Guest Blog by Russell VJ Ward
A tropical gem located at the Top End of Australia and the gateway to Asia, Darwin is one of the warmer Aussie cities, enjoying heat and sunshine all year round. It’s a must for any traveller’s bucket list with iconic Australian experiences at your fingertips such as the Kakadu National Park, Adelaide River and Arnhem Land. For things to do in Darwin, here’s my five-day guide to enjoying the city’s natural and cultural attractions.
After checking in to your hotel, check out the local indigenous art at any number of Aboriginal art displays around the city or head to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and learn more about the local people, their customs, culture and traditions. Then visit the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets every Thursday and Sunday evening from April to October where you’ll find an eclectic mix of arts, crafts, entertainment and multicultural fare from around the world. Oh, and the obligatory spectacular sunset view.
A visit to the Top End wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one of the region’s outstanding national parks. Kakadu National Park is Australia’s most iconic covering an area of almost 20,000 square kilometres of unspoilt natural beauty and located in the wet-dry tropics 170km east of Darwin. If you don’t have time for such an epic expedition, try something closer to home with a day trip to Litchfield National Park or try your hand at barramundi fishing in the harbour. Finish off the day with fish & chips and a stroll along Nightcliff Jetty, not far from the city centre.
A ten-minute drive from Darwin, East Point Reserve is a favourite destination for visitors because of its bush tracks and cycle paths, safe swimming areas, and barbeque facilities near Fannie Bay Beach which offer uninterrupted views of Darwin’s famous sunsets. While there, consider exploring the East Point Military Museum, providing an insight into the military presence in Darwin.
If wildlife is your thing when looking for things to do in Darwin, then a crocodile-watching experience is a must. If you want to see these creatures in the wild, jump on board the Crocodile Express to Adelaide River where you’ll watch huge saltwater crocs launch themselves out of the water to grab meat dangled on a stick by the tour guides. Not for the faint-hearted, it’s a memorable experience nonetheless and, as a reward for the day’s efforts, venture to Mitchell Street once the night draws in to sample the area’s pumping bars and restaurants.
Spend your last day at the Waterfront Precinct soaking up the warm weather and relaxing in the Recreation Lagoon or, for something a bit crazier, give the Wave Pool a go. Only a short stroll from the heart of the city, the precinct is a tropical playground that sums up the laidback Darwin lifestyle. In the evening, quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger at a wide range of alfresco dining or sit back under the wide-open skies and enjoy the Deckchair outdoor cinema.
About Russell VJ Ward
Russell is an expat, travel and lifestyle blogger living on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and writing about how to live a life less ordinary at www.insearchofalifelessordinary.com. Russell can also be followed on Twitter and Instagram as @russellvjward.