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Tourism Top End Blog

Inspiration for your next adventure around the Northern Territory's Top End.

Mary River National Park and the Wetlands Region

Mary River National Park and the Wetlands Region

Mary River National Park and the Wetlands Region
Sue Moffitt July 2021

Connellan Lagoon is just one example of everything there is to see and do in the Wetlands areas of Mary River National Park. Imagine cruising the rivers as the sun casts spectacular shadows and colours across the water, driving the monsoon forest trails or linking in with the local fishermen to catch a “barra” for supper. All activities, tours and cruises feature our unique flora and fauna.

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Darwin Festival Opening Weekend

Darwin Festival Opening Weekend

by Sue Moffit

Civic park is transformed into kaleidoscope of colour and shapes. Orange lanterns hang from the trees and a collection of jellyfish, made by Ali De Groote, hang delicately in a cluster (called a Smack!).
My eyes are drawn to the really tall bamboo poles that reach into the clear blue sky. Some form tepees, some seem random and some form the roofing for the food stalls. And what a collection of multicultural food there is – Thai and Indian food from a real local’s favourite, Hanuman, pizzas from Cucina Sotto Le Stelle, Syrian kebabs from Damasquino and a new entry into Darwin’s restaurant scene, Phat Mango who specialise in local and native ingredients. That’s not all, there is chocolate from Bumble Bee and ice cream from Trampoline. Whoops I nearly forgot the soft fluffy bao’s from Bamboo Lounge and Smokey J’s burgers.
Back to the bamboo poles. They hug the Bamboo Bandstand and hold a massive orange lantern reminding me of our beautiful tropical sunsets. Background music early in the evening is followed by live music, dance routines and tonight (Friday) a beautiful and inspiring Welcome to Country.
Bilawara Lee, one of our Larrakia elders welcomes us all to this special place, the Darwin Festival, truly a place for meeting and making friends. Her brother and sister create a fire and smoking ceremony where everyone is invited to participate and walk through the smoke. Ironwood leaves blaze and then turn quickly to smoke enveloping the audience, and themselves.
Jellyfish are the main component on the murals of the brilliant turquoise corrugated iron walls of the stage, with the occasional turtle too. Behind these walls the Sunset Stage sits proudly under the trees. Seating for the shows is casual with tables and chairs dotted around; but mostly people bring their picnic rugs and relax on the grass.

Now the sun has set and the whole of park is lit with tiny lights that are strung between the bamboo poles. It’s a magical place, just like fairyland.

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Top Territory Talent

Top Territory Talent

Darwin Festival kicks off in one week and there’s a huge program of events planned to take over the city from 5-22 August. One of the highlights of the Festival each year is its featuring of artists from the NT, and 2021 is no exception with a huge line-up of music, theatre, dance, cabaret and visual arts events starring our very own Territory talent.

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The Dry season is teasing us

The Dry season is teasing us

Words by: Sue Moffitt

Darwin and the Top End has two seasons, the wet season and the Dry. Unlike most other parts of Australia it’s the dry season (the winter) that many locals and visitors crave for. The weather is perfect – clear blue skies, no rain, cool nights and hot days. Living and playing outdoors is the way to go.
Normally the dry season arrives gradually but this year we seem to have switched suddenly from cloudy, stormy skies and lots of rain to cool mornings with lots of sunshine. Outdoor attractions have already opened their doors, dry season markets are about to start and we, like lots of others, are planning our next camping trip.
My blog this month focuses on the outdoor lifestyle that kicks off Darwin in the Dry. So here goes:

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Groote Eylandt “Never have I ever thought of spending a weekend at Groote Island”

Groote Eylandt
“Never have I ever thought of spending a weekend at Groote Island”

Words by: Sue Moffitt

I was so excited to get tourism vouchers in the 2nd round. I was only on the waiting list and thought I would miss out. After some research Ken and I decided to treat ourselves to a weekend away, not just an ordinary weekend spent “down the track” or in one of Darwin’s staycations, but to go somewhere that we would never have thought of going.

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A weekend in Darwin in the Wet 🌧

A weekend in Darwin in the Wet 🌧

Words by: Sue Moffitt

This month’s blog celebrates the wet season. This is my favourite time of the year and I am forever raving on about how wonderful the rain is. I giggle whenever I hear croaking frogs and I take every opportunity to go out and play in the rain.

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