Escape winter and come to the Top End - come to Darwin
Now that storm season is over and the temperatures are dropping - why not come up top and visit Darwin?
May to October is the ideal time to visit with temperatures ranging from 27 - 32 degrees. An abundance of things to do will keep you busy for days, if not weeks, depending on your time. National parks, large expansive rivers, billabongs, camping, eco lodges, cultural tours with the Aboriginal people, crocodile viewing, northern coastal wetlands, red soil and towering termite nests makes for a very diverse land.
Situated in the top end of the Northern Territory some 200 kilometres east of Darwin is Kakadu where you can find yourself in the outback. With gorges to hike, climb and photograph, tours are in abundance. Stunning sunsets, warm air and other aspects make Darwin and the Top End a destination not to be missed.
Don't let Darwin's low rise buildings and laid back attitude fool you - this diverse bunch know how to have a good time and enjoy life here close to the Timor Sea. In its earliest beginnings there were 135 people, now 129,100 people live, love and laugh here.
Mitchell Street is a hub of night time activity, with bars, restaurants and live entertainment. The waterfront precinct has a wave pool and a lagoon for swimming, bars, restaurants, hotels and a sea wall to walk along that leads to the Living Marine Educational Discovery Centre.
Within Darwin remnants of the war can be seen at various venues. The amazing museum exhibit, "The Defence of Darwin Experience", which opened in February 2012, will make you feel like you were in Darwin when they were being bombed in WWII. It is quite an eye opening and sensory experience. Give yourself a couple of hours to take in the scope of this exhibit. For all information regarding the exhibit check here.
In 1974 Cyclone Tracy destroyed 70% of Darwin's buildings with winds reported up to 250kls an hour, making this the worst natural disaster in Australia up to this time. There are still a few lovely resilient stone buildings left and you can see them on the city historical walk. You can find information for tourism, accommodations and all things Darwin here.
Amongst several markets spread out across the city the Mindil Beach Sunset Market is a must see. Numerous stalls with hand crafted items, enticing aromas, foods of varying kinds and music fills the air becoming part of the ambience. An added bonus to this market is its close proximity to the beach and the brilliant sunsets that everyone clamours to see. The market will reopen for the season on April 25, 2013. Check for the market times here.
With the temperature dropping in the more southerly areas of Australia it is still warm and toasty in the Northern Territory and a good place to escape to. Come up top and see Darwin and the amazing diversity that surrounds it.
My family and I lived in Darwin in the mid 90's for 7 years and loved it (after acclimitising for the first year!). Darwin is a very family friendly place to live & visit, with the Darwin Council putting on alot of free family events throughout the year. If you don't want to go to Kakadu ( along way from Darwin, totally overrated & expensive), just head down to Litchfield Park, which is only just over an hour south of Darwin, free and great things to do & see. Darwin is a great place to visit and this is the best time of year to go. The Mindil Beach markets are unique and watching the sun go down over Mindil Beach is great! Blink and you'll miss it! Do yourselves a favour and check Darwin/NT out.