The Northern Territory, Australia is a breathtaking place. It feels otherworldly, with prehistoric beasts, and landscapes like nothing I had seen before. It was the Australia I had always imagined, from Crocodile Dundee and the like, it’s true Outback, and made me fall further in love with this stunning and diverse country.
We spent a couple of weeks traveling round the National parks closest to Darwin in August a couple of years back. I would love to go back and see more, but I thought I would share my top tips in the hope of inspiring you to visit this truly incredible place. And to remind my husband that we need to go back soon!
Where to start?
As I landed in Darwin, I struggled to get my head around not needing to change currency, or turn of data roaming. From freezing Winter in Melbourne, Darwin sat happily in the mid thirties.
Your first stop in Darwin needs to be Dinner and Sunset at Darwin Sailing Club. The view is spectacular, the vibe relaxed, the food reasonable, tasty and plentiful, and the sunset-speaks for itself. We struggled to tear ourselves away to eat elsewhere as it was such an enjoyable experience every time.
And be sure to make time for a drink at Darwin Waterski Club-or even a Ski if your’re feeling brave. I’ll stick to skiing in the Murray though!
just an “average” sunset in NT
Places we enjoyed camping:
the pool in Cooinda-one of the only “guaranteed safe” spots to swim
One of the ‘stars of the tour’ at Jumping Crocs
Tours Not to Miss:
Cooinda Yellow Waters Boat Tour-it came highly recommended and did not disappoint. The boat trip took us alone the stunning waterways, we spotted bird life and crocs a plenty. The guide was knowledge, funny and talented-he serenaded us with the Didgeredoo at sunset.
Jumping Crocs-is quite an experience, Crocs being fed chunks of meat, from the edge of the boat, causing them to leap out the water. It really gives you a sense of how powerful and huge these creatures are. Our guide was a young, local girl who was a great source of stories, and really brought the whole experience to life. They’re free as opposed to in captivity, happily swimming along the Adelaide River.
What else should you see:
Litchfield National Park
Kakadu National Park
Jim Jim Falls
Can you tell I am obsessed with the sunsets in the NT yet?
Sunset at Ubir was one of the most special memories from our trip. The atmosphere was so still and calm, the view awe inspiring. It should be on everyones bucket list.
When to go?
The temperature in Darwin rarely varies-it’s just hot! Its the humidity and rainfall which does. We went at the end of the dry season, which was good for clear roads, and lesser croc risks. Not so good for bush fires though.
Is it safe to swim?
I will never forget the guide at Jabaru tourist information centre telling me the only place she could assure me I was safe to swim, was the local swimming pool. That said there re lots of waterholes which are popular swimming spots. Seeks local advice, and remember certain places are less safe at certain times of year-such as after heavy rainfall.Freshwater crocs aren’t likely to give you more than a bite, but Saltwater are incredibly dangerous. People are killed every year by them. I was chilled to learn how the stalk their pray and how clever and calculating they can be.
Is it a good place for kids?
Absolutely, campsites are very family friendly, and whilst there is driving involved, thats just Oz, it’s big, and to get anywhere you have to sit tight and enjoy the journey. There’s plenty in Darwin itself to keep children entertained, including safe manmade swimming area, Mindl Beach Markets, the Museum & Art Gallery of NT, which offers a fascinating insight into the region, including it’s role in WWII and the impact of the Cyclone. Crocosaurs Cove, for getting your Croc fix before you leave town. We can’t wait to take intrepid Bebe with us next time we visit.
For further information see Kakadu Tourism