Words by: Sue Moffitt
Officially the Wet has already begun. A couple of weeks ago an incredible and beautiful storm rolled across the city dumping over 50mm of rain in just a few hours. Thunder bounced and rocked around the clouds and lightning lit up every corner of the city. It was the middle of the night but I was out on the balcony watching.
Darwin and the Top End comes alive in the wet season. Why not come and join the locals, it’s their favourite time of the year?
But now we are back to what we call the “Build Up”. Clouds hover on the horizon and rain tempts and teases us; it gets hot and steamy but doesn’t rain.
Tips for beating the heat
Avoid the heat of the day, the early mornings are beautiful especially alongside the water. My favourite spot for watching the sun rise is Stokes Hill Wharf where you can wander along the historical centre of the waterfront and imagine the days when pioneers and immigrants arrived in Darwin to trudge along the jetty, built out over the mud flats, and up the escarpment to the City.
Cool off in one of the pools in town or head to Litchfield National Park to swim in the rock pools and plunge pools of Florence Falls and Buley Rockhole.
Out at East Point, Lake Alexander is a natural saltwater lake with plenty of shady trees and picnic tables.
Or up at Nightcliff there is the swimming pool with the best view in the world, alongside the ocean and the beach.
Check out the boutiques in Star Arcade, The Mall and Knuckey Street. Buy some light, flimsy clothes made of natural fibres. Wear a hat, preferably one with a broad brim. Buy a fan — generating a little extra air makes a big difference.
Try our local ice creams. Trampoline Gelato, down at the waterfront has flavours galore and our local Berry Springs farm shop, Crazy Acres, makes ice cream using their own tropical fruits. It’s hard to go past their mango ice cream. Available from the Top End Travel and Visitor Information Centre, Crocosaurus Cove and the Deckchair Cinema – to name just a few in town. By the way a visit to this iconic open-air cinema is a must – and sit in a deckchair of course!
Photo credit - Deckchair Cinema and Trampoline Gelato
Take advantage of the air-conditioning and plan to visit some of our indoor attractions. Down at Stokes Hill Wharf, the Royal Flying Doctor Service Darwin Tourist Facility with Bombing of Darwin displays is a great place for high-tech interpretation. Or visit the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT (where you can also buy Crazy Acres ice cream).
Evening time Darwin comes alive with restaurants, bars and live music. Grab a free copy of Off the Leash for a comprehensive list of “What’s on” from the Top End Travel and Information Centre.
Plus, did you know?
This time of the year is when the best tropical fruits come into season. Peel back the bright orange cheeks of fleshy fruit and dribble mango juice down your chin. Hunt around for the dark red dragon fruit or the prickly red rambutans.
Humidity is one of your skin’s best friends. It leaves the skin supple and those little wrinkles seem to plump up and disappear.
Your hair goes curly. Well, mine does! There’s no need for a perm in the tropics.
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.
See more of Sue's work