A continent away from Sydney, Darwin could be a world away from Australia. This tropical city, home to an abundance of nationalities and white sand lined, palm fringed city, is backpacker heaven. Looking back to our arrival in Sydney where we all froze, it seemed impossible to be in the same country when the car thermometer showed a sweltering 40 degrees.
Driving through the streets, music pumping, sun seekers dressed in vests, surfer shorts and flip flops. Music pumping out down Mitchell Street, global cuisines, long hair, coconuts and a pace of life so slow its virtually standing still. Darwin was nothing like we expected, but everything like we’d hoped.
Known as the ‘top end’, it is distinctly Asian urban, and, our favourite place in the country.
Within downtown Darwin there is loads to do, drink and listen to. Mindil Beach market is an absolute must, we cracked whips, jokes and tried to do a circus act. Avoid the sea in summer as getting stung by a jelly fish is not funny and highly likely. Darwin waterfront precinct is a great place to hop into a wave pool, go fishing, read a book or bounce around on an inflatable assault course. On the doorstep of Darwin is Kakadu national park, a stunning almost water world of perfection. Not far south is the (in my opinion) much better and less refined Litchfield National Park, home to cascading rock pools and picturesque waterfalls. Decent park management keeps the crocs at bay as you swim, and take selfies with termite mounds the size of medium height trees. Best of all, in June/July and August you can bet your grans house that it won’t rain. Piercing blue skies fettered only with a brutally hot sun will be the flavour of most days.
If you rock up in Darwin with a load to blow you can watch crocs jumping out of rivers, take helicopters over Jurassic like landscapes and sail away into paradise with a cold beer and an overpriced steak. But what amazed me about Darwin, is that you can arrive in this tropical city, dust the outback off, and indulge in a side of Australia that is like no where else in the country. Darwin is the sort of place that was built to be cosmopolitan, built to be the frontier of the Northern Territory, to face Asia head on, and then, had the pace of life turned down to a meagre level one.
It is worth point out that thanks to the likes of Jetstar flights onwards to Asia are super cheap.
And. So it was, after brushing off the outback, reminiscing on amazing journey through a continent, and agreeing that we had had one of the most times of our lives, we boarded a flight back to Asia leaving behind one of the most amazing places we have ever been, but taking with us memories that will last a lifetime.
Read the full trip…
We then drove through the Australian Outback to Coober Pedy, Ayers Rock, Alice Springs got robbed in Tenant Creek and the finished up at the top end in Darwin. The full journey can be read here: The Outback