Wednesday, October 14, 2009

5 top things to do in Darwin

I've just finished living and working in Darwin on a four week short term contract. Before I went back to New Zealand, I did a little sight-seeing and came to the conclusion that Darwin must be one of the the world's best kept secrets - the weather is fascinating, the scenery is awe-inspiring and incredibly varied, and the wild life abundant. Here is five things that I recommend you should do if ever you are in Darwin and that area.

Kakadu Park. This has got to be my number one place to go. You can either go on a tour or make your own way around. I went on a tour and visited the rock art at Nourlangie and did a boat trip at the Yellow Water Billabong. What made this trip so special was the variety of animals and birds we saw as well as the diversity of scenery - wetlands one minute....towering escarpment the next. What I would like to do in the future is visit in The Wet to see how everything changes when the rain comes.

Deckchair cinema. One of the pleasures about living in Darwin is that you can do things outside in the evenings...unlike Dunedin!...although I must qualify this and say that this is during The Dry. The only snag is the deckchairs are a little uncomfortable so you need to take a cushion with you.

Darwin Wharf Precinct, Stokes Hill Wharf. My other favorite place in the evening is Stokes Hill Wharf which has a row of outside eating places that specialize in sea food. You can have a very nice plate of fish and chips for only $7.50, and then feed the fish in the sea with the chips you don't eat.

Darwin Museum and Art Gallery. One of the things I try to do when I visit a new place is visit the local museum and/or art gallery. That usually give me a real sense of the area, both in historical and physical terms. Darwin Museum may not be the biggest museum in the world but it is very well presented and gives the visitor a real sense of the area. In particular, I found the exhibit on Cyclone Tracey to be really informative - I hadn't realized that Darwin had been wiped out by the Cyclone back in the early 1970s. The other exhibit I really enjoyed was about the original landowners. I love the way the Aboriginals use story telling to explain nature, creation and life - fascinating to compare with biblical stories. And the Aboriginal art work is stunning.

Mindil Beach Market. The other thing I did on a regular basis while I was in Darwin was go down to the beach market on a Thursday and Sunday evening. I would have a mooch around, buy a takeaway meal, then go and eat on the beach and watch the sun go down - no better way to relax and let the world go by.

Darwin has become one of my all-time favorite places to visit and my dream has now become to go over for a much longer time, take a car or van and travel around the whole Northern Territories. What is the place you would really like to visit one day?


bettyl said...

Sounds like a great place to explore one day.

Sarah Stewart said...

It is...but to do it justice, you need to reasonable amount of time to look around - I tell you, I'm hooked on the place.

InfoMidwife said...

Darwin the best kept secret... that is like lots of places in Australia. I havent made it there but it is on our bucket list of things to do. I am glad you enjoyed it, next stop Perth.

Sarah Stewart said...

I'm holding you to that offer of a bed...we'll have to get soemthing sorted. I'd really love to go to MonkeyMaia to see the dolphins and then up to the Kimberlies