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Support local and get out and about in Darwin – Sue’s Top 5 City Breaks

Support local and get out and about in Darwin – Sue’s Top 5 City Breaks

Words by: Sue Moffitt


Spoil yourself, celebrate with a friend or play tourist for the weekend, here are my top tips for a unique and fun Darwin City break. 


Spoil Yourself
Plan to stay for a few days and capture that little bit of luxury. Book into one of the apartments at the Darwin Waterfront, a little slice of Darwin that feels like you are on holiday. 

Stay at Adina Apartments, where all you need is at your finger-tips. Order room service from Curve Restaurant and treat yourself to breakfast in bed. 

Next, how about a swim in the lagoon? Take a book and sit in the shade until coffee calls. Or maybe it’s time for lunch. 

After a siesta, it’s time for cocktails and dinner. How about prawns and champagne at the Oyster Bar Darwin followed by dinner at Bella Fresh, renowned for its homemade pasta. The views across the lagoon as the sun sets behind the city are very beautiful.

And there’s still day two to go ………..

Blogimage  Photo Credit: Adina Apartments Hotel Darwin Waterfront and Oyster Bar Darwin

Play tourist for the weekend
Here’s an extract from my book, Darwin for all Seasons. It features a City Walk with must-sees as well as some local haunts.

Check out the Star Arcade, just inside the Mall. It’s a real favourite of mine and I love just sitting under the frangipani tree and watching the world go by. Or you can chat to the locals, have a coffee or wander through the boutiques. 

Then cross the road to the Top End Travel and Information Centre – “Head over to Parliament House for a free tour (note, temporarily closed) or pick up a brochure and wander on your own. There are storyboards around the foyer that detail the somewhat tortuous processes that have led to the current legislative structure. Also inside Parliament House is The Northern Territory Library (a research library, not a lending one) which has a fascinating exhibition called “A Territory Story”, with insights and displays cleverly portraying our past.

Next head over to Bicentennial Park and the Cenotaph and stop off at Lyons Cottage on the corner of Knuckey Street and the Esplanade. Home to Aboriginal Bush Traders, this heritage-listed cottage contains a wonderful collection of Aboriginal gifts, artwork, clothes and souvenirs.

Further on, turn right at Peel Street (alongside the Mantra Hotel) and right again into Mitchell Street. Diagonally across the road is Crocosaurus Cove where the pre-historic looking reptiles are both fascinating and scary. Here you can feed them, dive with them (in a cage) or just look from afar.”

Next door to Crocosaurus Cove, Arley Rae Australia stocks a beautiful array of locally made crocodile leather goods. Maybe a gift for yourself?

Blogimages2
Photo credit: Crocosaurus Cove and Aboriginal Bush Traders

Celebrate
Do you have a birthday or anniversary to celebrate? Here’s an idea, pinched from my 70th birthday last year. It was a full day of fun, frivolity and feasting.

All aboard Sea Darwin, for a cruise where you can enjoy a scrumptious serving of fresh, wild caught Northern Territory fish and chips. Heading back across the harbour, this time to Cullen Bay we were lucky enough to have the sand bar exposed. See if you can get the tides right as this is such a fun thing to do.

Visit Charles Darwin National Park with panoramic views across to the City or follow the foreshore at Nightcliff where rivulets of water wander across the sand and wind surfers are often seen battling the wind and the waves. End up at Pee Wee's at the Point for champagne and nibbles as the sun sets across Fannie Bay. 

You had better plan to spend the night in town too!!


Do something you have always wanted to do but…
Hire a scooter and “scoot” down the Esplanade down to the Stuart Highway and back 
- Book a ½ day Barra Charter with Darwin Harbour Fishing Charters. I know you’ve always wanted to catch a barra!!
- Watch the full moon rise over the harbour from Stokes Hill Wharf
- Take a helicopter flight with Airborne Solutions Darwin Helicopter Tours. Be sure to check out their “Time to be a Territorian Special”

blogimages3

Photo credit: Airborne Solutions Darwin Helicopter Tours and Darwin Harbour Fishing Charters

 

Learn something new…
There are several attractions in Darwin that are a must go to if you want to learn more about the history of Darwin. It might sound mundane to come into town and visit attractions but really all of these ideas are fun, inspiring and will absolutely surprise you.

Darwin Aviation Museum – The massive B52 is the centrepiece of the hanger, surrounded by storyboards, bits and pieces of memorabilia and even helicopters that assisted in Cyclone Tracy clean-up. PS the Museum is just out of town on the Stuart Highway so you will need a car.

RFDS and the Bombing of Darwin – Dress up with goggles and head phones to experience first-hand bombs crashing into the ocean and the wharf. The virtual reality experience and the holograms are a technological masterpiece.

Or spend a day in the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens. The brand new Visitors Centre has a fabulous interpretive centre and the new crocodile sculpture (made in steel) in the Boab section of the gardens is an impressive 9 metres long.

 

All about Sue
Sue is absolutely passionate about living in Darwin. She says "It is the best place I have ever lived". She has published three guide books with her new book Darwin for all Seasons just being published. Sue has a background in travel and tourism, owning her own tour guiding company in Sydney and in her books she captures a really intimate view of Darwin and the Top End with her own personal tips and local haunts.

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