enjoy-darwin.com/litchfield-national-park.html
Jenni drove us to Litchfield National Park which seemed to be in the middle of a dried up desert. I feel we drove for ages and I was wondering how there could possibly be any water in this area of the Northern Territory. Once we got there is was exciting to walk through the what I felt was the desert and come across a beautiful watering hole. There are beautiful rock pools and a waterfall and it was the perfect weather to chill out in the water. The drive was so worth it.
3. Humpty Doo – http://www.humptydoohotel.net/info/humptydoo/
On our way back from Litchfield National Park we had lunch at the Humpty Doo pub, as it was a hot day and we decided to have a cider and some food. There is pretty much nothing in the Humpty Doo region but this little pub had a lot of character and was pretty busy for being in the middle of nothing. The food is reasonable priced, large servings and was nice to chill out in air conditioning out of the Darwin heat. Humpty Doo Pub is found on the Arnhem Highway, Humpty Doo, Northern Territory.
4. Wave Pool Lagoon – http://www.waterfront.nt.gov.au/darwin-waterfront-precinct/water-recreation/wave-lagoon-entry-fee/
Both times we have been to Darwin we went and hung out at the Wave Pool at the Lagoon. It is the best way to cool down as many suggest it is not safe to swim in the beach. I love it, both times it wasn’t too busy and the waves come on and you have access to pool floating devices. There is a fee to get in but it is reasonable at $7 per adult. There are quite a few restaurants around the area and a nice park area to relax around. The area has a beautiful view of the water.
5. Parap Markets – http://parapvillagemarkets.com.au/
Every Sunday is Parap market day! There is a range of things on offer from food, home wares, homemade crafts, homemade condiments, fresh produce and fresh flowers. Both times we visited Darwin we experienced these markets as they are located close to our friend’s place. The second time we went we had crapes. I love crepes and they offered a gluten free crepe so I was sold instantly. I definitely recommend visiting the markets if you are in the area but they do get quite busy and squashy. In the Darwin heat it can be a bit sticky.
6. Mindil Beach Sunset Markets
The first time we visited Darwin we got to experience the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. These are probably the best markets I have experienced in Australia. Firstly, you get to see the amazing sunset over the beach and then you get to experience a large range of foods from all around the world. The food selection is so diverse. There is also a large range of arts, food goods and other locally made products. We purchased a to die for baked potato and some other curry which was DELICIOUS. We also purchased an awesome Bee photo from a local photographer. It is a up close shot of a bee pollinating a flower. It is awesome. I highly recommend these markets for anyone visiting Darwin.
7. Muesum and Art Gallery – http://www.magnt.net.au/
We spent a few hours exploring the Muesum and Art Gallery. There was some interesting pieces on display. They have a large crocodile that I am told was once a real crocodile. They also have a Cyclone Tracey simulation that you can enter and experience what it would have been like if you had been caught in that cyclone. It was SO loud in there and unbearable. I lasted about 1 minute before my ears started to cry. The gallery is free to enter and I recommend going and having a look if you have some time.
8. Food places
Some of the food around Darwin we enjoyed was of course the food at the markets, Saffrron Indian place in Parap, Prickles Mexican in Parap, the Parap Tavern, The Yacht Club, Seoul Food and Bogart’s Bar and Grill.
Darwin is one of the places I/we have enjoyed visiting around Australia for its relaxed atmosphere and laid back culture. I understand why Jenni has stayed there for a number of years. It does remind me a bit of home. Dave thinks the weather is a bit too hot for his liking. I am a sun baby so I would snap that up in a heartbeat.
Till next time, thanks for having us Darwin.