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Darwin, located in Australia’s Northern Territory, is a tropical lovers paradise. Blessed with palm trees and pools, this underrated city simply does not get enough love from travellers and Aussies alike. Due to its proximity to South East Asia, Darwin, Australia is blessed with rich Asian cuisines like sweet pork and bamboo rice. An abundance of water-fun activities will give you some relief from the intense humidity of the Wet season while the dry season offers the perfect weather destination for summer lovers.
Darwin has some of the most stunning sunsets in the world, so why not take it in while browsing the city’s famous market? Every Sunday between July and September, the vendors of Darwin’s Mindil Beach offers exquisite eats and gorgeous, beach-inspired fashion choices. Watch the Buskers perform their unique talents – see if you can find the Aussie man who makes music with his whip! – and taste a variety of countries through all the different market stalls. If you prefer an activity a little more relaxing, a plethora of professional masseuses will give you a delightful massage for an incredibly cheap price.
Darwin has some of the most beaches in the world, but are not typically used for swimming due to the threat of box jellyfish (and the occasional crocodile). If you’re spending a weekend at Darwin, checking out the Sandbar at Darwin’s beach during low tide. Early in the day and throughout the afternoon, what is simply known as “the Sandbar” appears and Darwinians flock to this spot to drink, swim (if safe), and party. Great for groups of friends and families, you can bring a barbecue or a cooler with some lawn chairs. Boats at the sailing club offer a shuttle service to take patrons to and from the Sandbar for a cheap price. Once the tide comes rolling in, it’s time to head back.
Darwin’s coolest bar and restaurant offers breathtaking views from Cullen’s Bay. The eccentric décor resembles a carnival with a working merry-go-round for kids. Relax in the evening with its delicious menu of bar food like burgers and chicken parm or check it out at night when the dance floor is thriving. Dinner for two here will cost you around $50 AUD, but locals will say it’s well worth the experience (and is quite affordable for a night out in Australia).
Darwin’s dry season can range from about 15 to 30 degrees Celsius, but the wet season can feel brutal with the high humidex. Cool off at Big Buoy’s Waterpark on Darwin’s Harbour where a safe section is sealed off from potentially harmful wildlife. Grab your friends and jump on Darwin’s inflatable water park just past the swimming zone or battle them in one-on-one gladiator jousting. See who can knock who off the slippery balance beam ride down the slide into the refreshing bay.
If a pool’s more your style, hit up Darwin’s Wave Lagoon. At 4000 square metres of pool is more than enough for friends and family to have a good time riding the waves on an inner tube or boogie board. Entry fees range from $5 to $7 for children and adults with a family option at an affordable $18 AUD.
Crocosaurus Cove is one of Darwin’s best highlights – people come from all over the world to experience the Cage of Death, being one of the only cities in the world to offer such an incredible experience. Dive with crocs in a plastic cage at $100 per person for a half-hour of seeing a crocodile like you’ve never seen one before (and may never want to again!). If that’s a little too scary, you can still enjoy watching others dive with crocs or take in a live croc feeding. Browse the reptile museum and see how adorable the little ones are – though they can still crush your hand!
Darwin is arguably the lighting capital of the world. During the wet season, which takes place between November and April, up to 500 lightning strikes can stretch across the evening sky. While this is fearful to some, locals have come to enjoy nature’s spectacular lightning show. Enjoy the display from a safe place like one of many shaded patios along Mitchell St or Cullen’s Bay.
While some tourists are hesitant to visit Darwin during the wet season, Darwin has a lot to offer all year round.
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